How to Tell Whether It’s Worth Repairing Your Watch

How to Tell Whether It’s Worth Repairing Your Watch

When you start collecting watches, at one point or another, you will be faced with the question: Is it really worth it to repair this watch?

Sometimes, it’s easy enough to just cut your losses and get rid of the watch. However, if it’s a luxury or sentimental piece, the decision can be a little more difficult.

Repairing a Watch: What to Consider

Here is what you should consider before you make a final call.

What Is the Watch Worth?

In some cases, repairing a watch can end up costing more than what you bought it for. However, if it’s an heirloom or has personal sentimental value, the cost might be worth it. The other scenario when the repairs might be worth it is if you could sell it for a higher price.

Take the time to get your timepiece evaluated and do a little research to see what other enthusiasts are selling the same or similar watches for.

If you won’t be able to sell the watch for much and you have no problems replacing it, a repair doesn’t make much sense. Especially if you can purchase a brand-new watch for cheaper.

Here are the factors that determine the overall value of your watch.

The Cost of Purchasing a New Watch

If you decide that you would rather purchase a new timepiece, find out what it would cost to service and repair. You may be able to purchase a watch at a great price, but you could end up having to budget for much higher service and repair costs.

All watches need to be serviced and if you care for your watch correctly, repairs don’t have to be a common occurrence. It’s worth finding out more about these additional costs before you invest in a new timepiece.

The cost of a watch service or repairs will also depend on the horologists you use and where you are located. Something extra to keep in mind.

If you think you may want to sell the watch a few years down the line, it’s best to do some additional research to ensure it would, in fact, be a true investment. Here are some of our top watch investment tips.

In summary, deciding whether a watch repair is worth it depends on how much it means to you and whether you plan to sell it later on. If you need any further advice, contact us about a watch valuation.

A Guide to Watch Movements: Manual, Automatic & Quartz

A Guide to Watch Movements: Manual, Automatic & Quartz

When you first start shopping around for a watch, it’s difficult not to focus on the different designs and features. However, investing in a timepiece requires more than just picking the right style.

Anyone who is serious about purchasing the right watch should have an understanding of the different watch movements. Namely, quartz, automatic and manual movements.

Watch Movements Explained

Watches are either powered by batteries or mechanics, which is where the different watch movements come into play.

Each movement has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will take you through now.

Manual Movements

A watch with a manual movement needs to be wound manually. This particular movement has been around for decades and first made an appearance around the 16th century. A manual watch will feature a crown on the side, which is used to adjust the time. However, it also serves another function – winding the mainspring of the watch.

This mainspring is placed in a barrel, which stores power as elastic energy. As you can imagine, all this energy is gradually released to keep the watching moving for several weeks. This is done using an escapement assembly, which is made up of several delicate parts.

The mainspring transfers power to the escapement assembly via the going train, which is made up of wheels of different sizes. These wheels are what allow the hands to move at different speeds.

To keep a manual watch working, you need to regularly wind the mainspring. Some manual watches will even alert you to the fact that the watch needs rewinding.

Automatic Movements

An automatic watch is made with most of the same components as a mechanical watch, including the mainspring, going train and escapement assembly. However, unlike a mechanical watch, which often needs to be wound by a professional, you can wind an automatic watch yourself. What’s more, you can wind the watch simply by wearing it regularly.

Automatic watches first made an appearance in the 18th century, with Rolex later perfecting the system that was developed by John Harwood. The first Daytona, the Cellini Prince and the OysterQuartz are some of the few watches made by Rolex that aren’t automatically wound.

A set of gears connected to the mainspring barrel are what help wind an automatic watch, all with the help of a rotor that swings around freely inside the watch.

Quartz Movements

Lastly, there are quartz watches, which do have some internal mechanics but mostly need wheels to operate the remaining functions, including the hands. This battery-operated timepiece first made an appearance in the 20th century. However, Seiko was the first watchmaker to make quartz wristwatches available commercially.

Quartz watches are known for their affordability and accuracy, all thanks to the quartz regulator. The battery inside the watch passes electricity to a quartz crystal, which produces pulses and vibrations. A dial motor uses these pulses to make the hands of the watch tick.

How to Decide on a Watch Movement

The type of watch movement that’s right for you is mostly dependent on the type of watch you plan to purchase.

For example, many of today’s vintage and high-end luxury watches have mechanical movements. You would also need to decide if you’re willing to wind your watch yourself or if you’re willing to get a professional to assist you. Quartz watches are the most affordable option and are generally easier to find.

It all comes down to preference.

7 Expert Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring in 2021

7 Expert Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring in 2021

One of the most overwhelming parts of getting engaged is choosing a ring. Naturally, you want your partner to love the design just as much as you do, but where do you start?

Choosing an engagement ring is not nearly as simple as it used to be. There’s a lot more to consider than just the metal and the cut of a diamond.

If 2021 is the year you plan to purchase an engagement ring, these tips will help make the process a little less stressful.

Advice for Buying an Engagement Ring That’s Perfect for Your Partner

1. Trends are Fleeting.

You might turn to what’s trending when you first start shopping for an engagement ring, but timeless designs are better. Instead of turning to trends, use your partner’s current jewellery style as a guide. If they love wearing gold, it doesn’t make sense to get them a platinum engagement ring, even if you like it. Remember, your partner will be wearing this piece for the rest of their lives.

2. Consider Your Partner’s Lifestyle.

Speaking of your partner’s preferences, it’s also important to consider their lifestyle. Do they spend a lot of time outdoors? Do they play a particular type of sport? Lifestyle is another factor to consider when deciding on the size and style of the engagement ring.

3. Certificate Grading Isn’t Everything.

When you first start shopping for an engagement ring, you will hear a lot about the Four Cs: Colour, cut, clarity and carat. However, the grading on a certificate is not the only factor that should guide your decision. The look and feel of a stone is just as important as the grading.

4. Neither is Size.

There are still a number of people who believe the size of an engagement ring’s stone is a major factor. However, that go-big-or-go-home mentality is not something you need to jump on board with. Decide what’s more important to you and your partner before you decide that you need to purchase the biggest stone you can afford.

5. Opt for Ethically Sourced Stones.

Give your stone a bit of a backstory by finding out where it came from. It’s always best to purchase stones that were sourced from mines and suppliers that are known for their sustainability. Your jeweller can assist you with this information, but it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of your own research too.

6. Don’t Leave the Setting for Last.

If you’re planning to design your engagement ring from scratch, don’t leave the setting until last. Rather have a good idea of the type of setting you want before you start shopping around for a stone. Again, don’t focus too much on what’s trending, opt for a setting that’s timeless and that both you and your partner will love.

7. Work with a Professional.

One of the easiest ways to make the process of shopping for an engagement ring that much easier is to work with a professional jeweller. When you work with a jeweller, you can create or source a ring that meets all your size, shape and style requirements with ease.

Start Shopping Around

At the end of the day, buying an engagement ring is only about you, your partner and, of course, your budget. Enjoy this exciting part of the process by working with a professional jewellery designer such as Martins of Glasgow.

Contact us to discuss your ring requirements.  

How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

You’ve spent a lot of money on your watch, so maintaining and servicing it is essential if you want to enjoy it for many more years to come. Every watch is subject to wear and tear so there is no way around servicing it.

What’s more, being proactive about servicing your watch will help you avoid bigger problems that will only cost more money to correct.

But how do you know whether it’s time to service your watch?

Signs It’s Time to Service Your Watch

Whether you have a mechanical or a quartz watch, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for a service.

  • Your Watch Feels Different or Parts Feel Loose

When your watch is on your wrist, it’s always moving, which can cause some parts to loosen. On the plus side, if you wear your watch daily, you can easily tell whether it feels different. If it does or you feel that some parts have tightened or loosened, it’s time for a service. If your watch is making a noise or rattles when you move it, it’s important to take it in for repairs immediately.

  • There is Moisture Inside the Watch

Moisture inside a watch is never a good sign and without prompt service, the watch will begin to corrode. As you can imagine, this can cause further damage that will either be expensive to repair or can’t be repaired at all. Even the slightest bit of moisture is an indication that a service is necessary.

  • Your Watch is Running Too Fast or Slow

This is the third most common sign that your watch needs a service sooner rather than later. Watches will always have a margin of error, which means it might be a few seconds too fast or too slow. However, if your watch feels very out in terms of time accuracy, rather get it serviced.

Many people tend to put off a service believing it will be costly, but this isn’t always the case. Watch servicing and repairs only get expensive when a watch isn’t maintained on a regular basis.

Some watch services are quick and cost-effective, particularly when you’re dealing with professional horologists such as Martin’s of Glasgow.

Not sure whether we can service your specific watch? Contact us on 0141 946 6333 or to find out.

It’s best practice to service your watch every three to five years, especially if you wear it regularly.

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

A cracked watch glass is not ideal, especially when it’s one of your favourite watches, but it can be repaired. What many watch owners often wonder though is just how expensive this kind of repair will be, particularly if the watch glass is difficult to come by.

Since we often replace watch glass for our clients, we decided to take you through the basics of what you should know if your watch glass breaks.

Dealing with Watch Glass Damage

Watch glass is strong but simply knocking it against something or dropping it at a certain angle is enough to cause scratches and breaks.

Here’s how to deal with these two types of watch glass damage.

Acrylic Scratches

When you wear a watch often enough, small scratches are going to appear on the acrylic. However, if the scratches get bad enough, it’s not only difficult to read the time, but it can lead to cracked acrylic.

If the scratches are merely on the surface of the timepiece, they can sometimes be polished out. Deeper scratches require the acrylic to be replaced, which is generally inexpensive unless it’s anything other than a round shape.

Watch Mineral or Sapphire Glass Chips and Cracks

When watch glass is chipped or cracked, there is a much higher chance of it smashing completely. You want to avoid this because it places the internal mechanisms of your watch at risk.

If at any point you notice chips and cracks in your watch glass, it’s best to bring it in so that it can be replaced. Again, if you are dealing with flat round watch glass, it’s generally much more affordable to replace.

If your watch glass does get smashed before you can get it to Martin’s of Glasgow, and if your watch is quartz or has a hacking seconds hand, pull out the crown immediately. This will prevent any small shards of glass from permanently damaging the hands and internal mechanisms of the watch.

Since it’s difficult to stop a mechanical watch quickly if your watch doesn’t have a hacking seconds hand, all you can do is keep it as still as possible until it gradually stops. You can then bring it in to be repaired.

Replacing Watch Glass – What Types Are Available?

  • Mineral watch glass. This type of watch glass is found in most types of watches. It’s affordable and can be cut to fit most watch shapes. It’s not scratch resistant though.
  • Sapphire crystal. If you want something stronger and scratch resistant, sapphire crystal is a good option. Since it is created in a lab, it’s more expensive.
  • Acrylic watch “glass”. You can only use acrylic “glass” if your watch already has it. This is also a cost-effective option that can be cut into different shapes. It does scratch more easily though.

If you are unsure about which watch glass to choose, we will gladly assist you once you bring your watch in for repairs. It’s best to have your watch glass replaced sooner rather than later if you want to avoid further damage to your favourite timepiece.

You can contact us on 0141 946 6333 or to make an appointment.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a perfect string of pearls, which is why it’s such a tragedy when it breaks. Pearls are usually strung with nylon or silk, which are strong enough materials. However, with age or enough force, the string can break.

If you currently have unstrung pearls lying at the bottom of your jewellery box, it’s about time you restring them so you can enjoy them once again.

In case you’re worried about whether your pearls will be returned in the same condition, we thought it would be helpful to take you through the restringing process.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process

Collecting Your Pearls

Before you can repair your pearl necklace, you will need to carefully collect all of the original pearls and place them in a secure box. Keep in mind that if you no longer have all the original pearls, your jeweller will need to source pearls to match your necklace. There is a slight chance the replacement pearls will look slightly different to the originals.

Knotting the String

Once your jeweller has your pearls, the restringing process can begin. Each pearl is carefully placed onto a new string, ensuring no damage occurs. Your jeweller can also either leave the string as is or place small knots in between each pearl, which is highly recommended. Not only does this prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, but if the string ever breaks again, you won’t lose all the pearls.

Replacing the Clasp

If you still have your original clasp, your jeweller will simply replace it. However, if the clasp is old, you may want to consider replacing it to make the necklace more secure. If you have a multi-strand necklace, a strong clasp is recommended to support the extra weight.

The Finishing Touches

Once the pearls have been restrung and the clasp is in place, a soft cloth is used to clean and shine the pearls. If your necklace has natural pearls, ultrasonic and steam cleaning techniques cannot be used due to their fragile condition.

The pearl restringing process is simple and straightforward when you have a professional assisting you.

Caring for Your Pearl Necklace Going Forward

Now that you can enjoy your pearl necklace again, here are a few tips to help you care for them.

  • Store them correctly. To avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the string of the necklace, don’t hang it up. Rather lay it flat in a lined box and away from any other pieces that could scratch the pearls.
  • Take care during cleaning. Pearls should never be cleaned with water or chemical cleaning products. Wiping the necklace down with a soft cloth is enough to get them looking brand new again.
  • Schedule regular checkups. Lastly, let a professional take a look at the state of your pearl necklace once every two years to ensure you won’t end up with unnecessary breakages or lost pearls.

If you would like to start wearing your pearl necklace again, get in touch with us about our restringing services.

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

You should never consider selling a timepiece without understanding what it is worth first. Understand that if you want to sell your watch for its true value, you are going to need to spend a little time on research and practice a bit of patience.

Naturally, if you decide to have your watch professionally evaluated, it might speed the process up slightly, but it’s still recommended that you have some idea of the value yourself.

How to Determine the Value of Your Watch

Here are the main factors that you or an evaluator would focus on to determine how much your timepiece is worth.

  1. The Make and Model.

This is probably one of the most obvious factors that play a role in the value of your watch. There are certain brands that maintain their value regardless of how old they are – Rolex being one of them. Brands that are known for their limited edition watches or complex movements also tend to have higher values.

  1. Condition of the Timepiece

A brand will not mean much if your watch isn’t in a good condition. If the exterior is severely damaged or important components are missing, the value of the timepiece drops immediately. In some instances, even a minor scratch can affect the value. When your watch is evaluated, both the physical and functional condition is assessed. The end result is a condition grade, which will place your watch at a specific price point.

The exceptions to this are military watches and some vintage watches. A good example is the Rolex 1675 GMT Master 1275 – a 50-year-old watch with a faded bezel and marks on the case from daily wear. As long as the dial and hands are original, it is more valuable than a watch of the same age with a service dial and hands, and possibly a new bezel (Even if the bezel was fitted during a service by Rolex). Naturally, the watch still needs to be in good working condition.

  1. Watch Patina

Patina refers to a watch’s natural ageing process, which alters the appearance of the hands or dials of the timepiece. Believe it or not, patina is a good thing because collectors believe it adds character. If signs of ageing have affected the functioning of the watch in any way though, it will not be worth as much.

  1. Watch Box and Paperwork

If you still have the original box and paperwork that came with the watch, this will have a positive effect on its value. This includes the warranty card and any certification cards. The importance of the box and paperwork also depends on the watch brand and age.

  1. Rarity

Watches that are difficult to come by may be worth more. If you have a limited edition or production run from a renowned brand, it will more than likely increase the value quite dramatically. Naturally, the watch should still be in good condition and meet the other above-mentioned criteria.

  1. Demand

The higher the demand, the more a timepiece is worth. Authentic watches that still have their original markings and serial numbers are also more valuable. With a bit of research on watch trading sites, you can easily find out which watches are currently in high demand.

  1. The Celebrity Factor

Own a watch that was worn in a movie or by a well-known celebrity, this could end up increasing its value. Watches such as those worn by characters such as James Bond are particularly popular.

  1. Market Value

Lastly, one of the final factors that determine how much your watch is currently worth is the market. Spending some time on auction or reseller sites can tell you a lot about what your watch, or similar watches, are currently selling for.  Even sites such as eBay can be a valuable source of information.

Now that you have a better idea of the factors that determine the value of your watch, you can decide whether selling it would be worth your while. If you would prefer to also get a professional opinion, contact Martins of Glasgow about an evaluation.

Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Many watch enthusiasts dream of owning a limited edition watch but if you don’t own one yet, should you look at purchasing one? Or is this more a gimmick than anything else?

Let’s start with the definition of a limited edition watch.

What Does Limited Edition Watch Really Mean?

Manufacturers release limited edition watches to commemorate an event or to create a more memorable model.

Limited edition doesn’t mean there is a similar standard version available either. In many instances, a limited edition may be completely new and unique.

You may have also heard about special edition watches. While limited edition means only a certain number of those watches are made, special edition generally means the watch is only produced for a limited amount of time. It can also indicate the watch is an unusual model.

Many watch enthusiasts feel that limited and special edition labels are simply a marketing ploy. However, there are instances when they can be a worthwhile purchase.

Is a Limited Edition Watch Worth It?

Whether or not a limited edition watch is a good purchase is dependent on three factors.

  1. The Brand

How often a brand launches limited edition watches determines how unique and worthwhile the purchase would be. For example, Omega is one brand that is renowned for its limited edition watches. Unfortunately, this has watered down the exclusivity of these releases. Then there are brands such as Patek Philippe, which hardly ever releases limited edition timepieces. Finding one of these watches would be an investment and a worthwhile purchase.

Rolex is the only brand that has never officially released a limited edition watch.

Limited edition watches that are launched by lesser-known brands generally fall under the marketing-ploy umbrella and won’t hold much value in the future.

  1. The Model

The watch model also makes a difference to whether or not you should purchase a limited edition timepiece. History dictates that specific models become sought-after by collectors, while others don’t gain any traction at all.

Look into the history of the brand you are considering to see how the different models have faired over the years. If you happen to pick up on a trend, one of their limited editions might be a worthwhile purchase.

  1. What It Means to You

Since many limited edition watches are linked to special events and anniversaries, you may want to purchase one because of what the event, movie or release year means to you. Some examples of watches like this include the Ford Mustang 50th anniversary watch that was produced by Shinola and the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th anniversary limited edition.

In Closing

Whether or not you purchase a limited edition watch is a personal choice, but it is highly recommended that you take the above-mentioned factors into consideration before you decide. Don’t purchase the watch because it seems to be a trend, purchase it because it means something to you or because you know it would be a worthwhile investment.

What Every Enthusiast Should Know about Watch Auctions

What Enthusiasts Should Know about Watch Auctions

Watch auctions have reached a new level of popularity and many new enthusiasts are joining fellow bidders. If you are thinking about doing the same in 2021, there are a few things you should know.

Even though the smartwatch industry is thriving, a new mentality surrounding the high-end luxury and vintage watch market is emerging.

Not only is this increasing the frequency of watch auctions, but more businesses are focusing on bringing watches to auctions. This means that enthusiasts looking to purchase their next timepiece at an auction can look forward to having a larger variety of unique watches to choose from.

Traditional vs. Online Watch Auctions

Online auctions are very similar to traditional auctions, however, you won’t be able to physically view and touch a timepiece before purchasing it.

Besides the existing pandemic, it seems that online auctions are becoming the preferred option for a number of reasons.

Online auctions take place more frequently, giving bidders more opportunities to find a timepiece they love. The fact that you can also attend an auction taking place almost anywhere in the world means bidders are more likely to stumble upon rare and unique watches.

Naturally, if you do choose to attend an online auction, make sure it’s connected to a trusted auction house.

The Best Time to Attend a Watch Auction

There are different opinions about the best time to attend a watch auction.

If it’s vintage watches you are after, experts recommend attending the major auctions that occur in autumn and spring. These auction seasons are standard across the globe and since most of the auction houses are now hosting virtual events, it’s possible for bidders to attend auctions in different cities.

In terms of the weekly auctions that take place, it’s difficult to predict which events you should attend. Researching auction houses that are renowned for their watch auctions is your best bet at finding unique timepieces to invest in.

Sotheby’s and Christies are two of the most popular sites to keep an eye on if you are looking to attend more watch auctions this year.

The Art of Investing in a Watch

Before attending any kind of watch auction, it’s important to set a budget. It’s also essential that you outline what you are looking for, at least some basic requirements anyway, particularly if you want to sell the watch in the future.

Don’t purchase a watch for the sake of doing so, rather wait for a timepiece that speaks to you.

In terms of what to look for when looking at watches to bid on, don’t focus too much on the brand name. The size, shape and style of a watch should also play a significant role in your decision.

Once you have a watch in mind, pay attention to the condition report as well as any images that are available. Why is it being auctioned? What does the watch currently look like in comparison to a new version?

If you are purchasing the watch for your own personal use, the finer details aren’t too significant. However, if you plan to resell it later on, the small details make all the difference.

In doubt about any of the details? Don’t hesitate to ask the auction house staff who have been briefed on each of the items.

It should also be noted that all auction houses charge the successful bidder a percentage of the final winning bid. This can be as low as 15% but may be as high as 35%? Plus, there are also VAT and mailing/courier costs.

Once you attend your first auction, whether it’s in person or online, you will soon get a feel for the process and what you can expect going forward.

For any watch servicing and repairs post-auction, don’t hesitate to contact Martins of Glasgow.

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New – Is It Possible?

Not every piece of jewellery is timeless and not every piece you inherit will suit your unique style. Does this mean you should try and sell some of your jewellery or is there another option?

Jewellery remodeling has become increasingly popular.

In the hands of the right jeweller, you can turn an older piece into something unique that you will want to wear all the time.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Why Remodel Older Jewellery?

There are a number of great reasons to remodel a pre-loved piece of jewellery.

For one, remodelling is the ideal way to update your collection without having to pay for brand new jewellery.

If you happened to inherit the piece, remodelling ensures you can hang onto the memories and still enjoy wearing jewellery suited to your taste. The same applies to jewellery you received as a gift. If you don’t love the style or the memories are ones you would care to forget, remodelling is the perfect solution.

Lastly, updating jewellery instead of buying something new is sustainable and eco-friendly. If this is important to you, remodelling is right for you.

Inspiration for Updating Your Jewellery

If you are ready to remodel your jewellery, here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Merge several older pieces of jewellery to create one unique piece.
  • Increase the sparkle of an engagement or wedding ring by adding clear diamonds or colourful gems.
  • Reset stones by turning a necklace into earrings or vice versa.
  • Upgrade rings by opting for a different coloured metal for the band.

You might also want to decide whether repairing a piece of jewellery could turn it around instead of remodelling it completely. It all depends on the design you have in mind.

What About Remounting?

Remounting is also an option but not for all jewellery. Before you consider resetting your rings, evaluate the damage of any stones. Due to the various hardness ratings, some stones require extra care and attention to repair any scratches or dents.

Whether or not a stone will be difficult to remove should also be considered. If removal is complicated, it increases the cost and risk of damage. You should decide whether it’s worth it.

If you are unsure about what to do with a pre-loved piece, rather get a professional jeweller to evaluate it.

Overall, though, there is no need to throw away old pieces because the style is outdated or it’s slightly damaged. There is almost always a way to turn an old piece into something brand new that you can enjoy for years to come.