I was reminded when I was in Parkes recently that there are quite a few of us who come across or own old watches that are in need of some TLC. Nasty’s dad had an old watch on a workbench in his garage that would have been too expensive to repair in Australia but which could have easily been repaired or restored in Singapore, Jakarta, Cambodia or Vietnam. Because of high labour costs, a complete service can cost as much as A$300 in Australia. It would cost a fraction of this price in Asia and $300 is a bit too much to pay for a watch that would sell for $20 or $30 dollars.
As an example, I recently helped Aaron repair, service and partially restore the Girard Perregaux watch that he inherited from his father. It cost about $120 and this included a brand new leather strap. We could not replace the crystal as the watch was square and I find it hard to find replacments.
Like car mechanics, not all watchmakers can repair or restore every kind of watch. Most watchmakers specilaise in different kinds of watches. Some are great with pre 70’s watches whilst others are good at fixing the newer stuff etc.
When I have the time, I will be posting pictures and information on watches that I am working on repairing or restoring or which I have completed. As a guide, the following is an indication of what some repairs costs:
- Polishing – Singapore – $40, Vietnam – $10
- Repair / Service (Automatic / Manual) – $60 – $100
- Minor Repair / Service (Rolex) – $100 – $250
- Round Crystal Replament – Normal – $15, Cyclops – $25
All repairs come with a 6-month warranty and the turnaround time for work done in Singapore is about 2 weeks with work outside of Singapore about 2 months – depending on when I visit that particular country. Aside from polishing, I prefer to get any work done in Singapore.
If any reader has a watch they want some help with, just drop us an email and we will be more than happy to help.