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November 1999

Timepieces: News

Add-On Sales Not Small Time

Your watch customer needs more than the latest timepieces. Here's a look at three related areas where you can make more profit this holiday season

Many retailers have discovered the big mark-ups possible with basic watch repairs. Try these tips to encourage more than a quick, low-priced battery replacement:

  1. Include a water-resistance check and case cleaning with new batteries. Offer this combined service separately at a higher standard price to give it value.
  2. Teach your staff to recognize other repair needs as watches arrive for battery replacement.
  3. Don't underprice. It only undervalues your service.
  4. Use a repair take-in checklist.
  5. Check your battery supply regularly and restock popular sizes.
  6. Develop a maintenance schedule for high-end watches. Remind the owners when check-ups are recommended.
  7. Try a watch analyzer to determine battery levels quickly.
  8. Learn to size and replace bracelets.
  9. Sell repair service to local department and discount stores.

Quartz Replacement Guide

You can enhance profits if your staff learns to conduct basic repairs in the store, says Dan Gendron of Dan Gendron Horology, Grants Pass, OR. This is especially true of replacing quartz movements.
Gendron and his wife and business partner, Sheila Gendron, wrote The Down-to-Earth Practical, Jewelers Guide to Watch Repair, a 120-page primer on basic quartz replacement and enhancing watch repair profits. It was created with the help of Cas-Ker Watch Material Co., Cincinnati, OH, a supplier of quartz movements and watch repair supplies. For copies of the $59.95 book, call Cas-Ker at (800) 487-0408.

  • Dan Gendron Horology, Grants Pass, OR; (888) 750-3330.


Satisfied shoppers will return for time-related items, including:

  • New bracelets or leather straps.
  • Watch winders. Inform customers who own multiple watches that you also sell winders. "We sold them quickly once our watch customers were told we carried them," says Jim Koonts, head of the watch department at Mann's Jewelers, Rochester, NY.
  • Watch cases for home or travel.
  • Timepiece-related books are a nice give-away with a big-ticket sale. Alternately, sell them separately. For titles, check Art Book Services, Wappingers Falls, NY; (914) 297-1312,
  • Earrings or pin to match a new diamond watch.
  • At Mann's, Koonts sells watches as engagement gifts for men, something he sees as a growing trend.
  • Watch buyers are naturals for fine pens.

by Michael Thompson

Watch winders can enhance your reputation as a fine watch retailer. Orbita offers four-watch winders (left) for $1,195 retail to $1,595 for a model with an atomic clock. Orbita, Wilmington, NC; (910) 256-5300,
The two-watch winder from Timecube (right) is $1,100. Timecube, Chronoswiss, Bellport, NY; (516) 776-1135.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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