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Old 15.04.2014, 17:42
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Need recommendation for watchmaker

Hi all,

I have a few Swiss vintage watches that I bought from Ricardo (Tissot, Omega).
I am now looking for a watchmaker that can do regular cleaning and servicing in Zurich area.
Does anyone know a capable watchmaker that does not charge an arm and a leg?

TIA
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Old 15.04.2014, 18:34
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

What's an arm and a leg? To become a good watchmaker takes years of training, so they'll want to charge a fair price for the job.
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Old 15.04.2014, 19:34
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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What's an arm and a leg? To become a good watchmaker takes years of training, so they'll want to charge a fair price for the job.
Tell that to most of the watch makers working in Switzerland, it's not normally a 120k a year occupation
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Old 15.04.2014, 19:49
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

A fully trained 'horloger complet' gets a good salary around here- if they work for a top watchmaker- perhaps not 120, but not far off.
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:02
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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A fully trained 'horloger complet' gets a good salary around here- if they work for a top watchmaker- perhaps not 120, but not far off.
Judging by the huge no of shitty cars in the car parks of any of the watchmakers I have been to I am surprised. OK management cars & helicopters are something else.
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:08
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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Judging by the huge no of shitty cars in the car parks of any of the watchmakers I have been to I am surprised. OK management cars & helicopters are something else.
That's because watchmakers spend all their money on tools and beer.
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:24
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

... have you picked up your tools from t'mountains yet though?

FMF- many who work in the watch industry are not fully trained watchmakers
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:33
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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... have you picked up your tools from t'mountains yet though?

FMF- many who work in the watch industry are not fully trained watchmakers
Only tools left in the mountains are my old mechanic's tools. And it took me a while to figure out what FMF means.... .
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:41
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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FMF- many who work in the watch industry are not fully trained watchmakers
Sure however their French registered cars would not get through a Swiss MFK, I guess most are earning 4-5k a month, trainees very much less than that. So almost slave labour.......

In any case the fully trained watch makers don't do the servicing on old mass produced Omega type watches, the trainees do
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Old 15.04.2014, 20:52
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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Sure however their French registered cars would not get through a Swiss MFK, I guess most are earning 4-5k a month, trainees very much less than that. So almost slave labour.......
A watchmaker just out of a 4 year Swiss (or French, they are quite good) school with full training starts at 3.5-4k. After a few years at a decent company they are up to 5, and after taking on some boss level duties get up to 7, 7.5 or so. To get much higher they have to be doing seriously complicated stuff, restoration, or spend most of their time at a desk rather than at a bench or running machines.

Of course the majority of the factory workers are what are generally referred to as petite mains and make less, and do repetitive skull crushingly boring tasks all day every day.




But back on topic- OP, I don't know any watchmakers in Zurich, but expect to pay 250 (great deal) to a couple hundred more per watch for correct servicing of good quality vintage watches. The more it does the more it costs (calendar, autowind, etc.). And the better the brand the more it costs (just talked to a friend who used to teach at Rolex and he said it's between 6-800 for a regular service there now). Cheap shortcut laden service work will end up harming your watches more than just letting them go unserviced.
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Old 15.04.2014, 21:18
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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Hi all,

I have a few Swiss vintage watches that I bought from Ricardo (Tissot, Omega).
I am now looking for a watchmaker that can do regular cleaning and servicing in Zurich area.
Does anyone know a capable watchmaker that does not charge an arm and a leg?

TIA
It seems to me that you would be safer to have the work done by the factory. It may cost you more, but the job will be done right.
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Old 15.04.2014, 21:22
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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It seems to me that you would be safer to have the work done by the factory. It may cost you more, but the job will be done right.
It's not as if the movements were even made by the factory, they were bought in & then slightly modified in the case of Omega. These are mass produced watches not hand made or even hand finished.
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Old 15.04.2014, 23:25
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

Sigh... I did not expect such a knee-jerk "response" on my "an arm and a leg" phrase.

I do not expect to spend CHF20 for service cleaning, nor do I want to spend CHF500 (Omega price for full service) for a CHF70 vintage watch.
I think CHF150-200 seems reasonable.
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Old 15.04.2014, 23:29
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

No knee-jerk at all. But you are looking at several hours work- at about 120CHF minimum per hour for a well-qualified person who will do the work well.

Otherwise you will have to go abroad for cheaper work, I'm afraid. If you go to the UK, I know a wonderful Indian guy I trust in Leicester- he is very good and very reasonable.



Bijal Jewellers
47, Belgrave Gate
Leicester LE1 3HQ

Used him for 20 years or more, and I would trust him. He recently replaced the movement on my Favre Leuba watch- with original parts he ordered from them (Jaeger Lecoultre), cleaned, re-sealed and charged 70 (about 100 CHF).

Last edited by Odile; 16.04.2014 at 00:07.
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Old 16.04.2014, 10:52
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

www.feist.ch

He is a fourth generation watchmaker. Learnd his craft in the school in Solothurn (now Grenchen) in the ninties.

As usual: Talk, discuss and negotiate before the work is done and bill is send out.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 16.04.2014 at 16:55.
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Old 16.04.2014, 16:38
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

Forgot to say, for those who visit the UK often, those are springing up all over England in large shopping malls. We were quite surprised to find a new cabin in the middle of the Highcross Shopping Mall (Leicester)- and had a good chat with the 2 really nice guys manning the shop. They said they were not fully qualified watch-makers but were trained in basic maintenance, cleaning, minor repairs, etc- and if the job is beyond them they send watches on to their qualified watch-makers at head office. Not tried them though, and I'd rather trust the little guy I mentioned earlier, but here is:

www.thewatchlab.co.uk
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Old 16.04.2014, 16:46
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

UK seems the most sensible option at least in my experience anyway. Just returned from the UK and took my wife's Gucci watch to replace the battery. Eight pound charge or thirty- five francs here in Zurich.
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Old 16.04.2014, 19:58
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

Try the watch department in Jelmoli, they were very helpful and great value when i needed to change my watch battery
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Old 16.04.2014, 20:05
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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Try the watch department in Jelmoli, they were very helpful and great value when i needed to change my watch battery
Changing a watch battery has nothing in common with servicing a mechanical watch.
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Old 16.04.2014, 20:19
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Re: Need recommendation for watchmaker

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What's an arm and a leg? To become a good watchmaker takes years of training, so they'll want to charge a fair price for the job.
Having a bad day?
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