Professional Jeweler Archive: Profitable Watch Repair: Choose Wisely

June 2001

Timepeices/Education & Repair

Profitable Watch Repair: Choose Wisely

Even a highly skilled watchmaker can't repair every watch brought into the store

Last month, we discussed how to ensure your watch repairer isn’t interrupted needlessly (Professional Jeweler, May 2001, p. 84). This month we’ll look at another activity that steals valuable time: Working on watches that should not or cannot be repaired profitably in your store.

No person, however highly skilled, can repair every watch ever made. Most watchmakers have special talents for only a limited range of watches. Some are very good and very fast with regular mechanical watches, but may need many hours to repair an Accutron or complicated quartz chronograph.

A misguided effort to repair watches can result in failure – not failure by the watchmaker, but failure by management for asking the watchmaker for more than he or she can deliver.

Call in a Specialist

Learn what your watchmaker can do well and limit repairs to that area. You can always subcontract other work to a specialist. You wouldn’t expect your family physician to perform every known medical procedure; neither should you expect your watchmaker to be able to repair every watch ever made.
The watchmaker and manager should determine which jobs to do in-house, which to subcontract and which to avoid altogether. This way they can avoid jobs that present insurmountable challenges or provide little profit.

– Jack Kurdzionak, The Watchmaker, Stoneham, MA

© 2001 Jack Kurdzionak

Jack Kurdzionak owns The Watchmaker, a watch store and repair center in Stoneham, MA. He’s a certified watchmaker, columnist for Horological Times and secretary of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications