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    Your experience get watches serviced

    I am thinking about buying my first automatic watch--the 42 mil Hamilton Khaki Field--but I keep worrying about the long-term costs. So, would anyone care to share their experiences or thoughts on servicing? How often do you get your watch serviced? Do you use the service centers or just a local jeweler? Will Hamilton service if I buy gray market? My $250 eco-drive will still have cost me $250 after 10 years. The cost of my $500-750 Hamilton might be closer to a $1,000-1,250 after 10 years!

    I have already read a bunch online that addresses some of this but was hoping to get some first-hand opinions from Hamilton owners (or owners of similar watches--I image getting a Rolex serviced in a bit more pricey that a Hamilton).

    #2
    Although I don’t own a Hamilton I seriously considered getting the exact watch you are referring to a few years back. First, let me say that unless you are very against not buying it from Hamilton directly I wouldn’t. I’ve routinely seen that watch priced at $300-350 from a number of reputable online retailers including Nordstrom.

    Second, unless Hamilton has some major mechanical issues that I’m not aware of you shouldn’t have to get your watch serviced more than once every 5 or so if that. I would think you’re overestimating the $1000+ over 10 years. For example I have two orient mechanical watches that I’ve had for at least 5 years. I’ve never had them serviced and they still work as well as the day I bought them.

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      #3
      I have a Bell and Ross that I purchased from Jomashop 7 years ago. I had no issue with the purchase and saved enough money for an AD service if for some reason the watch was not up to par. With a Hamilton Khaki Field, you are getting a slightly modified ETA movement that should be able to be serviced by any local watch repair shops. I wouldn’t expect a service to cost more the $150-$200.

      That said, I still haven’t sent my Bell and Ross in for service and it is running under 10 seconds a day consistently. Some will tell you to have it serviced on a regular basis and some will tell you to wait until you have issues. It is completely up to you and your personality on which is the best track. I have my dad’s Hamilton watch from high school graduation that he gave to me. I wore it for two years before having it serviced, after it sat in a drawer for 30 years. I used a local repair shop with a good reputation.

      I did send my Sinn 903 into Sinn for an AD service only because it is an old Lemania movement and I wanted everything to be original to protect the value.

      Comment


        #4
        I own several mechanical watches from various brands.. My experience is that servicing your watch is akin to giving your car an oil change. The internal movement requires lubricants to be changed regularly so that you won't have unnecessary damage.

        How often do you get your watch serviced? This will depend on the age of the watch and how rough you are with your watches. Typically, if it's a new watch, you should be okay without service every 5 years. If it's an older watch, possibly closer to every 3. Ask your dealer what they recommend for your particular situation.

        Do you use the service centers or just a local jeweler? There are pros and cons to both situations. Some watchmakers will be able to do jobs that are simply refused by the service center (typically for vintage pieces), but the quality might not be that of the service center. I collect some brands that no longer have service centers, due to the companies going bankrupt, etc, so I have a watchmaker do my repairs.
        Will Hamilton service if I buy gray market? It is a possibility. Reach out to the Hamilton company to see if they do repairs on watches that do not have a warranty card.

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          #5
          There are several schools of thought to "how often should you get your watch serviced?" I think it all boils down to how much are you willing to pay for the amount of accuracy you are willing to live with.

          For a higher cost watch such as Rolex, Omega, and costs beyond, the service is akin to the cost of a Hamilton ($600-800) watch. Some people wear them till they can't stand the inaccuracy and then get it serviced since it will cost you the same amount no matter how worn out the internal mechanical parts are. Others religiously send it in following the manufacturer's suggested timeline.

          If you can find a reputable local watchmaker to service them at under $150 then that wouldn't be too bad every 3-4 years. For a lower end Mechanical watch such as Hamilton, the movement cost as nearly the same as the service cost. Some people in the tinkering world can get a whole replacement movement for $180 and a higher grade movement for about $250 which is about the same cost as sending it into a Hamilton Service center. So... really it depends on where your trust lies.

          Highly doubt that Hamilton will service for free, a gray market watch. You could always try.. but they are normally always willing to service for a price.

          Comment


            #6
            These are really helpful replies. Hamilton's website quotes a full service at $220 for a three-hand piece--ouch! If I can get it serviced less often or for less by a jeweler, that is good to know (I don't think I'll wear it everyday).
            I am thinking about buying off Jomashop. I thought I'd read somewhere that an AD would not service a gray market watch--pay or not--but I guess money is money.

            Comment


              #7
              very good replies were posted so i feel you should have enough information for yourself... but to add my prospective on things since i was in the same boat as you before buying my Omega Seamaster watch (as well we Hamilton Field and Air...)

              One of the Hamiltons was bought off Jomashop - gray market. Do I expect to get it service by Hamilton for free? No... Like others have mentioned, when I will want to get it serviced, I will try of course to try try my luck, but in the end I was able to save a lot of money by going thru gray market so it will offset AD service costs. So I am good there.

              About when you service your watch - it depends on you... I plan to service it when it grossly off... for example, my old Seiko was services after it was few minutes late per day! Some people are obsessed about being within 5 seconds per day and sending their watches more frequently... so it all depends on your comfort level.

              Does it makes sense in the end? It does not financially. If you want lowest investment in a time piece, go get Casio digital watch from Walmart for $10... no service and time will be on point until you throw that thing away. But... if you appreciate fine watch craftsmanship - you will pay more initially and like someone mentioned, you will have to do "oil changes" periodically.

              Does it make sense to own BMW when you can arrive to your destination in Kia? No... but lots of BMWs are on the roads
              Does it make sense to have huge house? No... but I see lots of mansion like houses
              list goes on

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SwiftToole View Post
                These are really helpful replies. Hamilton's website quotes a full service at $220 for a three-hand piece--ouch! If I can get it serviced less often or for less by a jeweler, that is good to know (I don't think I'll wear it everyday).
                I am thinking about buying off Jomashop. I thought I'd read somewhere that an AD would not service a gray market watch--pay or not--but I guess money is money.
                I got my Hamilton off Jomashop... I saved over $300....so when I pay $220 for a full service, I am still in green

                Comment


                  #9
                  There are several schools of thought to "how often should you get your watch serviced?" I think it all boils down to how much are you willing to pay for the amount of accuracy you are willing to live with.

                  For a higher cost watch such as Rolex, Omega, and costs beyond, the service is akin to the cost of a Hamilton ($600-800) watch. Some people wear them till they can't stand the inaccuracy and then get it serviced since it will cost you the same amount no matter how worn out the internal mechanical parts are. Others religiously send it in following the manufacturer's suggested timeline. Here you will find some info on short term investments https://promoneysavings.com/best-sho...m-investments/

                  If you can find a reputable local watchmaker to service them at under $150 then that wouldn't be too bad every 3-4 years. For a lower end Mechanical watch such as Hamilton, the movement cost as nearly the same as the service cost. Some people in the tinkering world can get a whole replacement movement for $180 and a higher grade movement for about $250 which is about the same cost as sending it into a Hamilton Service center. So... really it depends on where your trust lies.

                  Highly doubt that Hamilton will service for free, a gray market watch. You could always try.. but they are normally always willing to service for a price.
                  On my experience, you have to service a watch at least once per two years ( especially if its a good one )
                  But once I've taken a loan and bought myself a good Rolex for 1300$. Never ever serviced it and it's still as good as new after almost 8 years.
                  Last edited by samlarson; August 20, 2020, 11:41 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by samlarson View Post

                    On my experience, you have to service a watch at least once per two years ( especially if its a good one )
                    But once I've taken a loan and bought myself a good Rolex for 1300$. Never ever serviced it and it's still as good as new after almost 8 years.
                    This is wholly inaccurate. My Rolex Submariner calls for service "approximately every 10 years depending on the model and real-life usage."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by samlarson View Post

                      On my experience, you have to service a watch at least once per two years ( especially if its a good one )
                      But once I've taken a loan and bought myself a good Rolex for 1300$. Never ever serviced it and it's still as good as new after almost 8 years.
                      I'm assuming your follow up post will be a link to some bogus international website where we can purchase the aforementioned " 1300$ Rolex"?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by abh159 View Post

                        I'm assuming your follow up post will be a link to some bogus international website where we can purchase the aforementioned " 1300$ Rolex"?
                        ....with a loan.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by samlarson View Post

                          On my experience, you have to service a watch at least once per two years ( especially if its a good one )
                          But once I've taken a loan and bought myself a good Rolex for 1300$. Never ever serviced it and it's still as good as new after almost 8 years.
                          A rolex for $1,300...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ah shucks... he merely forgot one itty bitty little zero...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Depending on when he bought the Rolex, $1300 could be a realistic cost to pay....in the 80's.

                              Today, not so much... You can get a Rolex Datejust today for about $5k.

                              You could also get a vintage Tudor (sister company to Rolex) (again, model pending) for less than $2k today.

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