What are the different types of watch repair?
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Your watch is an intricate device designed to relay the time accurately, every second of every day.
Eventually, to maintain that synchronicity, it is going to require servicing or maintenance. The repair can range from a quick battery change on a quartz watch to a full-service of an automatic, perpetual timepiece.
Here's an overview of the most common repairs and services, what they are, and how to diagnose them:
Watch battery replacement
Quartz movements generally stop working when the battery dies. Simple this may seem, replacing the battery requires the watch case to be opened. If it's a water-resistant timepiece, it should undergo a reseal and pressure test to maintain manufacture water-resistance rating.
Signs your watch battery may need replacing:
- Your watch has stopped.
- Your watch does not keep good time.
- The second-hand jumps or freezes.
Watch bracelet or strap replacement.
Watches have either a metal bracelet, typically: stainless steel, gold, platinum or titanium. Or, a strap, typically: leather, animal skin, rubber or carbon.
Metal bracelets can be re-finished, polished to remove daily wear and tear such as scratches. A professional watch repair centre can return a stainless strap to "as good as new".
When you replace a strap or bracelet, you can opt for a direct replacement or something different. A popular choice is replacing a leather strap for a metal bracelet. Or, visa Versa.
Moisture, or water damage
Moisture is the enemy of any timepiece. If left unattended it can cause rust in the complicated internals of a watch, the hands and the dial. Rust damage caused by moisture requires a full-service and potentially expensive part replacement. If your watch shows signs of moisture, it may require opening, drying out, resealing and pressure testing.
Signs your watch has moisture inside.
- Your watch may have small droplets of water inside the glass or condensation.
- Late stages of moisture may result in the crown becoming stiff, or the watch not working.
Causes of moisture
- If your watch is water-proof, it may require resealing and pressure testing.
- Your watch has been submerged in watch while the crown has been in the un-screwed position. When your crown is screwed down, it creates a water-tight barrier, if left un-screwed water can penetrate the watch internals.
- Your watch is not water-proof, or you have used it beyond the scope of the water-resistance rating.
Crown and stem repair or replacement.
The crown is used to adjust the time and date, wind and carry out the functions of your watch. The stem connects the crown to the internal mechanism of your watch. Over-time the crown may become loose, detach, hard to turn or worse seize completely. If your watch shows signs of any of these symptoms, it may require immediate professional attention.
Signs your crown or stem may be damaged or broken.
- Difficulty adjusting the date, time or winding your watch.
- The crown has seized.
- The crown has fallen off.
- You hear a rattling inside your watch.
Watch face, glass (crystal) replacement.
The watch crystal is the transparent cover over the dial or face of your watch. It protects the hands, numerals, dial and inner-mechanism of your watch from water, dust and damage. Watch crystals can be plastic, glass or scratch-resistant sapphire. Over time your watch crystal can become marked or scratched; this can become displeasing to the eye.
If you are unfortunate enough to knock or drop your watch, it can crack or if it's glass shatter. A shattered crystal is an everyday watch repair request. Luckily the crystal on your watch can be replaced relatively easily. Watch crystals are held in situ by either glue, compression, or a tension ring (gasket).
Mechanical watch over-haul or service.
The overhaul of a mechanical or automatic watch is an intricate process that takes many hours and returns the watch to almost "as good as new". It may also include the re-polishing and cleaning of the case, bracelet or strap. A professional overhaul provides your watch with a warranty of up to 1 or 2 years, and continued peace of mind. The overhaul itself consists of dismantling the watch case from the strap, the removal of the internal mechanism, cleaning and oiling of parts and replacement of any worn parts. The watch is rebuilt replacing seals, and any required pressure tests are carried out to meet manufactures ratings.
Other Watch Repairs.
There are other minor watch repairs such as the replacement of changing the dial, replacing the hands or numerals.
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