Whether you have a newer pocket watch or an antique, finding places to get them fixed is sometimes difficult. To fix a pocket watch often requires a horologist, an expert craftsmen of timepieces, who can fabricate parts. You can try your local jeweler, but most pocket watches will require a more advanced level of skill. In this article I’ll discuss the pocket watch repair near me, where to find yours, and other guidance on getting your timepiece fixed.
Map of Pocket Watch Repair Near Me
If you are looking for “pocket watch repair near me” or “Where to get my pocket watch fixed”, see the map below for locations…
For additional ways to search you should also consider looking for “pocket watch restoration near me” or “antique watch repair near me“. Searching for these phrases in Google or Yelp should find you results within your local area.
How to Select The Right Pocket Watch Repair Near Me
Using the map above should provide you a good starting point for businesses to consider. My best advise is to call more than one shop. Its best to find a watch repair place that specializes or at least have knowledge and experience with your brand.
When I originally canvased the pocket watch repair near me, I asked all of the business for proof of their work by sending me pictures via email. Additionally I asked about their process of disassembling, reassembling, cleaning, and fabricating pats that may no longer exist. Lastly I asked about guarantees of their work.
If you have a place near you that says they have specific knowledge on the manufacturer of your pocket watch, make them prove it. Many of these places may be capable of fixing it, but may not be proven. Don’t be shy about it, ask them if they have any special certifications or any reason why they feel they are more qualified for your business over someone else.
If you are looking for a pocket watch restoration, here is a little trick I try when I research shops. I like to see if they know what collectors look for. For example, on my 1854 Breitling Laederich I asked them to polish it and make it shine like new. The truth is, a real collector s going to pay less for it like that. The shop immediately said, we can do that for you, but I would advise against it if you are interested in selling it at some point as you will fetch less money. This shop could have made more money on my request, but clearly cared more about the integrity of the pocket watch and keeping its value for me. That’s a place I can trust!
There are No Pocket Watch Repair Shops Near Me, Now What?
If you live in a rural location, finding a pocket watch repair nearby can be difficult. You can check your nearest city or consider sending away to an expert shop outside your area. If you end up deciding to mail your pocket watch away, make sure you insure the package for the full value of your watch.
Before You Restore or Repair an Antique…
Getting an antique pocket watch repaired or restored does not guarantee that you are adding value to it. In fact by fixing it, you may be decreasing the value in the eyes of a collector. It seems logical to most laymen that having all the work performed on the timepiece will increase its worth. The truth is, in antique pocket watch restoration often less is more.
Collectors love originals, not restored and fabricated parts. My advise is do less and keep the value. I have actually seen collectors pay more for pocket watches that don’t work. In addition to going easy on the repairs, some collectors like pocket watches to show some normal wear and tear. If you don’t say anything when you drop it off the pocket watch repair shop may polish it without asking.
Lastly, I like to request that they do not use parts from similar pocket watches, not even ones from the same time period. For me this is a 100% no as it will certainly lower the value of it. It is critical to the value of the pocket watch that it remains 100% original. This is especially true of the bezel. Absolutely anything bezel related must stay in the watch. Changing anything about the bezel, or any piece that touches it like the hands and the dial, MUST remain original. If you fell totally committed to getting the watch in working condition, than only have parts changed or fabricated on the inside. The exterior is the most important place the watch needs to keep its value, collectors love aesthetics.
If you don’t intend on ever selling your pocket watch, none of the above restoration advise should matter. In the case of a family heirloom, maybe for your own value you want it working, restored and polished. That’s ok too, just understand what the risks are.
Common Pocket Watch Repairs
The crystal is what most people refer to as the glass. It is the clear piece that resides between you and the dial. Vintage pocket watches had mineral glass crystals and came in a variety of shapes and sizes. This material isn’t too bad to replace or fabricate. Most issues people have are either a cracked crystal or a scratched crystal. A shattered crystal needs replacement, a scratch may be able to be buffed out depending how deep it is. Finding an original crystal for an antique pocket watch is very difficult and will add cost and lengthen the time of your repair.
Replacing the Chain
A chain replacement is often one of the easier pocket watch repairs. This is because it doesn’t involve any of the watch mechanics. Depending on your needs a chain from the same time period may work well. If you are looking for an original chain, it can be very difficult and costly on the secondary market.
Crown and Stem Repair
Crown and stem repair are challenging for old pocket watches. These parts, particularly the stem, is difficult to replace. If the crown get’s bent often the stem does as well. That can often be straightend out. The real complicated repair is when the stem gets pushed into the casing. This can damage the internal components. Some pocket watch repair shops may push you towards fabrication of a stem and you must consider how thatwill affect the value of the timepiece to a collector.
Getting your movement serviced regularly is a good idea for routine maintenance. A movement overhauls on a pocket watch can be very tedious. It involves taking it all apart and putting all back together. Some old pocket watches have hundreds of tiny mechanical parts. An overhaul on the movement will be one of the more expensive pocket watch repairs.
Pocket Watch Repair Near Me – Wrap Up
Pocket watches have been around a long time and have a rich history. They are definitly peices worth preserving and they will hold their value. Before deciding on a pocket watch repair, you should know what to look for in a shop and what affect repairing it may have on its value. A pristine polished Louise Audemars from the 19th century working perfectly, but not 100% original isn’t gonna fetch the same price as one that looks like its been through a war. Deciding what to get fixed on your timepiece and whom to have perform the repairs are very important choices. That’s what I have learned from the pocket watch repair near me.
Watch Battery: Modern pocket watches often run on batteries instead of relying on mechanical work. If your pocket watch stops working, a jeweler can easily pop out the old battery and replace it with a new one. An Orrefors watch before and after battery replacement.
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How to Identify an Antique Pocket Watch : Antique Watches & Jewelry
On average, the fees can range from $30 for an acrylic crystal up to more than $150 for a sapphire crystal.
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To wind the watch turn the crown in the clockwise direction anywhere from 30-40 half turns until it stops. Push the crown back down into the normal operating position. Winding and setting of the time should be done daily. However, do not over wind, as this can damage the spring mechanism.
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Most old pocket watches are worth less than $200, with many having no real value because they are in rough condition or don't work. The most expensive pocket watch ever sold went for 24 million dollars.
The dial will normally tell you the watch brand and sometimes even its model name. The manufacturer can usually be found beneath the hour marker at 12 o'clock. With any luck, there will also be a clue as to the model above 6 o'clock. This will come in the form of the model name or the movement (e.g., “Automatic”).
Gold Filled Watches
They are legally required to contain a minimum gold content of 5% of the total weight of the item undergoing the gold filling process. They also technically contain 100% more gold than their gold plated counterparts.
To determine the age of your watch, you will need to open your watch and find the serial number on the watch's movement. This crucial figure will indicate the manufacture date. (Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the number stamped outside on the watch case which is largely used only for identification purposes.)
Even an older timepiece can look and work like new again. Restoring an older pocket watch to its original condition requires more attention than a routine service. Over the years some movement parts might have become worn or damaged and need replacement.
A new mainspring costs about $45.00 and up. If needed, cleaning and oiling runs about $160.00 and up. For old pocket watches basic cleaning & oiling costs around $200.00 and up. Due to extreme price increases, most mainsprings for pocket watches now cost $80.00 or more installed.
An overhaul's cost ranges based on the manufacturer but for a fine Swiss timepiece, it typically starts at $250 but can go up to $1,000 or more for a vintage watch.
Pocket Watch Repair & Restoration Prices As Of January 2020
Replace Pocket Watch Balance Staff: $45 with a Clean, Oil and Adjust in most cases. All of our work is guaranteed for One Full Year from the date of repair.
How to unwind a pocket watch mainspring - YouTube
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This might be something simple that is easy to fix, and it might be something serious that could be very expensive, or even impossible, to fix. It is really quite difficult to damage a watch by winding it – unless you have a grip like a vice, muscles like a gorilla, and no sense of feeling.