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Old 14.08.2015, 17:25
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watch repair and despair in Geneva!

It's the country of watch makers, yet I am struggling to find someone to repair an old watch that has great sentimental value to me.


I've been to Globus (the guy in the corner who does watch repairs) and a couple more, but either they say they don't do "small repairs" and their estimate is higher than the price of the watch itself!


Anyone knows a good address in Geneva for "small repairs at reasonable cost"?


Odile, is your dad still alive? He'd do it with his eyes shut, no doubt!
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Old 14.08.2015, 17:33
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Sadly no, dad died 3 months after we moved here in 2009- aged 96.

Which brand is it? I have a friend here who has a watch making school and would probably happy to look at it. Do you have any idea what the problem is? I do know lots of other watch makers here.
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Old 14.08.2015, 18:04
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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Sadly no, dad died 3 months after we moved here in 2009- aged 96.

Which brand is it? I have a friend here who has a watch making school and would probably happy to look at it. Do you have any idea what the problem is? I do know lots of other watch makers here.


It's a "Fossil", nothing fancy but it was a 30th birthday present from my wife...back quite a few years ago! I'm going to try again in Geneva and if unsuccessful, I might call on your contacts.


The winding button is partly damaged and the hands are no longer working, despite brand new battery.
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Old 19.07.2017, 01:43
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

I have a similar case with my wife's watch that she received as a present from her father who has passed away several years ago.

It is a simple Lorus watch. The front screen is cracked and the dials are not turning. I contacted Lorus service, and they told me it cannot be repaired. Is there any hope?
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Old 19.07.2017, 02:26
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

There's a watchmaker's school in Petit Lancy; http://edu.ge.ch/horlogerie/accueil
It might be worth a punt contacting them (after the school holidays, bien sur) and asking if they can help, or point you towards someone who can?
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Old 19.07.2017, 12:20
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

For top quality repairs, and for high end watches - we entrust our watches to a top watchmaker and his son in UK, Canterbury. They often visit Switzerland- so if you want their detail, send pm. Will ask if they are happy for me to post detail on EF. The best- Swiss trained and advisor/consultant for top brands in CH.
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Old 19.07.2017, 20:05
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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For top quality repairs, and for high end watches - we entrust our watches to a top watchmaker and his son in UK, Canterbury. They often visit Switzerland- so if you want their detail, send pm. Will ask if they are happy for me to post detail on EF. The best- Swiss trained and advisor/consultant for top brands in CH.


I would not put my watch at the top end of the scale, far from it. But huge sentimental value. Still sitting at the bottom of a drawer two years on.
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Old 19.07.2017, 20:30
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Rather ironic to recommend someone in the UK
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Old 19.07.2017, 21:41
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Yes- may well seem strange. But he is trained in CH and worked at the very top end in CH for many many years- and lives part-time in CH, visiting often. So watch could be given to him in CH and returned to CH- but worked on in UK at this workshop. The only person I know I would totally trust with a very valuable watch- and I live in Watch Valley - all the old guard from here, my dad's friends- are no longer on this earth. The wonderful Head of the local watch making school passed away last week, in his late 90s.
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Old 19.07.2017, 22:39
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Although some parts are standardized (winding stems, jewels, springs) and available as generic replacement parts, if your watch is a calibre for which parts are no longer available then you're pretty much out of luck.

Most Swiss watchmakers won't deal with a watch unless they know they can get the correct replacement parts and stand by their work. It's a bit easier to find a watchmaker in the UK or Germany who will "removement" a watch, you can even get spacer rings which allow you to fit a smaller caliber in a case, which means you need a new winding stem and refit the old crown, but few people are willing to pay the money it costs to do that.

If the original maker of the watch says that they won't service it then that probably means that there are no parts available.
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Old 19.07.2017, 23:08
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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Although some parts are standardized (winding stems, jewels, springs) and available as generic replacement parts, if your watch is a calibre for which parts are no longer available then you're pretty much out of luck.
He said its a Fossil. Not any calibre, but a quartz watch. Checking a winding button and a stuck hand doesn't sound like rocket science, but given Swiss hourly rates surely exceed the value of the watch... I am sure loads of people in Geneva have the skills, but the Swiss take on customer service gets in the way.

I got myself another nice watch this year and I had an issue finding somebody who would manage to size the bloody strap for me on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. The brand boutique does not have a watchmaker on staff. The boutique next door neither. Both recommend Bucherer. Bucherer has a watchmaker, but he does not have tools at work as they are rebuilding the shop... not sure what a watchmaker does all day without tools but in my case he looked at it and said "sure, no problem, I can measure your wrist and send it to our workshop"... for a five minute job! Finally got some help at Meister. But given the price the watch costs is that nothing short of bizarre.
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Old 19.07.2017, 23:21
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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He said its a Fossil. Not any calibre, but a quartz watch. Checking a winding button and a stuck hand doesn't sound like rocket science, but given Swiss hourly rates surely exceed the value of the watch... I am sure loads of people in Geneva have the skills, but the Swiss take on customer service gets in the way.
Repair many watches yourself treverus?

Even quartz watches have a caliber, and no, anyone who has put the time in to learn to work on high mech really isn't interested in fixing quartz watches.

If you want I can replace the movement in the swatch that you bought on Gran Canaria in '97 and put through the washing machine a decade ago. Only cost about 200 parts and labour. Say another 200 for punishment because you've not understood the meaning of "throwaway". Nothing to it really.
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Old 20.07.2017, 00:05
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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Repair many watches yourself treverus?

Even quartz watches have a caliber...
You are the first person I ever hear referring to a quartz module as calibre. Maybe its my lack of French, but in German do you only call things that actually move a "movement".

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In horology, a movement, also known as a caliber, is the mechanism of a clock or watch, as opposed to the case, which encloses and protects the movement, and the face which displays the time. The term originated with mechanical timepieces, whose clockwork movements are made of many moving parts. It is less frequently applied to modern electronic or quartz timepieces, where the word module is often used instead.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movement_(clockwork)

There are some very expensive quartz watches out there and any decent service provider offers to repair whatever watch you bring him. The guy he mentioned at Globus will work 90% plus of the times on quartz watches alone, but he probably only changes batteries and straps. I am sure there are shops willing to fix a button or switch the module to something fitting if the OP is willing to pay. Since its a memory he will and I don't see any point to get snobbish about it.
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Old 20.07.2017, 00:26
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Ask for Philip (Huber), very reasonable for service and repair in Affoltern am Albis, (you could arrange to post) but English might be a problem.

www.huberuhren.ch
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Old 20.07.2017, 00:42
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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I got myself another nice watch this year and I had an issue finding somebody who would manage to size the bloody strap for me on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. The brand boutique does not have a watchmaker on staff. The boutique next door neither. Both recommend Bucherer. Bucherer has a watchmaker, but he does not have tools at work as they are rebuilding the shop...
The old adage of "A fool and his money..." seems to hold up pretty well in this tumultuous modern times
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Old 20.07.2017, 07:16
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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You are the first person I ever hear referring to a quartz module as calibre.
...
Since its a memory he will and I don't see any point to get snobbish about it.
Got nothing to do with snobbery.


I ask you again: have you repaired many watches?
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Old 20.07.2017, 11:36
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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The old adage of "A fool and his money..." seems to hold up pretty well in this tumultuous modern times
Says the guy with the Casio watch...
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Old 20.07.2017, 12:01
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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Says the guy with the Casio watch...
Precisely
My Casio appreciated in price. Can you say the same about your Glashütte on which you spent your bonus on?
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Old 20.07.2017, 12:05
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

Here's an idea...

can you find the same watch on ebay/online, secondhand and working?

Then you can bring both to a repair shop, and ask them to swap the movement out. Anyone who's changed a battery should be able to do that for you...

It does raise a Ship of Theseus dilemma, but heyho...

M.
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Old 20.07.2017, 12:08
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Re: watch repair and despair in Geneva!

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Precisely
My Casio appreciated in price. Can you say the same about your Glashütte on which you spent your bonus on?
actually yes
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