It's About Time! Watch Repair

Professional Pocket Watch Repair & Wrist Watch Repair

Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Scott A. Ekleberry-Watchmaker

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SPECIALIZING IN BOTH POCKET WATCH REPAIR AND WRIST WATCH REPAIR.

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I have been asked numerous times over the past months about the watch repair industry and have had many people concerned about sending their watch to me through the mail. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to shed some light on the subject.

THE JEWELER AND THE WATCHMAKER

How many of you think when you drop off your watch at the jewelry store it is fixed there? If you said yes you would be wrong 90% of the time, only about 10% of jewelry stores have a watchmaker on staff. At one time it is true nearly every jewelry store had a watchmaker, in fact many were owned by watchmakers. It was once an accepted fact that it took 1-3 watchmakers to service the average size town. The dawn of the quartz watch spelled the end of watchmakers in jewelry stores. With the decline of sales of mechanical watches, jewelry stores could no longer afford to keep a watchmaker on staff, watchmakers that owned jewelry stores either closed up or switched exclusively to selling jewelry, sending the watch work out to someone else or flat refusing it. There were once at least 35,000 watchmakers in the United States, today there are fewer than 5,500. The next time you go to a jeweler, ask him weather watches are fixed on the premises or if they are sent away for repair. If he doesn't have a watchmaker on staff then the answer is obvious.

So, WHERE does your watch go when you take it to a jewelry store??? The answer is it is usually MAILED or SHIPPED, either to a manufacturer’s service center, a trade shop, or to an independent watchmaker like myself.

Trade shops often do between 20 and 100 watches a day, each watchmaker there is expected to do between 8 and 16 watches a day. Manufacturer’s service centers also do large volumes per day. Independent watchmakers may do between 2 and 8 watches a day. In most cases if your watch is under a manufacturers warranty it will go to a factory service center. If your watch has no warranty it will go to the place of the jewelers choosing, usually the cheapest place they can send it so they can mark it up to make more profit. Independent watchmakers that refuse to give "trade pricing" (a discount to the jeweler of up to 50%) are often shunned because the jeweler can't make enough profit (at least to suit them). How can trade shops do the work this cheaply? They do "dunk, swish, and lube" jobs where the watch movement is NOT disassembled but put in the cleaner in one piece, the last rinse jar having a "rinse-lube solution" that is "supposed" to lubricate the watch. This is a very quick way of cleaning a watch because little disassembly takes place. In reality this method only works for newer watches that have little or no wear, and even then it is STILL necessary to lubricate the pivots with watch oil if any kind of decent job is desired. Trade shops will also not spend excessive time regulating a watch, they can't because every minute they spend is more $ they loose. So, the next time you take your watch to the jeweler for repair, ask them who will be fixing it and where, the answer may surprise you.

As for myself, I have yet to loose a watch in the mail or have one damaged and I do complete disassembly of watches when I clean them, not "swish and lube" jobs.

I  hope this page has helped allay any fears prospective customers may have about sending their watches through the mail. If you have other questions no answered on my website e-mail me please!!!


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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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