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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PRICES AND INFORMATION IN EFFECT 2019

I have been asked numerous times 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 does not 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 manufacturer’s 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 cannot 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 cannot because every minute they spend is more $ they lose. 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 lose 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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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 ftc.gov

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

Bertolucci

Blancpain

Breguet

Breitling

Bulgari

Cartier

Certina

Chaumet

Chopard

Daniel Mink

David Yurman

Dior

Doxa

Ebel

Fossil

Frederique Constant

Franck Muller

Guess

Glycine

Hublot

Harry Winston

Krieger

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Marcel Watch

Luminox

Mont Blanc

Meylan Stopwatches

Piaget

Parmigiani

Raymond Weil

Pierre Balmain

Sector

RGM

Tourneau

Skagen

Ulysse Nardin

Tutima

Van Cleef & Arpels

Vacheron Constantine

Zodiac

Invicta

Omega

Rolex

 

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: http://www.andre-fleury.com/


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Contact
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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