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Official Rolex Service Center vs Local Watch Shop

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Official Rolex Service Center vs Local Watch Shop

Old 01-31-2019, 02:15 PM
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Default Official Rolex Service Center vs Local Watch Shop

I have a Submariner that I've owned for some 20 years now. Think I've worn it maybe 10 times, but that's another story. It seems to run perfectly when wound up, but I'm wondering if it wouldn't be wise to get it serviced given that it's sat idle for so long, and I would assume the gaskets have to be end-of-life as well. I'm considering wearing it regularly as it was meant to be.

I know it'll be a $500+ kick in the derriere, but is it best to send it off to Rolex, or would a local, reputable dealer be able to provide an equal level of service?
Old 01-31-2019, 02:21 PM
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It won't hurt it to wear it as is if it's keeping decent time. I wouldn't wear it in the shower or pool though until you had the seals replaced. And I'd personally use a local dealer. If you were on the East coast I'd recommend Jewels in Time. Rolex service is $159 plus parts. And servicing a Rolex movement is no different or difficult than most any other watch movement. Rolex service is a rip off.

https://www.jewelsintime.com/watch-service/
Old 01-31-2019, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KBH View Post
Rolex service is $159 plus parts.
Wow, $159? Wonder if there's anyone in the Tampa Bay area that's equivalent? The independents I've priced here are $300 and up plus parts.
Old 01-31-2019, 02:44 PM
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$300 is +- the going rate for service. If you do send it to Rolex it will be gone at least 2 months and cost quite a bit more.
Old 01-31-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
I have a Submariner that I've owned for some 20 years now. Think I've worn it maybe 10 times, but that's another story. It seems to run perfectly when wound up, but I'm wondering if it wouldn't be wise to get it serviced given that it's sat idle for so long, and I would assume the gaskets have to be end-of-life as well. I'm considering wearing it regularly as it was meant to be.

I know it'll be a $500+ kick in the derriere, but is it best to send it off to Rolex, or would a local, reputable dealer be able to provide an equal level of service?
You have one of the most reputable independent Rolex watchmakers in the country in your backyard. The collecting community sends their watches from around the world to him (myself included many times).

Don’t try and save a few hundred dollars servicing a $5000+ watch.

Time Care Inc. - The Watch Repair Experts!
Old 01-31-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Southtexasreds View Post


You have one of the most reputable independent Rolex watchmakers in the country in your backyard. The collecting community sends their watches from around the world to him (myself included many times).

Don’t try and save a few hundred dollars servicing a $5000+ watch.

Time Care Inc. - The Watch Repair Experts!

This. Time Care Inc is the best
Old 01-31-2019, 09:43 PM
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Send it back to the factory. Went through this with a valjoux 7750 based Baume. Brought to an authorized dealer in SF (the largest and I thought reputable SF jeweler) and specifically told them to send it back to the factory. $500 or so later I got it back. Dial and crystal had dust and grease on it, lost 10s per day, and it looked worse than when I dropped it off. No factory paperwork or packaging either, which I thought was strange. I returned and asked to see their receipt from the factory, at which time they said they serviced it in their shop and didn’t send it back.

It was a short conversation with the manager and they agreed to send it back to the factory service center and pick up the bill. Got it back three weeks later and it looked right as rain, in a factory shipping box with paperwork, kept time within 1s per day on the wrist. On the other hand I had a moderately priced Eta seviced locally by a recommended expert since it wasnt worth what a factory service would cost. This was just ok but didnt keep time like it did when new, or even when dropped off. Went from 1-3s per day to 6-7.

I also recommed servicing at least every 5-7 yrs even if you don’t wear it. The oil evaporates out of the jewels, and when you do wear it the friction will wear the movement and even serviced it will never keep good time.

Of course there are those who will wear a watch for 20 years with no service and no problems so YMMV.
Old 02-01-2019, 04:39 AM
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I just paid 645 for mine yesterday from an independent
Old 02-01-2019, 05:33 AM
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First thing after reading these posts is a 7750 based movement is a whole different set of problems and it does take a good master watchmaker to deal with them. Not just anyone. I've got several and I find it easier to replace the standard grade ETA movement at less than $300 than to bother servicing them. The service costs as much as a new movement and replacing one is about a 20 minute job, even for an amateur like me. I just replaced a Miyota OS20 chrono movement in one of my wife's favorite watches for $35 and it took about 20 minutes. A Baume and Mercier is a different grade of movement obviously so that wouldn't necessarily apply.

But the standard 3 handed Rolex movement is not basically any different than a similar ETA movement and it takes less than an hour for a good qualified watch smith to do an actual service, not including timegrapher setting in 3 or 4 positions. If you want to send it to Rolex that's up to you. But be aware that if you have a nice 20 year old patina'd Sub, you will probably get it back looking show room new and will lose any value of a good looking vintage and probably more valuable watch. But your hands and dial will glow in the dark better and your bank account will be lighter. Nobody that collects old and particularly rare Rolex's would ever send them to the factory to be ruined. And Jewels in Time down in Boca Raton has been servicing Rolexes as long as I've lived here. They aren't a fly by night dealer by any means.

The oils may get gummed up and cause the movement to run slow or fast and they will tell you that the movement is not running correctly and requires a servicing. Very unlikely to ruin anything.
Old 02-01-2019, 05:37 AM
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One other quick question. A friend mentioned to me that an independent shop, not affiliated with Rolex, is unable to get factory parts. Is that true?
Old 02-01-2019, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Southtexasreds View Post


You have one of the most reputable independent Rolex watchmakers in the country in your backyard. The collecting community sends their watches from around the world to him (myself included many times).

Don’t try and save a few hundred dollars servicing a $5000+ watch.

Time Care Inc. - The Watch Repair Experts!
Never understood how people will buy an expensive product and then cheap out on the maintenance.
Old 02-01-2019, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
One other quick question. A friend mentioned to me that an independent shop, not affiliated with Rolex, is unable to get factory parts. Is that true?
Somewhat true. Currently they are making it as difficult as possible for independents but there are still lots of parts available. Especially for older watches and standard movements.

And now, when an authorized service center replaces a part, Rolex wants the old part sent back.

There's a difference between "cheaping out on maintenance" and getting a factory screw job. Servicing a watch movement isn't rocket science.
Old 02-01-2019, 01:35 PM
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I guess Time Care, Inc. it is....Rather deal with a local company...Thanks everyone!
Old 02-01-2019, 01:41 PM
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Rik at Time Care is great, he’s also lives just down the street from me.
Old 02-01-2019, 02:23 PM
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Make very certain that you dont have a really collectible reference number before you send it to Rolex. Rolex is notorious for telling you that you need some parts replaced with "service parts" which absolutely KILLS the value of some collectible watches.

A quick reference number, first half of the serial number and picture of the watch will tell me enough.

It is also true that Rolex parts are getting harder and harder to get. We use genuine Rolex parts but I am not sure there are any other watch makers in Houston using genuine Rolex parts.

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