Let Us Pamper Your Watch...
Vintage Gold Watches London has grown great experience over many years in servicing, repairs and restoration of vintage watches. By buying literally hundreds of watches each year and restoring them to the very high standards you see on this website, we have built a great team of expert watchmakers, watch case restorers and watch dial restorers who we know are guaranteed to do amazing work. This always involves dismantling a watch down to each of its component parts before cleaning and close examination. We then replace parts with genuine originals, rebuilding and oiling to the manufacturer’s specifications before the testing and calibration phase. Nearly always, the dial and watch case will also require professional restoration.
Naturally, we only ever buy and restore the best quality watches we can find. However, our customers often provide us with watches in quite poor states of repair, requiring significant restoration work. For example, this may be when a watch has been passed down through one or more generations. It might have belonged to a grandparent and has since been sitting dormant in a drawer for many years after failing to run one day in the distant past. Sentimental reasons aside, it is almost always worthwhile repairing and restoring a vintage watch, as long as it has not been water damaged or suffered severe damage.
A beautifully restored vintage watch is a joy to behold and minor miracles can be often achieved at the hands of our expert craftsmen, bringing wonderful high-quality vintage watches back to life.
We will always be happy to service a top quality vintage watch, particularly if it is one of the brands in which we specialise. i.e. Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC, Zenith, Universal Geneve Girard Perregaux and Heuer. Our watchmakers may also service other quality brands, however, please check in advance. Our estimated prices can be found below.
We will be happy do as much or as little as you wish to your watch. 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. In reality, with proper care and regular servicing, this is almost indefinitely. This is not only because Swiss watches have always been so supremely well made, but there is usually a good supply of the original manufacturer’s replacement parts available. Where not available, a good watchmaker can almost always make a replacement part.
It is therefore always worth keeping your watch regularly serviced as this will prevent the lubrication from drying out on critical parts of the watch, which will prevent unnecessary wear, thus prolonging the life of these parts. Most problems, apart from corrosion caused by exposure to water, can be resolved quite cost-effectively. As might be expected, keeping a vintage watch running properly requires more regular maintenance than a modern watch. Most manufacturers recommend this every three to four years, depending on the actual age of the watch.
The Watch Case – Surface scratches occur with use and are no problem as these can usually be removed without any loss of definition to the case. Deep scratches and engravings are 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, we may advise that the case is simply cleaned and given a very gentle hand polish to retain the original look and feel of the watch.
The Case-back – Unwanted engravings can often be successfully removed by a specialist wristwatch case-maker. The results can be dramatic with no loss of thickness of the case-back. However, this is highly skilled work and an estimate can only be provided once the case-back has been inspected. As a guideline, prices vary for this work between £300.00 and £500.00
Lugs – These attach the strap or bracelet to the watch case. Particularly on gold watches, these can become damaged, bent or even break entirely. However, with the help of a skilled watch case maker, these can be repaired.
The Dial – Scratched, pitted, stained or otherwise damaged dials can be restored or ‘refinished’ to an incredibly high standard. This is an art and craft which employs the same processes as the watch manufacturer – and the results are truly spectacular, usually undetectable from a new equivalent. However, this is time-consuming and, therefore, relatively expensive. If the dial is in very good condition, it may be better to leave it alone to retain its originality. Please see our FAQs or call us for further advice on this.
The Winding Crown – After many years of use, the winding crown of a watch may have been replaced with a generic crown. We can usually source and fit a correct replacement crown. However, these can sometimes be scarce.
Watch Hands – After many years of use, watch hands often become damaged through ageing or mishandling during servicing and the removal of a movement from the watch. We can often source correct replacement hands or restore them, although this can sometimes be difficult.
The Lens – While acrylic lenses can be polished to remove light scratches, we prefer to replace these with the original replacement part. This is a little more expensive, but in our opinion, well-worthwhile.
To summarise, the restoration of a vintage watch can be expensive, but this is almost always worthwhile. The cost is usually less than the added value to the watch, but perhaps more importantly, you will be bringing back to life something which is beautiful to wear and which can be treasured and enjoyed for many more decades to come.
Please call and ask for Alan or Brian on 0207 727 7095 (or +44 207 727 7095 from overseas), and we will be pleased to give you advice and approximate prices by telephone. Alternatively, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* * * Price Guide Jan 2023 * * *
Servicing Your Watch: A full service includes fully dismantling the watch to all its component parts, cleaning and close examination, checking for signs of wear and replacement where necessary with only original parts, reassembly, adjustment, testing and calibration. Includes 12 months warranty on the movement.
|Dial Restoration:||£495.00||Restoring to the original specification by the U.K.’s top dial restorer.|
|Case Restoration:||£395.00||Cleaning & polishing by one of the U.K.’s top case-makers, repair light damage.|
|Replacement Lens:||£85.00||With a manufacturer’s original part. Typical price. Certain Omega and Rolex lenses may cost more.|
|Replace strap:||£195.00||A good quality padded alligator leather strap in your choice of colour.|
|Valuation:||£75.00||While we have your watch, we recommend that you opt to have a written valuation for insurance purposes. This will be for the replacement value, including three photographs. If you would like this carried out without any service work the charge will be £85.00|
Kindly note that while these prices are estimated and do not include parts, they may be exceeded on rare occasions. However, in practice, 95% of watch servicing charges come in at the estimate.
In order to proceed, please call us or send us an email prior to sending us your watch so that we may discuss and schedule the work.
Delivering your watch safely to us. We recommend you keep all original presentation boxes and paperwork, as this keeps things simpler. Simply use plenty of bubble wrap to secure the watch before placing it into a stout cardboard box or a spare Tupperware-type container. Within the UK, we recommend that you 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 than £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 the tracking number once on the way, and this will automatically include cover on our blanket insurance policy to the value of up to £10,000. This method of delivery is very safe, as in over 15 years of using this system and literally thousands of consignments, we have never lost a parcel or needed to make a claim.
For overseas delivery, we recommend DHL or Fedex International. If you wish, we will arrange collection of your watch provided you agree to pack it carefully, using the method described above. Shipping charges are typically £50.00 each way, too and from most parts of the world. This will be included on the servicing repairs or restoration invoice prior to returning your watch.
Please use the following safe delivery address:-
VGWL – Alan Wood
96 Kensington High Street
Finally, please let us know when we may expect your watch with a quick call to Alan or Brian on 0207 727 7095, (or if calling from overseas +44 207 727 7095). Alternatively, via email at: email@example.com
We will then confirm the safe arrival of your watch and be in touch again shortly afterwards to agree the work to be carried out and to confirm our estimate.
We very much look forward to assisting you with your vintage watch, whatever the problem may be.