How to Repair Your Watch


If you find yourself in possession of a broken watch, vintage pocket watch, or mechanical watch, chances are you have asked yourself the question: how hard is it really to perform a watch service and repair the watch myself?

At Home Watch Repair Is A Bad Idea: Here’s Why

If you are in need of a jewelry watch repair service, you have come to the right place. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about how to repair your jewelry watch. While we can't speak to the specific repair your watch needs, we can tell you that the most economical/easy way to repair your watch is with an authorized jeweler or skilled watchmaker at a jewelry repair shop. Below we will get into some of the nitty-gritty regarding why at-home watch repair is a bad idea but first, let's talk about the biggest reason why taking your watch apart at home is a non-starter.

Attempting An At Home Repair Voids The Warranty 

In many cases (no pun intended), removing the back of the watch to reveal the inner workings will void the warranty of your timepiece. Especially with high-end watches like Rolex, it is standard practice for the skilled watchmaker manufacturer to offer a warranty. Usually, the warranty is good for all parts (minus normal wear and tear) for about five years; with additional warranties on certain parts and mechanisms. 

Voiding the warranty doesn't mean that your watch is worthless; it's still a very valuable high-end accessory. What a voided warranty does mean is an inability to have your watch repaired for free with the manufacturer, even if the root issue is not your fault. 

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Work With A Licensed Professional For Best Results

Wondering how much is it to repair Rolex watch or how to repair a Rolex watch band? At CJ Charles, we recommend that you work through our watch repair shop for all fixes and repairs on your luxury timepiece. Whether the watch is being sent back into the factory because it is under warranty, or whether CJ Charles is doing the repair or the replacement, you can be sure that your watch and your warranty are protected with CJ Charles. 

Only two entities have the ability to repair your watch without voiding the warranty: the manufacturer and any authorized distributor/dealer/approved repair specialist. CJ Charles, one of the certified Cartier watch dealers, is also an approved repair specialist and a distributor, so your luxury watch is always safe in our capable hands. 

Let's look at some of the pros and cons of fixing a watch at home versus sending it in for a watch repair service:

Are There Any Pros To Fixing A Luxury Watch At Home?

The short answer to this question is no, but there are absolutely people who would try to convince you otherwise. The two most common reasons people give for why you should try to fix your watch at home are: “to save time,” and “to save money.” Let’s dive in and debunk these false narratives that are too often given as good reasons to attempt an at home repair. 

Why Attempting To Fix Your Watch At Home Won’t Actually Save You Money 

Wondering how to repair a scratched watch face, take it to a jeweler! Nobody wants to spend more money than they absolutely have to, and unfortunately, the desire to save money is one of the main reasons people attempt to fix their watch at home. Before we entertain this ludacris idea any longer we first have to say that decades of experience has taught us that at home watch repair will actually end up costing you money. In fact, it will cost you far more than if you had just paid to have the watch professionally repaired in the first place! 

Most Watch Repairs Are Inexpensive 

While he thought saving money is one of the biggest driving factors behind people taking on the job of attempting to fix their own watch, the dirty little secret is that watch repair isn't even that expensive. Think of it this way...some luxury watches cost as much as a car! For the same reason a majority of people take their car in to be serviced by professionals, you too should take your watch in for professional repair. When you think about the overall cost of a high-end luxury watch, and the potentially irreversible damage you could cause by attempting an at home repair, you would be foolish to believe that an at home fix could actually save you money. 

Save Money The Right Way With A Licensed Watch Repair Shop

If your expensive Rolex or Panerai pre owned needs a repair, why would you try and do it yourself? There are so many intricacies and moving parts in your high-end luxury watch. The truth is, when you get under the case, the likelihood of you making the problem worse is far more likely than you fixing the original problem. It is not worth the headache, hard work, or higher bill due to your slip of the finger to lean on "saving money" as an appropriate reason to fix your own watch. The real way to save money is to protect your investment by keeping it safe from further harm. Save money the right way and take your watch to a professional.

Professionals Value Your Time, And Your Timepiece

We understand that saving time is a big reason why people want to try and fix their watch at home. After all, youtube videos on the topic of fixing watches only last about 5 minutes, so surely the job will only take about that much time, right? Not exactly. Fixing a watch at home requires setting up, procuring the proper equipment, and even taking time to sit down and carefully learn about the inner workings of your specific watch. 

Between set up, break-down, research, and the process of the fix itself, you could be looking at an 8 hour day. We know that taking the time to send in your watch requires a bit of time and effort but not nearly as much time or effort as it costs you to try and fix the watch yourself.  

Attempting To Fix Your Watch Is A Bad Idea...Here’s Why

If those are the best reasons for why fixing your watch at home is a good idea, then it should come as no surprise that the reasons fixing your watch at home is a bad idea are much worse. Here are just a few of the things that can go catastrophically wrong while trying to repair your watch at home: 

You make the problem worse 

This is a common result when someone tries to fix their watch at home. YouTube would have you believe that just by watching a video, you too can be a watch repair expert. Many times in these videos, critical steps are missing, the angle of the camera doesn't show you what the technician is seeing, or worst of all, the person in the video is not a licensed professional! 

Don't attempt a quick at-home fix only to have the problem become more aggravated by a slip of the hand or a missed step while holding a soldering iron. Fixing watches at home can get messy, and you wouldn't want to damage the interior or exterior of your watch beyond repair. Skip the headache of attempting to fix your watch yourself and bring it to a licensed professional like CJ Charles instead. 

You waste time trying to complete the task only to end up taking the watch in anyway

We listed saving time as a potential benefit of fixing your watch yourself, but how much time does it really save? More often than not, when you go to complete a project like fixing a watch, you realize very quickly that you're in over your head. From here, one of two things happens...either you spend way longer trying to fix the problem than it would have taken a licensed professional, or you get frustrated and give up; pledging to "get to it when you can" sometime in the future.

In the case of the latter scenario, the watch often sits in a drawer unused and unfixed for months before it actually gets repaired and becomes usable once more. So what's the bigger time suck? Taking 20 minutes to drop the watch off and picking it up a day later? Or spending hours trying to fix something and then inevitably falling victim to the "I'll get to it later" mentality. 

Don't fall for the false promise of saving time by fixing it yourself; taking your watch to a licensed professional for repair is truly the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to have your watch repaired.

The required training takes years to master   

Even if you are able to develop a rudimentary knowledge of the inner workings of a watch, you are dealing with a luxury high-end timepiece! Your luxury watch, be it a Rolex, Panerai, is truly a one-of-a-kind machine. 

Most high-end luxury watches are made by hand, and the complications can slightly vary from one watch to the next, even if they are the exact same watch. On a typical watch where there are only two movements and no complications, fixing a watch yourself is probably not an issue. 

However, when you are dealing with a luxury timepiece that has 25+ complications and multiple movements, chances are slim that you possess the know-how and craftsmanship to complete the job successfully. This has nothing to do with your skills or who you are as a person; these are just realities that you have to be clear about when taking on such a high-intensity project. 

You fix the problem, but now something else doesn't work 

This is one of the most common issues with attempting to fix a high-end luxury watch yourself. Even if you do manage to sniff out and fix the issue that is ailing your watch, there is still a high probability that you will cause something else to go wrong. This is not to say that you won't try your best to be careful or do a fine job fixing the original problem. 

All of those things can be true while at the same time causing your watch to go haywire in another way. The intricacies of your luxury timepiece are so delicately intertwined that even fixing an issue a certain way can throw the mechanism off-kilter. It may not even be something you notice at first, but throwing your watch off by even a few milliseconds can be the difference between a watch that keeps perfect time and a watch that is somehow an hour behind at the end of every week. 

Take the guesswork out of the equation and head to CJ Charles instead of trying to fix the watch yourself. That way, you know the repair will be completed in a way that ensures your watch is properly fixed and functioning to the best of its abilities.

Bring Your Watch In Today!

As far as possible benefits of fixing your watch at home are concerned, saving time and money is really it, and are those big enough reasons to repair your watch at home? We certainly don't think so, and we're pretty sure our list of pros and cons supports that theory. 

When it comes to the topic of how to repair your new or pre owned watch, the easiest, most economical way is to send your watch in for a repair at a licensed shop like CJ Charles. 

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