Todays watch market
When we open a watch we appreciate that we are looking at a mechanism that has taken several hundred thousand hours to develop. As a watchmaker one is only one link in the chain of its history. To make sure the chain continues is what we find the most fascinating part of our craft.
The development of watches
A lot has happened in the way a watch is produced. The word “watchmaker” stems from the time when factories did not produce readymade mechanisms but only separate parts. It was then up to the watchmaker to make it into a proper watch by adjusting the parts and fitting them together.
Over time each factory has brought more and more of the production process in house. In the beginning of 1970-ies the amount of factories reached its peak. Although the 70-ies wasn’t golden age for many things, for watchmaking it was.
In the 1980-ies battery driven watches entered the market, changing it forever. From then on it became much easier and cheaper to produce a watch. The industry of mechanical watches took a hit, however craftmanship never goes out of fashion.
A wristwatch has 3 characteristics that make it special. First of all: timeless design which allows one to wear your grandfather’s watch today. It does not easily lose value since time was spent producing it, and time here means quality craftmanship.
Finally, it is incredibly practical: it tells you time and you can wear it on your wrist!
During 1960-ies and 1970-ies development accelerated, allowing for growing precision. Cases became water resistant thanks to armored watch glass, and the production of gaskets in rubber or aluminum began. The materials often used even today are steel and brass.
They have been used for hundreds of years due to the self-oiling effect that comes into play when the parts interact. Bearings are today often made of synthetic ruby, and axels of hardened steel.
In the end of the 1970-ies many factories and brands went to the grave, however during 1990-ies the revival of the branch started.
Today there is a lot of pride in producing high precision watches. If you have a high standard factory then all elements of production are in house. Still many producers rely on third party suppliers for parts.
With good start capital anyone can produce a watch and put his or her name on it. However to become something special you need good old craftmanship.
Rolex has been a leader in developing new watchmaking technology and design for many decades. This brand is truly one of a kind.
It is sheer pleasure to work with Rolex watches and see how generous the developers were in its every detail in their production. However their generosity stops there.
Rolex is particular in choosing their retailers and does not freely distribute spare parts. The consequence is that the few authorized dealers sustain high prices on service. We do our utmost to obtain original spare parts and keep reasonable prices, so that many can continue using these beautiful watches. When original parts aren not available, we offer spare parts of comparable quality.
We offer service and restoration of cases for Rolex watches, as well as exchange of parts if they are available.
The most common issues with Rolex watches are caused by the fact that that they go too long without being properly serviced. The o-rings that keep the watch waterproof wear out and open up for dust and rust. If the watch is serviced in time it usually does not need its parts changed in a very, very long time.
We offer service and restoration of cases for Rolex watches, as well mas exchange of parts if they are available.
Omega is a well-known brand and has a wider customer circle than Rolex.
When digital watches entered the market, the brand was not in demand for a couple of decades, however it is trending again. They are slowly beginning to make their own movements, but the ETA movements are still widely used.
Omega follow Rolex’ strategy and limit the number of their authorized dealers, too.
This means that customers have to pay a higher price for the maintenance of the same watch.
Maybe some feel more exclusive, but most probably feel disappointed. Even here we try to push the limits.
We can order many spare parts for Omega watches, we offer maintenance service and case restorations.
Breitling has the same quality level as Omega, although some may say Omega is one bit higher.
They do not produce their own movements but improve the movements they source in.
Breitling has its own service center and channel all their repairs there in order not to sell spare parts to others.
They certainly do a good job, however we have had customers who turn to us because the price of repair at the service center was unreasonably high, taken into consideration how few things had to be done.
We see that monopolies seldom set prices that reflect the complexity of service.
We offer service and case restorations for Breitling watches, however only few spare parts can be ordered.