It’s hard to trust folks with our prides and joy. Our watches are our little ones, to be loved and protected, and stuffing them into a box and sending them to a stranger is kind of like sending our kids off to a camp where the counselors will take a knife to their innards.
About ten days ago I sent my Omega Seamaster Chrono to TotalWatchRepair.com for a full overhaul. This Reseda, California-based shop has been in business since 1979 and their MO is simple: you request a postage-paid box or send along your watch in a padded box. They check it out and send you an estimate (my Chrono needed $400 worth of work as it was running about 10 minutes slow a week and was pretty ratty to begin with) and then they do the work in 10 to 15 days. They offer a one year guarantee on all repairs.
According to the technicians, they dismantled the movement and cleaned the entire thing and then degreased the parts and case. It was then “properly lubricated with only the highest grade lubricants and oils while reassembling the watch” (which is nice to know). They continued
The problem, obviously, with mail-order repair shops is trust. The obvious options – authorized repair shops in your hometown and actual manufacturers’ repair shops – can often be too expensive but if you’ve spent a few thousand on a watch you probably want someone you can see face-to-face or the actual Swatch Group or Richemont repair folks looking at your baby.
However, for repairs like this one – a teardown, cleaning, and tuning – TotalWatchRepair is really stellar. First, most mom and pop repair shops have a long backlog and big manufacturers are abysmal when it comes to turnaround. Authorized repairs are expensive as heck – probably two hundred or so more than TRW charges.
In the end, it’s simply a matter of trust. This first-hand experience with the company has extremely pleasant and I’m happy my baby is in good hands. While I can’t vouch for more extensive repairs, if you’re looking for a new crystal, a nice tune up, or a general cleaning, these are the guys for you.