September 1, 2003
Fine watches are more than great accessories: They’re investments that can become heirlooms. As one watch manufacturer’s advertising slogan states, you never actually own it; “you merely look after it for the next generation.” That’s why after-sale servicing of your timepiece is critical to its longevity.
Robert Gooden, 48, has worked many years with his father’s self-titled business, Walter Gooden Inc., a 27-year-old service center contracted on several watch brands. The company serviced Rolex watches for 21 years and currently services Breitling, many Swatch Group brands, Bvlgari, and Eterna/Porsche among others. If your watch needs repair, Gooden says there are several servicing factors to consider:
Authorized after-sales service: Always send your watch to the service center contracted to service that particular brand, especially since servicing could take up to several months. “Even for a simple battery change,” explains Gooden. “A local servicer may not have the proper tools, materials, and/or expertise [to do something like change] the watch case’s rubber gaskets, which keep it waterproof. An authorized servicer is backed by the watch company, knows factory specified procedures for facilitating the repair, and will have the parts. Plus, they can guarantee their workmanship.” The watch company may do its own servicing; check the owner’s manual.
Manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule: This can usually be found in the owner’s manual. Mechanical watches require full servicing every three to four years to maintain peak accuracy and water- resisting qualities, offers Gooden. Quartz analogs require basic servicing when the batteries are changed, approximately every two years. “By the second or third battery change, you may need full servicing,” says Gooden. A full digital quartz needs almost no servicing, just battery changes.
Perrelet continues a tradition of watch making that dates back to 1777 with the Platinum 21. An automatic timepiece with double rotor (the upper rotor in white gold), platinum case, and hand-made alligator strap, this limited edition costs approximately $23,000. For more information, visit their Website, www.perrelet.com.
Sending an SOS
Unscrew the cap of the Breitling Emergency, deploy the helical antenna to its maximum length, and you can transmit a signal to a local search and rescue station via satellite that will initiate an aircraft search and rescue. It’s the first of its kind, for emergencies only. False alarm fines could cost you more than the watch ($3,500).
A perfect, jeweled dress watch, this Patek Philippe is elegant and understated. This classic timepiece is adorned with 32 baguette diamonds on the case and 232 on the bracelet — all Top Wesselton stones and all hand set. Available in white or yellow gold ($65,800).