Can My Watch Still Be Repaired

Can My Watch Still Be Repaired?

It’s always disappointing when your favourite timepiece stops working. Not as disappointing as finding out it can’t be repaired at all though.

If your watch stops working, the best thing you can do is get it to a horologist as soon as possible. Wearing the watch once it stops working can cause further damage, so avoid doing this.

Whether or not it can actually be repaired still needs to be determined.

Watch Repairs – Beyond Repair or Not?

Who repairs your watch is the first factor that determines whether or not you can save your timepiece.

The good news is that even watches that date back to the 19th century are still working because they’re serviced on a regular basis. However, this entails taking the watch apart, cleaning and reassembling several hundred parts, which is why it requires the assistance of a professional.

There are a lot of online guides that explain how you can service your watch at home, but this is not recommended, particularly if your watches are investments. What’s more, watches need to be serviced and repaired in a clean environment to prevent dust from further damaging the parts.

Even though servicing a watch can keep it in good working order, some repairs are far more complex. And in some rare cases, watches can’t be repaired at all.

There are two instances when a watch could be beyond repair:

Water Damage – Once water enters a watch, it gradually rusts the parts that keep the timepiece working. In many instances, water can make a watch irreparable. Regularly servicing your watch ensures the seals keep water and dust out. Most seals tend to fail because of a lack of maintenance or due to at-home repairs.

Part Sourcing – When the internal mechanism or spring inside a watch is damaged, it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to source parts for older watches, which means there’s no other option than to replace the watch completely.

The Cost of Maintaining a Timepiece

Many people tend to put off repairs because of the perceived cost. However, what many don’t realise is that the cost of servicing a watch is often far less than having to send it in for repairs.

Naturally, certain watch brands and models are more costly to repair than others. However, there’s never a reason for a timepiece to get to the point where it can’t be repaired.

Regularly servicing a watch instead of waiting for it to stop working is still the most cost-effective solution available to you.

Possible Reasons Why Your Watch Has Stopped Working

Possible Reasons Why Your Watch Has Stopped Working

It’s not uncommon for a watch to suddenly stop working and there are several reasons why this might happen.

Sometimes, it’s something as simple as a flat battery that needs replacing. Other times, a watch stops working because there’s a problem with the internal mechanism.

Let’s look at some of the main reasons why people end up bringing their timepieces in for repairs.

Why Your Watch Might Have Stopped Functioning

  • Dirt and Dust Have Built-Up

When a watch isn’t serviced for an extended period of time, dirt and dust can end up affecting the internal components. To correct this issue, the individual parts need to be separated, cleaned and oiled by a professional. From there, your watch should start working as normal again.

  • There’s a Problem with the Automatic Winding Mechanism

There are a few reasons why a winding mechanism stops working correctly, forceful impact is one of the most common. Older watches can be challenging to repair because the winding mechanism can be difficult to source – it can also end up being a costly exercise depending on your watch brand.

  • A Loose Screw is Affecting the Internal Mechanism

It’s possible for a screw to come loose after years of regular hand movements, which ends up interfering with the internal mechanism. Engaging in activities such as golf or mountain biking can also gradually loosen screws within the watch. To correct this, the screw is first removed from the mechanism before it’s replaced and tightened.

  • Water Entered the Watch

It only takes a single drop of water to affect watch functionality. When exposed to liquid, the working parts begin to rust, which gradually prevents the timepiece from working. If the water damage is severe enough, it’s not always possible to repair the watch. Water usually enters a watch when the seals are defective, which is why they need to be checked regularly.

  • The Mainspring is Damaged

Clamping pressure and age can cause the mainspring to tear. Automatic watches are designed to stop unnecessary movements of the rotor, which prevents the spring from over-tightening. In older watches, it’s much easier to break the spring. If the mainspring is damaged, it needs to be replaced completely to get the watch to start working again.

Avoiding Common Watch Concerns

To avoid unnecessary repairs, it’s important to have your timepiece checked by a professional every year. These checks will ensure the watch is working as it should and that the seals are keeping the internal mechanism protected. In fact, the mechanism should be proofed every 5 years to avoid these common problems.

If damage occurs or your timepiece stops working, it’s recommended that you stop wearing it to avoid additional damage. Rather bring it straight to a watch professional for analysis and repair.

Make sure that wherever you take your watch to be repaired that they have experience with your specific watch brand.

If you’re wondering whether finding a professional to assist you with your repairs is really necessary, we suggest reading this blog.

Are Patek Philippe Timepieces a Sound Investment

Are Patek Philippe Timepieces a Sound Investment?

No matter what you’re investing in, there will be some degree of risk. Whether you’re investing in bonds or tangible objects such as a watch, it’s the risk that makes investing so lucrative.

Watches are a form of art on your wrist, but by purchasing the right brand and model, your timepiece can also be an investment.

What timepiece to invest in is a common debate amongst watch lovers, but Patek Philippe is one brand that always seems to crop up in these conversations.

A Look at the Patek Philippe Design

Patek Philippe is renowned for its engineering as well as it’s beautiful dial design and finishing details. Any diamonds that are placed are done so by hand, as is any enamel painting. Each watch’s in-house movements are created in Geneva, with each timepiece undergoing stringent quality checks.

It’s no wonder their watches take around 12 months to complete – some of their more complicated pieces take even longer.

The brand is also behind innovations such as the perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph and the minute repeater.

Overall, Patek Philippe is one watch brand that takes pride in bringing each customer a unique and memorable timepiece.

Investing in a Patek Philippe Timepiece

Rolex has become such a famous brand that it’s become a go-to option for first-time investors. In fact, you don’t even need to be interested in watches to know the name. Unfortunately, this means that Patek Philippe is often overlooked by new buyers.

This family-owned watch brand was founded in 1839 and to date, they have only produced around a million timepieces. With each watch taking at least a year to complete, it’s not difficult to understand why these timepieces start at around $20,000. Many of their other pieces cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010 is one of the most noticeable Patek watches. It sold for $31m at an auction in 2019, making it the most expensive watch to ever be sold on auction.

Historically, while Patek Philippe is not a brand that always springs to mind first, particularly amongst first-time investors, it has one of the best year-on-year performance records. This alone makes it a sound investment, not to mention the high-end engineering, exclusivity, and noteworthy heritage.

While many celebrities wear this watch as a day-to-day piece, most watch buyers purchase Patek Philippe timepieces as an investment. Their vintage pieces are particularly intricate, making them an ideal investment or family heirloom.

You will also be interested to know that every Patek Philippe watch is registered in their archives, making it that much easier to trace the history of the timepiece. The searchable extract is where you will find the date and time of production, as well as where the watch was originally sold.

In terms of where to purchase a Patek Philippe watch, it’s essential that you take the time to find a reputable dealer. If you are planning to buy from a private buyer, make sure that you know what to look out for to ensure it’s a genuine Patek Philippe timepiece.

Watch Investment Tips_Martins of Glasgow

7 Need-to-Know Watch Investment Tips

The right kind of watch kept in a good condition can end up with a high price tag over time. This is not to say that you should only invest to sell though – owning a unique or vintage watch can be priceless.

If you do want to go the route of investing in a timepiece, it is important to familiarise yourself with brands, models and how the watch valuation process works. Brand is certainly not everything though. Rarity, craftmanship and demand also play a role – discontinued watches are in particular demand.

Most people are familiar with brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe but demand for brands such as Omega, Tudor, Heuer and Panerai are on the rise.

Since modern watches are manufactured in larger quantities, the return on investment is not as sizeable – not now anyway.

Watches that tend to increase in value over the years are as close to their original condition as possible. Variations of an original model are not as valuable.

Let us get into a few top tips that will help you better understand how to invest in a timepiece or two.

Investing in Watches – 7 Pro Tips

1.Look at Brand Reputation

Watch brands that have impressive reputations are far more likely to sell for higher prices later on. Start by looking at the reputation of the watch brands you are considering before you take the next step.

2. Spend Time on Research

Next, spend time looking at watches that have increased in value over the years and consider why. By connecting the dots and looking at why a watch’s value has increased, you can identify similar characteristics in potential timepieces. Some watches just keep their value better than others, Rolex being one of these brands.

3. Mechanical is Better

Mechanical watches tend to have a longer lifespan. Even if a watch has obsolete parts, a professional watch repairer may be able to create identical parts or source similar parts that will keep the timepiece working as it should. Keep in mind that using generic instead of original parts can affect the value of a watch.

4. Limited Edition is Ideal

Limited edition watches almost always increase in value over time. Statement pieces are automatically more sought after and are easier to sell when you are ready to do so. However, you will need to keep the watch in excellent condition if you want it to fetch an impressive price.

5. Service Your Timepiece

The better the condition of the watch, the more valuable it is. If you are going to repair or service a watch, take it to someone who is reputable, qualified and has experience with your brands. If you are going to invest in a timepiece, do a little research to find a reputable repair centre.

6. Insure Your Timepiece

If you are going to spend a decent amount of money on a timepiece or two, make sure that it’s covered by your home insurer. Cover the watch against both theft and damage.  Martins of Glasgow are be able to offer advice with regards to insurance.

7. Practice Patience

If you are going to invest in a watch with the idea that the value will increase in a year or two after your purchase, you may want to reconsider. Most watches will only see a significant increase in value after 5 to 10 years. Investing in watches takes patience.

Investing in timepieces can be exciting and worthwhile. Just make sure that you are only purchasing your watches from reputable dealers. Take your time when making this kind of investment if you want to make it worth your time and money.

How to Remove Watch Links_Martins of Glasgow

A Basic Guide to Removing Watch Links

When a watch is first purchased, it’s usually adjusted to fit the wrist of the owner. However, if the owner changes, the links are damaged or the wearer gains or loses weight, the bracelet needs to be adjusted again.

Links can actually be damaged by wearing your watch too tightly to begin with. When a watch is too tight, it places strain on the links, which eventually causes them to break. The solution, adding and removing bracelet links.

The Ideal Bracelet Size

There really is no ideal bracelet size – it’s all about the preference of the owner. Basically, you want the bracelet to be loose enough for you to fit a pen, or similar object, between the watch and your wrist. This will indicate the watch is both secure and comfortable.

Watch Link Removal – A 5-Step Guide

If you feel confident enough to remove watch links at home, these are the steps you should follow:

  1. Measure the Bracelet of Your Watch

Instead of guessing how many links you should remove, measure your watch bracelet first. You can do this by putting your watch on as you normally would. Once you’re happy with its position and it feels comfortable, flip your wrist so that the clasp is facing you.

Next, start grabbing the slack of the bracelet until you’re holding enough links for the watch to feel comfortable on your wrist. The links between your fingertips will tell you how many you need to remove. If you’re not feeling entirely sure, rather start removing one or two at a time until you’re happy with the final fit. Removing links is easier than adding them back.

  1. Grab Your Tools

You will now need a pin pusher, small screwdriver and a hammer – the smaller the better. Find a flat surface that you can work on before you start removing any links.

  1. Start Removing the Necessary Links

Every watch is designed slightly differently in terms of the bracelet so removing links might be different too. Here are some general instructions that you can follow to remove the links:

  • To start, place your watch in your left hand to remove the spring bar on the left of your watch clasp
  • Using the pin pusher, lever the spring bar out. The spring bar is the small bar that holds your watch bracelet in place
  • Next, look out for the arrows on the bracelet links you want to remove. The arrows will show you where to insert the pin pusher tool. Once the pin appears on the other end of the link, pull it out and the link will detach
  • Keep repeating this process to remove all necessary links. Just be sure to remove the links on both sides of the clasp and remove an even number on either side. This is what will keep your watch face centred
  1. Put the Watch Bracelet Back Together

Now you can start putting the pins back in to complete your watch bracelet. To do this, find the arrows again and push the pins in the opposite directions. You may need to use a hammer to tap the pins back in securely.

  1. Reattach the Clasp

Lastly, you will need to reattach the clasp by replacing the spring bar.

DIY or Professional Help?

While removing links from a watch is not overly complex, if you’re worried about damaging your timepiece or don’t have the tools to get the job done, you may want to get help from a professional. Contact us if you require any type of assistance with your favourite timepiece.

Watch Water Resistence_Martins of Glasgow

Water-Resistant Watches: An Easy-to-Understand Guide

Water-resistance is one of the primary features that watch lovers look for when shopping around for a new or second-hand timepiece. We come into contact with water on a daily basis and buying a water-resistant watch ensures your favourite timepiece won’t be ruined.

Watches that are water-resistant will have a specific rating, which indicates what you can and can’t do with it. Let’s get into the specifics.

Water-Resistant Watches vs. Waterproof Watches

No watch is 100% waterproof, which is why the majority of watches are labelled as water-resistant and have a metre rating.

The difference between a water-resistant timepiece and one that is waterproof is linked to how much water it can be exposed to before it breaks. This aside, almost any watch will break if it’s placed under enough water pressure.

There are a handful of waterproof watches available though, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge being one of them. Even this watch can’t go below 12,000 metres though.

If you want to shop around for a waterproof watch, you might be looking around for a while. Rather look for a good water-resistant piece.

Understanding the Rating of a Water-Resistant Watch

Water-resistant watches will have a depth rating and each watch will be different, depending on the brand and model you choose.

What many people don’t know is that the depth rating is not full proof. It merely means that a watch can be used at its maximum depth for a short period of time. For example, a watch with a depth rating of 100M, can probably only be used a fraction of that rating.

Here’s an idea of what you can and can’t do with your watch based on its water-resistance rating.

  • 50M/165 ft: The most you can do is shower with the watch.
  • 100M/330 ft:You can swim with the watch but only in shallow water.
  • 300M/1000 ft:You can swim in deep water or scuba dive with this watch.
  • 1000M/3000 ft:The watch is ideal for deep sea diving.

If your watch is not water-resistant, it can’t even be exposed to water when cleaning it. The more water-resistant a watch is, the smaller it will be.

Caring for Your Water-Resistant Watch

Once you’ve purchased a water-resistant watch, here’s how you can extend its life:

  • Have the battery changed by a professional. If you have a water-resistant watch, let a professional change the battery so that the seal can be checked. If the seal malfunctions, water will ruin your watch.
  • Rinse your watch after swimming in saltwater. If you’re planning to dive or swim in the sea, rinse your watch in freshwater and dry it thoroughly afterwards. Corrosive salt can ruin your watch if it builds up.
  • Watch your leather strap. If your timepiece has a leather strap, remember that it’s not very resistant to water, so you may want to keep exposure to a minimum.
  • Steam is not ideal. Even if your watch is water-resistant, it’s best to take it off before spending time in a hot sauna. The heat can cause the seal to expand, which will compromise the watch’s protection.

If you notice any water droplets inside your watch, take it to a repair centre as soon as you can. Depending on the extent of the damage, some watches can still be salvaged if water got into the internal mechanisms.

Signs Your Watch is Magnetised_Martins of Glasgow

How to Tell If Your Watch is Magnetised

Magnetism is an issue that affects mechanical watches. A significant change in timing is a clear sign that your watch could be magnetised. A watch that started out by running a few seconds faster per day can start running hours faster per day if it’s magnetised.

How Does a Watch Get Magnetised?

It’s actually very easy for a watch to become magnetised. Most of what you do during a normal day as the potential to cause this issue.

For one, appliances and electronic devices can slowly start to magnetise a mechanical watch, including microwaves and computers. Basically, any device that has a strong magnetic field has the ability to magnetise a watch. A watch’s balance spring is the component that’s usually responsible for most of the magnetism.

When a balance spring is magnetised, it causes the watch to oscillate faster, which is when a change in time occurs.

Signs Your Watch is Magnetised

There are two ways that you can tell whether your phone is magnetised. The first is a compass and the second is an application called Lepsi.

If you happen to have a compass at home, set it on a flat table and hold your watch over it. If your watch causes the needle of the compass to move, it’s magnetised.

The Lepsi app is currently only available for iOS. There is an app called Kello for Android devices but it isn’t known to work very well.

If you have an iOS device, download the Lepsi app – it’s completely free. The app provides clear instructions on how to set up the magnetic sensor. Once you start the sensor, place the watch about 1cm away – be sure not to touch the screen. The app will then tell you whether magnetism has been detected.

What to Do If Your Watch is Magnetised

If your watch is magnetised, you will need to fix it. The first option is to send it off to a repair centre such as Martins of Glasgow. It only takes several minutes to demagnetise a watch and it’s an affordable repair too.

The other option is to purchase your own equipment. A demagnetiser is inexpensive but it’s only worthwhile if you have several mechanical watches and want to ensure you can fix them at home whenever you need to. A demagnetiser is also very easy to use. You simply press a button while your watch is placed on top of it.

Do Anti-Magnetic Watches Exist?

Yes, there are several brands that have taken steps to reduce the effects of magnetic fields on their timepieces. One method is to protect the mechanics of the watch with a metal cage. Most of the time this cage is made from soft iron, which keeps the magnetism away from the internal mechanisms. The other way to reduce the effects is to build parts using non-iron materials, which can’t be magnetised as easily.

If you’re interested in purchasing an anti-magnetic watch, Rolex and Omega are two brands that make them. If you already have a collection of watches you love, magnetism isn’t a cause for concern and can easily be corrected.

Cleaning a Stainless Steel Watch_Martins of Glasgow

Cleaning a Stainless-Steel Watch: Simple & Effective Tips

Stainless steel is a common type of metal used to create elegant timepieces and while this is a resilient metal, it does still need some TLC on a regular basis.

To keep your watch looking good and prevent damage to the internal workings, it’s important to keep it clean.

Without regular cleaning, stainless steel can start to look dull. The links of the watch bracelet can also start to collect dirt and dust over time. All of this can lead to wear and sometimes, corrosion. Even if you made a point of purchasing a waterproof watch, sweating and frequent water exposure can cause the watch to rust gradually.

Caring for Your Stainless-Steel Watch: How Often is Enough?

If you tend to wear your watch on most days, giving it a good clean once a month should be more than enough. If you really wanted to be more efficient, you could even give your timepiece a quick wipe before you go to bed at night.

This will help get rid of any sweat and lotions that may have accumulated over the course of the day. By giving your watch a daily wipe with a soft cloth, the monthly clean will be that much easier.

While it is possible to clean your watch at home, it’s advisable to get a professional to service it every few months or at least once a year. A professional can not only get rid of stubborn scratches but ensure the inside of your watch is working as it should.

Tips for Caring for Your Stainless-Steel Watch at Home

  • Use a soft cloth for general wipe downs

Having a soft cloth at home will ensure you can remove dirt and dust on a daily or weekly basis. A microfiber cloth is the best option as it will scratch your watch the least. Overall, the finer your cloth is, the better it will remove any grime.

  • Soak your watch in warm soap water (if it’s water resistant)

If your watch is water resistant, you can give it a brief soak in some warm soapy water to loosen up any dirt. It’s essential that the water is lukewarm though. Water that is too hot can cause the metal to expand and water to reach the internal parts of the timepiece. Anything that’s hotter than 35 degrees Celsius is a no-go. Once you’ve soaked the watch, use your soft cloth to remove any grime. If your watch is not water resistant, you should just soak the stainless-steel bracelet.

  • Give the bracelet a good scrub

Next, use an old toothbrush to get into the smaller gaps in the watch bracelet. Just don’t apply too much pressure as this can cause unnecessary scratches. If you’re happy with the appearance of the watch, rinse it under some clean water to get rid of any remaining soap.

  • Time to dry and shine

Once you’ve rinsed your watch, pat it dry with a soft towel or cloth. Another way to dry your watch is to wear it. The heat from your wrist will easily dry up any moisture that remains in between the links of the bracelet. Finally, if you have a glass cleaner at home, you should give your watch face a clean too – a soft cloth is still the only thing you should be using for this. Some people choose to remove the bracelet completely in order to shine it up but if you’ve never done this before, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Cleaning your stainless-steel watch at home is as simple as that. If you are unsure about whether your watch is waterproof or not, rather take your timepiece in for a professional cleaning.

Professional Watch Repairs_Martins of Glasgow

Watch Repairs: Is a Pro Really Necessary?

Whether you received a watch as a gift, invested in a timeless classic or you wear a basic watch on a day-to-day basis, it deserves a little TLC.

Having your watch serviced or repaired might seem like a simple enough job, so why is it really necessary to get a professional involved – let’s take a closer look.

Watch Repairs: The Usual Suspects

So, what are the most common watch repairs and can you do them at home? Let’s start with a battery replacement – this is by far one of the most common types of repairs. A battery is easy enough to replace but whether or not this should be done at home is dependent on the watch. Many watches, particularly those that are waterproof, need to be professionally resealed after any type of repair, including battery replacement. Other types of repairs include water damage, strap replacement and glass replacements. Again, you could attempt these at home but there’s a very high chance you’ll end up damaging your watch for good.

Watch repairs and servicing are delicate procedures and require specific knowledge on the inner workings of a timepiece. Every little piece is a working part and without the right equipment, you could end up having to get rid of a treasured watch.

What You Can Do at Home

Professionals recommend that if you really value your favourite timepiece, the most you should do is give it a wipe down on a regular basis. This will keep the outside as free of dirt and grime as possible until your next service.

It should also be said that if you do decide to pry open the back of your watch to replace the battery, you’re potentially exposing the delicate parts to dirt and dust. If this happens, you’re more than likely going to end up needing to take it to a professional anyway.

There are also ways to remove scratches from the face of your watch if they’re minor.

One of the easiest ways to work out minor scratches is to use a bright light, masking tape, toothpaste and a soft cloth. First, cover up the bezel of the watch using narrow masking tape. Next, place the watch under a bright light so that you can clearly see the scratches. Place a small spot of toothpaste on your finger and gently rub it across the face of the watch. Leave the toothpaste to set for a few minutes before using a soft cloth to remove it and polish the face. Use gentle, circular motions.

Choosing the Right Professional

Too many watch professionals end up dealing with botched repairs because the owner shopped around according to price and not expertise. If you see your timepiece as an investment, you should always find a watch repair shop that has proven experience with your specific make and model.

Watch Repairs_Martins of Glasgow

A Basic Guide to the Different Types of Watch Repairs

A watch is an intricate device that’s designed to be accurate every second of every day. Maintaining this synchronicity requires regular maintenance but not every watch repair is as simple as changing the battery.

We outline some of the most common types of watch repairs that can be undertaken.

Watch Repairs: What Is and Isn’t Possible

  • Battery replacement. One of the most obvious reasons why a watch stops working is because the battery has died. Changing the battery means the watch case will need to be opened. If you have a waterproof timepiece, it will need to be professionally resealed and pressure tested.
  • Strap replacement. Any type of strap can either be replaced or repaired. Metal straps can be refinished and polished to look new. If the strap is leather and has experienced severe wear and tear, it will need to be replaced completely.
  • Water damage. Watches and moisture don’t mix. If your timepiece has been exposed to water and is left untreated, it will eventually rust both inside and out. If rust ends up damaging most of the internal parts, it can result in quite a costly repair bill. If your watch has been exposed to water, there may be droplets on the inside of the glass. To prevent water damage, make sure that your crown is never un-screwed when you submerge your watch in water. Naturally, if it isn’t waterproof, don’t submerge it in water at all.
  • Crown replacement. The crown is what is used to adjust the date and time of a watch. The stem is directly connected to the smaller internal parts of the watch. If it becomes loose or hard to turn, it’s best to get it repaired or replaced. Along with it falling off or being difficult to use, if you hear a rattling noise, it could also be a sign that the crown needs attention.
  • Glass replacement. The glass face is what protects all of the inner mechanisms of the watch from dust, moisture and general damage. It’s not uncommon for the glass to become scratched over time, which can affect the general appearance of your timepiece. At some point or another, the face of your watch will probably need to be replaced.
  • Dial and hand replacement. It is possible for the dial and hands to become damaged over time. If or when this does happen, the timepiece will need to be opened in order for this to be replaced.
  • Mechanical overhaul. This is a very intricate repair process that requires several hours. The aim is to get the watch back to its “good as new” state. In most instances, a manual overhaul will provide your watch with a warranty of at least 1 year. During an overhaul, the entire watch is dismantled, which means the internal mechanism is removed and all parts of cleaned and oiled. Once the timepiece has been rebuilt, the seals will be replaced and any necessary pressure tests will be carried out.

These are the main types of watch repairs that you can request for your favourite watches. If your timepieces are investments, it’s essential that you always take them to a reputable repairer. Be sure to look at their experience and what past customers have to say.