It's About Time! Watch Repair

Professional Pocket Watch Repair & Wrist Watch Repair Since 1998

Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Scott A. Ekleberry-Watchmaker

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The true cost of a $50 overhaul will be with you long after the savings are gone!!!

Pocket Watch Problems & Information

    If your pocket watch has started to tell erratic time, it probably needs to be cleaned and oiled. This is necessary every 2-5 years at a minimum because the lubrication will dry-up and dirt will accumulate in the pivots. Among other things, this will lead to wear on the parts, and may eventually cause damage to the watch. Many people mistakenly believe they can run a mechanical watch until it stops with no ill effects, this is simply not so. Pocket watches have a mainspring that exerts a great deal of force on very small surfaces. If you do not have pocket watches cleaned and oiled every 2-5 years (depending on how well they are sealed), dirt mixes in with the oil and acts like sandpaper shortening the life of the watch.

    If your pocket watch is wound, up tight and will not run then it most likely needs to be cleaned or perhaps has a broken balance staff. There is no such thing as "over winding" a watch.

    If your watch got wet and it stopped running, the problem could be (and most likely is) rust. Rust damage is hard to estimate and will be done on an hourly rate, final cost depends on how badly your watch is rusted. In severe instances, it may be cheaper to replace the movement. Rust is the number one destroyer of old watches!

    If you turn and turn the crown, (the part you wind and set the watch with), and the watch mainspring will not wind up tight, you probably have a broken mainspring.

    I totally disassemble every mechanical watch I service. Total disassembly is the ONLY way to do a proper job and find many defects and problems, especially cracked jewels and bent pivots.

    Each movement is ultrasonically cleaned, reassembled, oiled, and timed using an electronic timing machine. Each watch is then observed for at least 24-48 hours to make sure it is working properly. 

    I DO NOT do "dunk and lube" jobs like so many in the watch repair trade today (if your watch is sent to a trade shop by a jewelry store chances are it gets this type of job)!

    Labor rate does not include parts or return shipping. Keep in mind that high grade watches (Rolex, Omega, IWC, etc.) will be more.

Some Of The Checks Performed On Your Pocket Watch During Overhaul

Winding and setting freedom, barrel arbor end shake test, all pivots in watch examined under at least 10x magnification for flat spots and/or bent pivots, all jewels in watch checked for breakage or cracks, proper end and side shake of all train wheels is checked, balance is checked for end-play and side-play, escapement of watch is checked for proper set-up, amplitude of balance is checked after cleaning and reassembly, time keeping of watch is checked on the timing machine, and many other checks.

Cleaning Of Pocket Watches

Your mechanical watch will be cleaned in a Mark V ultrasonic cleaning machine. This is one of the best machines on the market today. I use ultrasonic cleaning on wristwatches and pocket watches.

Timing Of Pocket Watches

I will use a B200 timing machine to time you pocket watch. As well as timing in positions, amplitude of the balance wheel will be checked. Amplitude of the balance wheel is an important indicator of the correct functioning of a watch.

Pocket Watch Repairs

    Pocket Watch Overhauls: Minimum charge is $100. Additional time will be charged at $40 per hour. Other repairs, such as a balance staff, will be additional cost. I strongly recommend a new mainspring with each overhaul, assuming one for your watch is still available.

    Balance staffs replaced starting at $40.

    Polishing of screws done on an hourly rate of $40 an hour, minimum charge is $20 per screw. This is often necessary to return a rusted screw to its former state once the rust is removed.

    Bluing of screws done on an hourly rate of $40 an hour, minimum charge is $15. This is often necessary to return a rusted screw to its former state once the rust is removed.

    Mainsprings replaced starting at $40. The price on mainsprings has jumped considerably in the last few years, and many are now hard to get.

    Vibrating of new hairspring to your balance from $200.
NOTE: It may be possible to obtain a suitable hairspring to work in your watch without the need to vibrate one. This operation will however consume time to re-collet and re-stud the new spring, and "time-out" the watch. If such a course is chosen the watch may not keep as good of time, but the cost savings will be considerable.

    Replacement of jewels done at a flat rate of $15 per jewel plus labor, minimum charge of $35 per jewel.

    Stems turned for wristwatches and pocket watches starting at $160.

    NOTE: The rate of $160 covers 4 hours work. If additional time is needed to complete your stem, it will be charged at the labor rate of $40 per hour and that fee will be added to your final bill. $160 is the minimum charge for this service. Most pocket watch stems take around 4 hours to turn and harden. If the stem is turned to your specifications, without trying in the watch, I guarantee it to match your drawing, but can take no responsibility for its functionality in the watch.

    Balance staffs turned starting at $200 per staff.

    NOTE: If staff is turned to your specifications, without trying in the watch, I guarantee it to match your drawing, but can take no responsibility for its functionality in the watch.

    All pivot replacement is done at a rate of $150-$200 per pivot.

Pocket Watch Crystals

    Please click here to see the crystal prices


    Crowns replaced starting at $35

Other Pocket Watch Items

    I also sell pocket watch domes and chains!



    Mechanical watch overhauls are guaranteed for one (1) year from the date the repair is completed. The guarantee does not cover parts I did not furnish, damage from abuse, water damage, watch bands or chains, crowns, stems, balance staffs (if you drop the watch the staff can break), crystals, or repairs done by someone other than myself. 

    While I will do my utmost to ensure that your watch will function correctly and keep time, it may not be possible to get all watches to keep time. This is particularly true of some old pocket watches and wristwatches either which were "low-grade" to start with, or that have seen "better days" (lots of abuse and possibly "cobbling" by inexperienced repair people or incorrect parts in the watch). I feel it is better to be up-front about this at the beginning than to give false hope or expectations. In any event, I must see the watch first to give an estimate and my feelings on how it will perform in the end.

    No warranty on mechanical watch repairs unless a cleaning job accompanies each repair. Sorry, but to provide a warranty I have to know the shape of the watch, which is impossible unless I have disassembled, examined, cleaned, oiled, & timed it.

Important Points, Please Read!

    Labor rate is $40 per hour. Pocket watch work is mostly done by the hour.

    I totally disassemble every mechanical watch I overhaul. Total disassembly is the only correct way to examine a mechanical watch for defects!

    Many watches, especially old pocket watches, have other problems that cannot be seen until disassembly. Approximately 30% of antique pocket watches I see have broken jewels. Approximately 50% of the antique pocket watches I see have bent balance pivots or flat spots on the balance pivots. Without correcting these things, I cannot guarantee the watch to keep good time! If any of these defects are found the customer will be notified before, the repairs are carried out.

    WATER RESISTANCE OF WATCHES IS not GUARANTEED. There are all kinds of legal reasons for this, so your understanding is appreciated! This doesn't really apply to pocket watches, but I thought best to put it in here anyway.

    Due to quality and/or parts issues I no longer work on the following brands of watches: Crown, New York Standard, and Columbia.

    I reserve the right to refuse service on any watch. I am sorry for this, but due to the recent amount of hacked and cobbled watches coming into my shop, I have no choice. If you have a badly rusted watch, I am probably going to refuse the repair or suggest a complete movement replacement.

    I will not under any circumstances work on nor do I endorse any replica/fake watches!

    Not responsible for accidents, damages, or loss in the mail.

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Sending Your Watch For Repair Through the Mail And The Truth About The Watch Repair Industry In America

Background & Certifications

Watch Care & Advice & Facts You Need To Know!

Shopping For A Watch

How A Watch Works

About Myself

The Federal Trade Commission wants to hear from YOU on the right to repair issue!

The Federal Trade Commission is requesting your input on how repair restrictions including the unavailability of spare parts is affecting your business or consumer choice of repair person/location.

On July 16, 2019, the United States Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on repair restrictions. Public comment has been requested as they look into repair restrictions.

You can watch a video recording of the workshop at

The FTC is trying to determine the extent and effect of repair restrictions as it determines whether it should implement any regulations or recommend any policy changes.

The bulk of the investigation has been focused on the repair of electronic devices like phones, automobiles, and farm equipment but this is your opportunity to try to steer the investigation to include watch repair and the restrictions imposed by manufacturers.

This issue affects all of us! Tell your peers and customers!

The FTC has made a request for public comments to be submitted before September 16, 2019 at the workshop website.

The more responses the FTC receives the more effective the response will be. The voice of the consumer is just as powerful (if not more so) than the voice of the watchmaker. Please make your voice heard today! Thank you!

For more on this issue please read below:

Repair Parts Restricted Brands

Please Read!

Mechanical watches require periodic service in order to keep them in proper operating condition. The cost of periodic maintenance is part of the long-term cost of ownership, which must be factored into any watch purchase decision.

We believe the watch buying consumer should have the right to have their watch serviced by the watchmaker of their own choosing and not be forced to obtain service only from factory repair facilities at non-competitive prices. 

We believe that an open market for repair service promotes competition, holds down repair costs, and is good for the watch consumer.

It is our understanding that the manufacturers of the following brands refuse to sell repair parts to independent watchmakers. In some cases, these manufacturers will not even sell repair parts to their authorized dealers. We believe this practice is unfair to both consumers and independent watchmakers.

We would further add that only through consumer pressure can this situation be resolved. We encourage you to contact your State and US Congressional representatives about this issue. In addition, inform the company or companies exactly how you feel about this policy. As long as the manufacturers are allowed to continue this policy, the consumer will suffer with higher repair prices in a noncompetitive environment. In addition, the future of the independent watchmaker, both in the United States and other countries is being called into serious doubt because of the lack of repair parts.

Anyone considering the purchase of one of these watches should inquire whether the brand will provide repair parts to the independent watchmaker of the customer's choosing, or if the watch can only be serviced at the manufacturer's repair facility. We hope you will consider this information carefully before making your purchase decision.

A. Lange & Sohne

Alfred Dunhill










Daniel Mink

David Yurman





Frederique Constant

Franck Muller




Harry Winston



Marcel Watch


Mont Blanc

Meylan Stopwatches



Raymond Weil

Pierre Balmain





Ulysse Nardin


Van Cleef & Arpels

Vacheron Constantine






The independent watchmakers appreciate your support, and encourage you to contact your local or state Consumer Protection Agency and the Federal Trade Commission. For more information, you may also want to visit the following site:


Life Member AWCI

Scott A. Ekleberry-Watchmaker
It's About Time! Watch Repair
A Full Service Watch Repair Shop In Upper Sandusky, Ohio, USA

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