Vintage Watch Servicing, Repairs and Restoration
Let Us Pamper Your Watch !
Vintage Gold Watches London has grown some considerable experience in servicing, repairing and restoring vintage watches, by buying hundreds of watches each year and restoring them to the very high standards you see on this website. This involves completely dismantling a watch for cleaning and close examination, replacing parts with genuine originals, rebuilding and then testing and calibration. Almost always, the dial and case will also require professional restoration. Naturally, we only ever buy in the best quality watches we can find. However many customers provide us with watches in quite poor states of repair, in need of some serious repairs and restoration work. This is quite often because a watch has been passed down from father to son, or it may even have been grandpa’s watch which has remained in the back of a drawer for many years. Sentimental reasons aside, it is almost always worthwhile to repair and restore a vintage watch, as long as it was valuable, to begin with, and the watch has not been too badly damaged through corrosion or abuse. In some cases, minor miracles can be achieved in the hands of our experts in bringing great quality vintage watches, back to life.
We will always be very happy to service your vintage watch, particularly if it is one of the brands in which we specialise. i.e. Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC, Zenith, Universal Geneve, Girard and Perregaux. Our watchmaker will also be pleased to service other high-quality brands, however, please inquire in advance. Please find our prices below.
In more detail, repairs and restoration may involve any or all of the following:-
The Movement – It is often surprising just how long a high-quality Swiss watch movement will last. The real answer to this is, with care and regular servicing, almost indefinitely. This is not only because Swiss watches have always been so very well made, but there is almost always a good supply of original manufacturer’s replacement parts available. So it is well worth keeping your watch properly serviced as this will prevent the lubrication from drying out on critical parts of the watch, therefore prolonging the life of the parts and so the watch. Anything apart from severe rust damage caused by prolonged exposure to salt water can usually be put right and be cost effective.
The Case – Surface scratches will occur with use and are usually no problem as these can often be removed, often without any loss of definition to the case. Deep scratches and engravings can be far more difficult to repair/restore, but can be undertaken by a specialist wristwatch case-maker. If the case is in very good original condition and has never been polished, it may be better to clean the case and a very gentle hand polish in order to retain the fresh original look and feel of the watch.
The Case-Back – Unwanted engravings can be successfully removed, again by a specialist case-maker. The results can be dramatic with no loss of thickness of the gold. However, this is highly skilled work and an estimate can only be provided when we have inspected the case-back.
Lugs – Where the strap or bracelet fixes to the case, one of the four lugs can become damaged or even break away. However, this can be repaired, fairly straightforwardly.
The Dial – Scratched, pitted and mottled dials can be restored or ‘refinished’ to a very high standard. If the best dial restorers are used, the results are often spectacular and as good as new. However, this again can be expensive and if the dial is in good condition, it may be better to leave the dial alone to retain the originality of the watch. *Please see our FAQs and call us for further advice on this.
The Hands/Winding Crown – Over many years, hands and winding crowns are often replaced with generic crowns. We can usually source period hands/crowns but these can be scarce and expensive.
The Lens – While scratched acrylic lenses can be polished, we prefer to replace. A little more expensive, but in our opinion, well worthwhile.
To summarise, the restoration of a valuable vintage gold watch can be expensive, but almost always worthwhile. The cost is usually less than the value added to the watch and perhaps more importantly, you will be bringing back to life something which will always be treasured and enjoyed for generations to come!
Please call and ask for Alan or Brian on 0207 727 7095 and we will do our best to give you an approximate estimation over the telephone or alternatively via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will always follow this up by email, once we have examined your watch.
* * * Price Guide Jan 2017 * * *
Watch Full Service: Includes fully stripping down a watch, cleaning and close examination, checking for signs of wear and replacing where necessary with original parts, reassembly and testing. With 12 months warranty included.
Hand-wound watch: £195:00
Automatic watch: £245:00
Dial Restoration: £345.00 Restoring to the original specification by the U.K.’s top dial restorer.
Case Restoration: £295.00 Cleaning & polishing by one of the U.K.’s top case-makers, to remove or repair damage.
Replacement Lens: £ 75.00 With a manufacturer’s original part.
Replace strap: £ 95.00 As an example, a good quality padded, crocodile leather strap in your choice of colour.
Valuation: £ 35.00 We recommend while we have your watch, you opt for a written valuation for insurance purposes.
Kindly note all the above prices are estimates only.
In order to proceed, please call us or email us prior sending us your watch so that we may book and schedule the work.
Regarding getting your watch safely to us, we recommend you keep all original presentation boxes and paperwork and simply use plenty of bubble wrap to wrap around the watch before placing it into a stout cardboard or a spare Tupperware container which we will later return to you. Within the UK, we recommend you to use Royal Mail Special Delivery to send the watch to us, using the Next Day by 1 pm service and request maximum insurance which will be £2,500. The total including postage and insurance will be no more £12.00. The size and weight of the parcel will not affect the price by more than a few pence. If your watch is worth more than £2,500 simply let us know and we will include the delivery on our blanket insurance policy which will cover the value of the watch up to £10,000.
For overseas delivery, we recommend Fedex International. If you wish, we will arrange collection of your watch provided you pack it carefully, as above. In this case, we will include this on our invoice to you before we return your watch.
Please contact us for our safe delivery address, as it will be safer not to use: ‘Vintage Gold Watches’ as part of the delivery address.
Finally please let us know when we may expect your watch with a quick call on 0207 727 7095 or email: email@example.com
We will then confirm safe arrival and be in touch again shortly after to confirm the work to be carried out and to provide an estimate.