Taking in a Watch for Repair

May 1999

Timepieces:Education & Repair

Taking in a Watch for Repair

How to get the most effective service from your watch repair vendor

Here are nine tips from horologist Dan Gendron of Grants Pass, OR, on how to get the most effective service from your watch repair vendor.

  1. Begin to fill out the repair envelope even if the customer seems only to be "investigating" a repair. Fill in the personal information, especially the name, address and telephone number. If the customer decides not to leave the watch, you've still added a name to your customer mailing list.
  2. Use your loupe to check for details.
  3. Check whether the watch has the correct time. If it's a quartz watch and doesn't have the correct time, make sure the customer understands and agrees the watch isn't running. For a mechanical watch, wind it. If it winds smoothly, ask the customer to explain the problem. Does it run slow or fast? Does it stop occasionally? This may save you from an argument later. You don't want to hear "it worked until you touched it!"
  4. Write details, including whether the piece is a man's or woman's size.
  5. Read carefully. Don't assume a watch brand starting with "B" and ending with "A" is a Bulova. When you hand the customer back his "Bulivia," he might demand the "Bulova" he can claim you checked in.
  6. The watch color is determined by the case, which may not always match the band. Write yellow gold, white gold, steel or two-tone, not just "gold" or "silver." A case marked "14 KT" may not mean solid gold.
  7. Are there stones on the watch, band or dial? If so, describe the stones by color, not type. Even diamonds that you may verify with a diamond tester should be described as "white stones" not diamonds. Check to see whether any of the stones are missing and/or loose and mark it on the mailer.
  8. Note the condition. Are the band or crystal broken? Are there scratches or discolorations on the dial? What's the general condition of the watch? Is it slightly worn or very worn?
  9. Prepare a summary estimate. The watchmaker will better understand the work needed and the costs agreed to with the customer (more on this in next month's Professional Jeweler).

These tips and many others are now on the Gendron Watch Repair Web site (www.watchfix.com.) Or call him at (541) 471-8547.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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