These wonderful mechanical antiques need periodic cleaning and maintenance, and we've cleaned hundreds of them - the right way, the only way - so trust us with your treasured family heirlooms for expert servicing that will take just a few days.
If you carry your watches, then routine servicing is actually pretty important. Antique timepieces can get loaded with debris like lint, dust, metal filings, dead skin, and even hair, especially if the design is a bridge or 3/4-plate, allowing all that detritus to fall into the movement and gear train. Save yourself headaches and high repair bills down the road and have them cleaned regularly every two or three years.
COAs starting at $145. Visit the Price Page for more info.
Organic and synthetic oils both start getting gummy after only a few years, requiring periodic maintenance. Running your watch beyond the service life of the lubricants will begin grinding up the pivots. You wouldn't go years without changing the oil in your car's engine, so why do it to your great-grandfather's watch?
Once the lubricants in your watch become contaminated with grit the pivots will begin to scar, eventually grinding waists into them. This is especially true of the parts of the gear train that rotate faster than others, such as the pallet fork and the balance staff, and if the scarring is too deep they must be replaced.
COAs are not just about changing the oils. It also means examining each and every component for correct fit and hidden issues:
The only way to do a proper COA is to completely disassemble the movement so it can be cleaned in solution using an ultrasonic. Inspection of all parts comes before reassembly with synthetic oils, followed by checks on the balance wheel, mainspring and gear train, and finally, accuracy testing on the digital master.
There is a vast difference between a dunking and a full cleaning.
Other than the obvious problems caused by running your watch for years beyond its last date of service, excessively dirty watches will contaminate the cleaning fluids in any ultrasonic that much faster. This necessitates more frequent fluid changes and the cleaning of the baskets, and watches in this condition don't help keep the bench or the tools any cleaner, either.
Watches this dirty will be charged extra to offset these costs.
There are those hacks that will open the back of a non-running watch and simply spray the entire movement with WD-40 or a penetrating oil like Liquid Wrench to try to get it running again. Such attempts are incredibly dumb, since some of these products will eradicate the gilding off two-tone plates. This practice will also contaminate the ultrasonic, requiring another fluid change.
Watches this greasy will be charged extra to offset these costs.
All case work is done during the cleaning of the watch and is not offered as a separate service.
If your watch has a dazzling pattern, we can mill the back cover into a bezel, turning your vintage timepiece into an instant showpiece. Only certain types of cases make good candidates, so be sure to contact us first. If your current watchmaker doesn't offer this service then why are you still sending your pieces to him?
We only cut into cases that are worn or damaged.
Display conversions starting at $85
Nickel or silver watch cases can be polished up like new, unless there is ornate engraving. Gold cases shouldn't be buffed at all.
Case polishing starting at $25
New and NOS glass crystals are available in open face and hunter in all styles and thicknesses.
Crystals starting at $38
Crowns and bows wore out the quickest and are now getting very difficult to find, especially gold and gold-filled.
Starting at $35 if available
The pendant parts often go ignored for years but will be cleaned, adjusted and replaced if necessary.
Starting at $45 if available
All dial and cosmetic work is done during the servicing of the watch and none are offered as separate services.
Watch dials are fragile things made from porcelain, and like a mirror, once it's cracked it cannot be reversed. We offer basic repairs, although the dial has to be reasonably intact for us to have any kind of success. White porcelain dials only, please.
Dial refurbishing starting at $25
Harsh chemicals can scrub the enamel inlay from the plate engravings, so we offer enamel replacement in both black and the brick red found on several Illinois models. It's a very tedious and time-consuming process, but definitely worth it.
New enamel starting at $25
Wartime material shortages meant using acrylic for crystals, which yellowed and caused the hands to rust. If the hands on your watch aren't too pitted they can be polished out and returned to the factory colors of either plum or cobalt blue.
Hand coloring starting at $15
Nothing sets off the plates of a movement like blued hardware, and If your watch is missing a few blued screws we can give it back that factory look. Cap jewels, regulator arms, and even hairspring mounts can also be blued.
Hardware bluing starting at $15
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