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Old 7 March 2011, 09:34 AM   #121
Horton
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Hi Vanessa
Have you ever seen a 6495 model Rolex?
I have one that I bought in 1990 from an antique watch dealer in Hong Kong.
Shop is still there today.
I have just had it serviced by a Rolex Tech. and he tells me it is a 1956 or 58 yr. of manufacture, I can't remember for sure which yr.
The serial number is 185285. It is a very nice watch, and is keeping great time.
I am using it daily. The case is starting to show a little pitting in the gold plate in some places. I know there is a lot of different schools of thought about repairs etc. but if I wanted could the case ever be replated?
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Old 9 March 2011, 12:32 AM   #122
richard1948
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Interesting information on servicing.

One question, I note you say that you put watch 'face up' in safe overnight. Is there a correct way to lie a Rolex down eg at night on bedside cabinet, I rest mine on the side, is this incorrect?
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Old 1 April 2011, 07:03 PM   #123
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Farmer's daughter's post is much like the story of my wife's watch in another thread - a 50 (ish) yr old Oyster Perpetual (no date) that has hopefully been resurrected by a local watch technician (miracle worker!) after being told Rolex didn't want to know! I should have read these other threads before asking stupid questions! Thanks for the interesting details explanation, and keep up the good work... Cheers, Jeff (currently an Omega wearer)
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Old 3 April 2011, 01:33 AM   #124
philr_1@hotmail.com
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Where to have my watch service and have it look nearly new.

I bought an Explorer II in 1987. It is a ďcream/railĒ dial and Iím considering sending it to Rolex in Dallas to have it cleaned with strict instructions to refurbish replacing the bezel and crystal, leaving the original dial and hands.

I've worn the watch since I purchased, therefore the crystal has some chips around the edges, the bezel and case are scratched from wear and the black markings have been gone for years.
[

Overtime even one of the hinges on the clasp wore through and I had that piece of the hinge replaced.


I was in New York recently, window shopping on 47th when I was stopped and informed that I was wearing an extremely desirable watch. I thought the guy was nuts, but when I got back to Kansas City I googled the watch and discovered that it is somewhat of an anomaly.

Presently it runs fast and I have not been able to find anyone local to clean and adjust the watch to the accuracy that it once had.

I read that others have sent their watch to Rolex for service and have had them returned completely refurbished replacing only the pieces that Rolex still had available from the date of original manufacturing, respecting the owners desire to not replace the face and dials.

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=43452

If possible, I would like to have it brought back so the appearance is close to new like the example below from the link above.


I have no intentions of ever selling the watch, however I do know from other items I own, especially firearms and optical devices, that changing their patina have significant impact upon their rarity.


Thank you in advance for your opinions.

Phil
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Old 23 April 2011, 01:17 AM   #125
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What happened to Vanessa the OP? She was last online in 2010.
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Old 28 April 2011, 11:07 AM   #126
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Vanessa,

Not too long - just right. I've not sent my Rolex for service yet, but have sent my Panerai and IWC. The process, I hope is similar. Thanks for the insight.

Island Dreamer
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Old 23 May 2011, 11:19 AM   #127
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Vanessa, Like many here, I too wish to thank you. I don't think your discussion was too long, I loved it!

I just dropped my child off at the Rolex Service Center here in Dallas. I am amazed at the technology of the watch and your skill! Thank you!

Charlie
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Old 30 May 2011, 03:59 PM   #128
Tank1734
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I have always wondered what all went into a servicing. Now I know. Thanks for the info!
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Old 7 June 2011, 09:07 AM   #129
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Hi Vanessa, out of curiosity, do you work on "vintage" Rolex watches? Apparently Rolex does not service vintage watches (or very few of them, and only if they have the parts but I spoke to someone at Rolex Canada and so did a local Rolex dealer and they said that they don't service vintage 1960's-era watches).
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Old 18 June 2011, 04:55 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
Some common questions I hear a lot: "What does a service include?" "Why does it cost so much?" "How long does it take to service a Rolex?"
I'm sorry if the answer is a bit long, but this is what, why and how long:




This is what I do when I service a RolexÖ.

I open the case and remove the rotor.
I remove the movement from the case. I continue to take off the hands and remove the dial and date disc. The mainspring gets unwound and at this point the movement goes into the cleaner.

I continue with taking the case apart; removing the bezel, and crystal.
I change into a different lab coat, put on gloves and a face mask to start the refinishing of the case and bracelet.
First I buff the case with a hard wheel and a certain compound which makes the case so hot that the wheel starts smoking. I then clean the case in the ultrasonic cleaner and continue with a different polishing wheel thatís softer. I will high-polish the bezel and case back and the bracelet if applicable.
Once the case back is clean in the ultrasonic, I will now high-polish that one as well.
I will change the polishing wheel once more to a soft wheel and again a different compound and give it the finishing super high polish on the parts needed.
While all those finished parts are in the cleaner, I will brush polish the clasp with a hard wheel, followed by a softer brush wheel.
Then I tape off the polished areas on the bracelet to brush-polish the rest of it. When thatís done I change back to the high-polish wheel to polish the side of the bracelet and clasp.
I steam clean all the parts of the case and put them on a dryer. Once the case is dry, I put the final brush polish to the lugs and case back with a special filing technique.


The movement (letís say a 3135) has finished the pre-cleaning process, and can now be checked and disassembled.
The date parts are first, flowed by the automatic mechanism: I first check the end-shake* on all wheels.
I then take out all (3) screws and put them in the small cleaning baskets. I will check the rotor axle and replace it when necessary. I continue with the disassembling of the movement.
I first check the end-shake on the balance wheel. Then I remove the shock-absorbent jewels. The balance wheel is carefully removed and put aside after I unscrewed the 2 screws that hold the bridge in place. I proceed with the pallet fork. Again I check end-shake and remove 2 screws to take off the bridge and remove the pallet fork. At this point I check the freedom of the train with winding the mainspring just a little bit. Then I check all the gearsí end-shakes and remove the 3 screws that hold the train bridge to remove the escape wheel, second wheel, third wheel and great wheel. I then check every wheel meticulously to check for worn pivots, and replace the one that are not perfect anymore with new ones.
When at any moment the end-shake wasnít satisfactory I then move the jewels up or down to correct the error and reassemble the wheel to check again until it's perfect.
I proceed with removing the screws on the ratchet wheel and bridge to remove the barrel with the mainspring. Now I can open the barrel and remove the mainspring which goes straight into my garbage can.
I proceed with taking the rest of the watch apart, including the winding mechanism. I put the balance back onto the main plate to prevent the hairspring from getting tangled up while itís cleaning.
Now the disassembled movement goes into the cleaner again to get its full cleaning. In the mean time Iíll have a coffee, and I will assemble the case with crystal and bezel.

When the movement is clean I put on some finger cots, and start with putting the reversing wheels, pallet fork and escape wheel into a special liquid lubricant.
I apply grease on the inside of the barrel wall and put a new mainspring in it. I close the barrel and check the end-shake of the arbor to make sure itís free.
I continue with taking the reversing wheels, pallet fork and escape wheel out of the special lubricant and dry them with hot air from a hairdryer. Now I can take the balance back of the main plate and start putting the watch back together. Again the watch has 6 different lubricants and every lube has a very specific role into making the watch run as perfect as possible. When a grease or oil gets applied too much or too little, or at the wrong location within the watch, the amplitude and timing of the watch wonít be as it should.
Once the watch is assembled (and Iím not going to explain every single step as this is already getting way to long) I put it on my timer to check the beat, amplitude and time. Everything gets adjusted accordingly if necessary and I time the watch in 6 different positions to be within -1 to +4.

Once thatís achieved I assemble the dial and hands (when the date jumps at 12) and put the movement in the case. At this time I do the final timing at full wind and half wind, and adjust if necessary.
Then I assemble the automatic mechanism and check for freedom of the rotor.

Once thatís all up to standard, I close the case with new gaskets and put it on a dry pressure test. When it passes (or not) I proceed with the wet test, and make sure the watch doesnít leak.
I can then put the bracelet on, set the time equal to my atomic clock and store it in my safe with the crown left, until the next day.
Then I check the time again compared to the atomic clock and note the amount of seconds itís + or -.
Then I put it on my automatic winder for a day, check again and finally I put it dial up in my safe again to check the next day, and the day thereafter to see when the watch stopped to check the power reserve.
At this time, if everything is within standards I call the customer that his/her watch is ready. If not, I have to find the problem, possibly adjust or start over! This all comes with a 2-year warranty on the work performed.

The tools and materials needed to work on Rolex watches and to keep the account in positive standing are about a $30,000 investment. Plus we have to maintain them and pay rent for the work space. I have gone to a 3-year full-time watchmaking school and undergone many hours of specialized training to do this job.

So now, letís seeÖ hmmm I guess the four hundred-something dollars I charge might not be enough if I think about itÖ


*end-shake: the free longitudinal movement of arbors or the like between bearings.
That means I have to evaluate the amount of movement of a wheel between the jewels. Some can be 0.01mm others 0.02 up to 0.06mm. This can only be determined by the experienced, and louped watchmaker's eye!


Vanessa
Thanks for all the info....I have a GMT Master II which is about 15 years old and needs to be serviced. I found this forum to try to find out where to send my watch. I don't want to just bring it to the jeweler because I know they'll just send it out. I'd much rather bring it to a watchmaker who'll actually do the work; someone with a reputation to protect.

How do I find such a person? Do you know of anyone reliable in my area?
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Old 29 June 2011, 07:26 AM   #131
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Problem is, now that I know what 'they' are going to do to my beloved watch, I am terrified that 'they' are going to screw it up somehow. It seems just so complicated!

What are the chances of getting a person as good as Vanessa working on your watch?

Hmm, especially as the watch is working 'perfectly'.
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Old 8 July 2011, 02:56 AM   #132
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I want to know where to have it done for $500! My service cost $650 in 2005 and it is time for a tuneup! Mine also runs fast...always has. There is real time and there is Rolex time :)
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Old 31 July 2011, 03:01 AM   #133
songzunhuang
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Where to go for service in Santa Cruz, CA area?

My wife's watch has been serviced twice and it's stopped again. I need to find someone who can do a better job. The last time I had it serviced, I could swear that I could hear a light grinding as I moved it around to wind it. I never liked that sound and now that the watch has stopped, I am sure that the service center didn't do a quality job.

I have an Explorer II and I have never had it serviced. It's been about 12 years now. It still runs perfectly and I am a bit paranoid after the experience with my wife's watch.

In any case, if someone could recommend a place near Santa Cruz, CA that they have had a good experience with, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 31 July 2011, 05:57 AM   #134
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Hi Vanessa,
Im new here in this forum. I am a happy owner of a GMT Master II 16710, but so disappointed today due to the result of a servicing done to my watch.
I just like to ask some information about the service. Mine had been with me for almost 5 years now, so I sent it for its first servicing beginning this month. It took about 3 1/2 weeks. So last night I picked it up from the Rolex dealer shop here in dubai. To my shocked, 4 out of the 12 indexes have black dotted marks right at its center and an almost teardrop shape black marks on the 12 oclock index. Would you have any idea if what it could be ? I am so afraid that the guy who did the service ruined my Rolex watch. I returned the watch today for re-servicing and to correct what had been done,hoping that its only dirt, but so annoyed on the people who handled my complain, as if implying that those marks were cause by wear and tear in its 5 years of usage. Is what they say possible that those dials scratched those indexes? Do you use some sort of clamp when handling the dials and face when cleaning it? sorry I have not been able to take photos, since i was so irritated and rushed to return it.

Thanks,
Frank
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Old 31 July 2011, 11:55 PM   #135
Vanessa CW21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertdueller View Post
Hi Vanessa,
Im new here in this forum. I am a happy owner of a GMT Master II 16710, but so disappointed today due to the result of a servicing done to my watch.
I just like to ask some information about the service. Mine had been with me for almost 5 years now, so I sent it for its first servicing beginning this month. It took about 3 1/2 weeks. So last night I picked it up from the Rolex dealer shop here in dubai. To my shocked, 4 out of the 12 indexes have black dotted marks right at its center and an almost teardrop shape black marks on the 12 oclock index. Would you have any idea if what it could be ? I am so afraid that the guy who did the service ruined my Rolex watch. I returned the watch today for re-servicing and to correct what had been done,hoping that its only dirt, but so annoyed on the people who handled my complain, as if implying that those marks were cause by wear and tear in its 5 years of usage. Is what they say possible that those dials scratched those indexes? Do you use some sort of clamp when handling the dials and face when cleaning it? sorry I have not been able to take photos, since i was so irritated and rushed to return it.

Thanks,
Frank
Frank,
That does sound to me like a damage caused by the watchmaker, if you didn't have this problem before. You did good by returning it, and I hope they'll fix it as needed. If it's dirt that doesn't come off, they should replace the dial.
The most likely reason this was caused is by putting the dial upside down on a dirty surface.
Good luck.
Vanessa
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Old 2 August 2011, 02:43 AM   #136
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index spots

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you ! i am still waiting for the shops call. I dont have an idea of what theyre gonna do with my watch. I am so disappointed with them and will never use their service again.
Now, i am only hopeful that it will be returned to its original state.

Cheers,
Frank
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Old 3 September 2011, 08:06 PM   #137
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Hello! Thank you for this post. May i just check with you and take from your expert opinion. I recently purchased a NOS bnib 16610lv Z series about 1.5 weeks ago.

Would you recommend that i have it serviced? Everything seems to be in check so far. I wear it everyday to monitor any problems. Time is accurate so far comparing with my other automatic watches. I've showered with the watch and washed it under running water a few times. No problems so far.

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 12 September 2011, 02:32 AM   #138
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First post FYI RSC in US charges $600 to service sub and $550 for Tudor sub.
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Old 15 October 2011, 03:36 PM   #139
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I'm not in favor of watchwinders, but I do recommend for a watch to be wound 40 times once a month to keep the oils evenly distributed. Hope this answers your question! (and I apologize for the late reply, I have been absent for a while)
Sorry if it's a stupid question, but I really don't know
Do you mean I wound it 40 times(turn the dial knob 40 times)? Then next month I wound 40 times again?
I hardly wear my watch, may be 5 times a year.
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Old 24 October 2011, 09:57 AM   #140
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Thx Vanesa. Great post!!
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Old 17 November 2011, 06:23 PM   #141
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Wow, that's sum serious stuff. Worth every £,€,$ or •......

Mac..
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Old 24 December 2011, 12:05 AM   #142
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I was quoted $700-$900 to have my Rolex serviced. What is a fair price?
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Old 24 December 2011, 02:03 AM   #143
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That is interesting - thanks

How many services can a watch go through - with the buffing that is done?
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Old 28 December 2011, 01:56 AM   #144
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I wonder if we send our Rolex to the RSC to service... How do we know if our 100% original "new" movement (that never been open case before one) would be accidentally replaced by other "used movement" ? Is there any movement chassis number or something that engrave on the calibre which can make sure it is our own movement?
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Old 24 January 2012, 05:07 AM   #145
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Great post Vanessa, thanks. Really informative and a great read too!
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Old 13 February 2012, 06:35 AM   #146
Terryb250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
Some common questions I hear a lot: "What does a service include?" "Why does it cost so much?" "How long does it take to service a Rolex?"
I'm sorry if the answer is a bit long, but this is what, why and how long:




This is what I do when I service a RolexÖ.

I open the case and remove the rotor.
I remove the movement from the case. I continue to take off the hands and remove the dial and date disc. The mainspring gets unwound and at this point the movement goes into the cleaner.

I continue with taking the case apart; removing the bezel, and crystal.
I change into a different lab coat, put on gloves and a face mask to start the refinishing of the case and bracelet.
First I buff the case with a hard wheel and a certain compound which makes the case so hot that the wheel starts smoking. I then clean the case in the ultrasonic cleaner and continue with a different polishing wheel thatís softer. I will high-polish the bezel and case back and the bracelet if applicable.
Once the case back is clean in the ultrasonic, I will now high-polish that one as well.
I will change the polishing wheel once more to a soft wheel and again a different compound and give it the finishing super high polish on the parts needed.
While all those finished parts are in the cleaner, I will brush polish the clasp with a hard wheel, followed by a softer brush wheel.
Then I tape off the polished areas on the bracelet to brush-polish the rest of it. When thatís done I change back to the high-polish wheel to polish the side of the bracelet and clasp.
I steam clean all the parts of the case and put them on a dryer. Once the case is dry, I put the final brush polish to the lugs and case back with a special filing technique.


The movement (letís say a 3135) has finished the pre-cleaning process, and can now be checked and disassembled.
The date parts are first, flowed by the automatic mechanism: I first check the end-shake* on all wheels.
I then take out all (3) screws and put them in the small cleaning baskets. I will check the rotor axle and replace it when necessary. I continue with the disassembling of the movement.
I first check the end-shake on the balance wheel. Then I remove the shock-absorbent jewels. The balance wheel is carefully removed and put aside after I unscrewed the 2 screws that hold the bridge in place. I proceed with the pallet fork. Again I check end-shake and remove 2 screws to take off the bridge and remove the pallet fork. At this point I check the freedom of the train with winding the mainspring just a little bit. Then I check all the gearsí end-shakes and remove the 3 screws that hold the train bridge to remove the escape wheel, second wheel, third wheel and great wheel. I then check every wheel meticulously to check for worn pivots, and replace the one that are not perfect anymore with new ones.
When at any moment the end-shake wasnít satisfactory I then move the jewels up or down to correct the error and reassemble the wheel to check again until it's perfect.
I proceed with removing the screws on the ratchet wheel and bridge to remove the barrel with the mainspring. Now I can open the barrel and remove the mainspring which goes straight into my garbage can.
I proceed with taking the rest of the watch apart, including the winding mechanism. I put the balance back onto the main plate to prevent the hairspring from getting tangled up while itís cleaning.
Now the disassembled movement goes into the cleaner again to get its full cleaning. In the mean time Iíll have a coffee, and I will assemble the case with crystal and bezel.

When the movement is clean I put on some finger cots, and start with putting the reversing wheels, pallet fork and escape wheel into a special liquid lubricant.
I apply grease on the inside of the barrel wall and put a new mainspring in it. I close the barrel and check the end-shake of the arbor to make sure itís free.
I continue with taking the reversing wheels, pallet fork and escape wheel out of the special lubricant and dry them with hot air from a hairdryer. Now I can take the balance back of the main plate and start putting the watch back together. Again the watch has 6 different lubricants and every lube has a very specific role into making the watch run as perfect as possible. When a grease or oil gets applied too much or too little, or at the wrong location within the watch, the amplitude and timing of the watch wonít be as it should.
Once the watch is assembled (and Iím not going to explain every single step as this is already getting way to long) I put it on my timer to check the beat, amplitude and time. Everything gets adjusted accordingly if necessary and I time the watch in 6 different positions to be within -1 to +4.

Once thatís achieved I assemble the dial and hands (when the date jumps at 12) and put the movement in the case. At this time I do the final timing at full wind and half wind, and adjust if necessary.
Then I assemble the automatic mechanism and check for freedom of the rotor.

Once thatís all up to standard, I close the case with new gaskets and put it on a dry pressure test. When it passes (or not) I proceed with the wet test, and make sure the watch doesnít leak.
I can then put the bracelet on, set the time equal to my atomic clock and store it in my safe with the crown left, until the next day.
Then I check the time again compared to the atomic clock and note the amount of seconds itís + or -.
Then I put it on my automatic winder for a day, check again and finally I put it dial up in my safe again to check the next day, and the day thereafter to see when the watch stopped to check the power reserve.
At this time, if everything is within standards I call the customer that his/her watch is ready. If not, I have to find the problem, possibly adjust or start over! This all comes with a 2-year warranty on the work performed.

The tools and materials needed to work on Rolex watches and to keep the account in positive standing are about a $30,000 investment. Plus we have to maintain them and pay rent for the work space. I have gone to a 3-year full-time watchmaking school and undergone many hours of specialized training to do this job.

So now, letís seeÖ hmmm I guess the four hundred-something dollars I charge might not be enough if I think about itÖ


*end-shake: the free longitudinal movement of arbors or the like between bearings.
That means I have to evaluate the amount of movement of a wheel between the jewels. Some can be 0.01mm others 0.02 up to 0.06mm. This can only be determined by the experienced, and louped watchmaker's eye!


Vanessa
Excellent, thank you for this interesting insight into the maintenance of our loved ones. Sounds like money well spent to me..!
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Old 27 February 2012, 03:58 PM   #147
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thanks
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Old 20 March 2012, 02:37 AM   #148
Retread
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TY Vanessa fir the information!

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Old 1 September 2012, 09:32 PM   #149
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Hi Vanessa,

Thanks for sharing that.

Personally I think $400 odd dollars for all that is a bargain. Here in the UK we pay about £400 for a service... Which is a lot more i.e. $635. Perhaps you might suggest to someone that the British align their prices with the US, bearing in mind the exchange rate, to more accurately reflect your price of a service i.e. £252? Pretty please... ;)

Just had my 1999 Rolex White Gold Day Date serviced... And I have to say, WOW! It came back looking near as good as new. Last year it suffered a little scratch on the case (occurred when I was sailing in the Med)... Nothing too deep mind you, but enough to clearly notice it every time I wore it and think "Drat!". Then, when it came back from Rolex in St. James Square, London, it had vanished! Perfect.

Still... Despite that... What really makes me feel the service is worth every penny is the 2 year service guarantee... AWESOME!
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Old 7 September 2012, 06:17 AM   #150
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Thanks for this insightful post, Vanessa. Enjoyed reading!
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