Timepieces: Education & Repair
Basic Take in Procedures, Part II
Help your customers and your watchmaker with more than
a cursory look at the watch brought in for repair
Your ability to assess repair needs as watches appear at your
showcase greatly enhances your professionalism and builds
customer trust (Professional Jeweler, September 1999, p. 84).
Once you've determined the working status of the watch brought
in for repair, you've also likely determined whether your on staff
watchmaker or service center can work on it. If headed to that
stage in the repair chain, you can perform additional checks
to assess repair needs beyond batteries and full movement repairs.
These include examining the major exterior areas:
Case and Bracelet
- Are links missing, stretched or bent?
- Is the buckle loose or inoperable?
- Is the leather strap cracked, stained or torn? (With bracelets
or straps, suggest a replacement to ensure safety, appearance
- Is the crystal cracked, scratched, chipped, loose or missing?
- Is the case nicked, scratched or worn?
Dial and Hands
- Is the dial or any hand rusted, stained or dented?
- Are the markers loose or tilted?
- Are any hands bent or missing?
- Is the hour hand not pointing to an hour marker when the
minute hand is at 12?
- Does the crown unscrew when you try to set the hands or wind
- When you pull out the crown, does it draw back in easily
instead of snapping firmly from one position to the next (this
indicates a broken setting bridge).
- Is the crown worn smooth?
- Is it so tight it can't be pulled or turned?
- Does the watch wind continually? For mechanicals, this indicates
a broken mainspring. For automatics it's normal.
- If a tightly wound watch doesn't loosen, something is blocking
the gear train (probably dried oil or contamination) and not
allowing it to run down. It also may indicate a mechanical blockage.
- Does the date change at midnight or noon? (Simple solution:
Turn the hands around the dial 12 hours.)
- Does the date change at some other time on the dial? In this
case, your watchmaker needs to realign the hands.
- Do the day and date line up in the date window?
Finding any or all of these items will suggest additional
Note any of the above conditions when you fill in your watch
repair envelope. Look for more on filling out the envelopes and
pricing suggestions next month.
By David Christianson, Certified Master Watchmaker,
President, American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute
David Christianson owns Christianson Jewelry, Kendallville,
IN. In addition to serving as AWI president, he is a certified
master watchmaker and a fellow of the British Horological Society.
He discusses watch repair for the sales staff in this column
each month. Send questions, suggestions and comments to Professional
Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102;
||With regular use, this flow chart can make
take ins more efficient for you and your watchmaker
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.