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Expensive Watch Repairs

Watch Repairs are SOOOO Expensive!

I just spent $175 getting my Watch Fixed (Serviced) last month…
Was it worth it?

You bet!

But, for many, it wouldn’t be. Here’s why…

Price is Relative!

It all depends on the type of the Watch you have and how much the Watch is worth.

My Watch is a $1200 Diving Watch that’s Stainless Steel, Water Proof and has lasted me for over ten years. So $175 is worth spending when you divide that up into ten years!

But, if my Watch had only been worth $200, then I would NOT have paid for that repair.

Common Watch Repairs

The most common type of Watch Repairs are the Battery Replacement, Overhaul, and New Movement. Let’s take a closer look…

Battery Replacement

Batteries are the most common Watch Repair there is. When your Watch dies or the second hand starts acting erratic or ticks every 2 seconds, then it’s time for a new cell.

Some Batteries will last a year, others can last for ten years or more. A lot just has to do with the Watch itself and how many functions it has. If your Watch has a day, date, second hand, chronograph, stop watch or even music, it will suck up more of the juice and the battery will need to be replaced more often.

Watch Battery replacement sometimes need to be sent to the manufacturer to get replaced just to keep your warranty in check.

If your Watch is out of warranty, any Jewelry Store can replace the battery for generally $5.00 or more.

Do note that a lot of times batteries will leak and corrode the insides of the Watch and rust the movement and parts. This can get expensive to clean and repair. If you’re not going to be wearing your Watch for a while (like a Holiday Watch), you may want to have the Battery removed so it doesn’t cause harm.


All Watches should get an overhaul every 3-5 years. An overhaul is basically like a tune-up on a car. The Watch maker or Watch Repairman checks out all the parts in the movement (guts of the Watch), and cleans them and re-lubricates them. Pieces and Parts in a Watch create friction and rub against each other as they move. They need Grease or Oil to help them glide properly. Lubricant dries up over time and needs to be replaced, otherwise your watch will not keep time properly or not be very accurate.

A normal overhaul can cost anywhere between $20 to $200 or more depending on what needs to be replaced or repaired.

Parts like Mainsprings (Barrels that rotate in the Watch) and Coils are common items that need to be replaced.

Whether your Watch starts to run slow or not, it’s a good idea to have it overhauled at least every 5 years just to keep the parts from wearing down.

Worn Gaskets (the Seals) should also be checked and replaced. This keeps your Watch Water Proof or Water Resistant and it only costs a couple of bucks.

New Movement

This repair is literally putting in a whole new working movement. It’s like an new engine. Everything gets replaced inside the Watch.

A New Movement is necessary when the price of fixing a Movement gets more expensive than replacing it.

New Movements can get very costly. Prices will vary depending on the size of the movement and the manufacturer. Every Watch is different.

Should you get your Watch Fixed?

This is the main question. Should you get your Watch Repaired?

How do you know if your Watch is even worth repairing?

Jewelry Stores will normally send your Watch out for an estimate and then call you for the go ahead or not (usually an estimate is no charge). This estimate can take a couple of days or even a couple of weeks to obtain.

There are some things that you should take into consideration when making that Watch Service Decision… Things like:

Condition of the Watch

How does the Watch look? Is the Watch worn? Corroded? Faded? Is the Plating peeling off? Are the Links pulling apart or bending?

If the Watch is looking old or beat up, then it may be wise to buy a new one instead.

Price of the Watch

What was the initial price of your Watch?

If the repair costs more than the original price of the Watch, don’t do it!

I usually advice not to spend more than half of the price of the Watch on repairs. If you paid $150 for your Watch, then don’t spend more than $75 to get it fixed… Unless you REALLY love your Watch! It’s your call.

Spending less than half can still be a lot of money. You have to remind yourself that the Watch is NOT NEW anymore. It’s worn, used and may break again in the near future.

I’ve seen a Watch have a Coil Replaced and 2 months later need a whole New Movement. You just never know how long it will last.

If the repairs are going to cost too much, buy a new Watch instead.

Jewelers are always having great deals on Watches and you shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a new one.

Is the Repair Warrantied?

If you are getting your Watch Repaired, ask what the Warranty will be.

Some repairman will Warranty their work for 90 days, others may Warranty it for a year. Do understand that ONLY the work they do on the Watch will be under Warranty. So if the Watch dies from a different ailment, it won’t be covered!

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Most Watch companies offer a One Year or Two Year (some even longer) Warranty on the movement of their Watch. Check your booklet, call them, or go online to the Manufacturer’s Website to find out what the Warranty is and WHAT it covers.

Do note that Warranties usually only cover the failure of the movement and NOTHING else! Which means, if you get your Watch wet and it makes the parts inside rust… The cost of the Repair will not be covered!

The bottom line

Whether a Watch Repair is worth it or not, just depends on your Watch, your pocket book and whether or not it’s time for a change. :)

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You May Also Like:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner
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  1. The trouble is, the jeweler will charge you more just because it is an expensive watch because they think you can afford it. A battery for an Omega is the same battery for a Timex. Yes the Omega may have to be sealed well to continue to be waterproof, but thats no problem for a good jeweler. I had a jeweler quote me $40 for a battery and when I told him to give me the battery for a Timex he laughed and quoted me $10. I bought my Omega 30 years ago when I could afford it. Can’t afford the $150 they want now to replace the coil.

    • Hi Annie. One thing to realize is that yes, the battery may be the same, but the watch isn’t. Meaning, if they were to accidentally break an Omega watch, versus a Timex watch (which can happen when you’re opening them up and tinkering inside), it could get very costly for the jeweler. Even an experienced one. It’s kind of like expensive cars or other expensive items (TV’s, Boats, Planes…), you don’t just want the cheapest fix there is. You want someone who is not only qualified, but someone who can do the job right, and is willing to fix such expensive items. Because if they break, they’re gonna pay way more than you would. Expensive items demand extra time, care and insurance. :) -Richard

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