Fixing a timepiece is eventually necessary to keep your watch running well and keeping good time. The repair can range from a quick battery change on a quartz watch to a full overhaul of a fine automatic timepiece.
Here’s an overview of the different types of watch repairs and generally how much they might cost:
Quartz movements stop working when the battery dies, and you'll just need a new one. Pricing on a battery change ranges from as low as about $14 to upwards of $20 to $60 to reseal and pressure test a water resistant timepiece after switching out the battery.
A battery normally lasts between two and five years, depending on the type of watch, its size and the amount of energy it requires to operate the various functions. For example, a chronograph uses more energy than a watch that only displays the hours and minutes. Many quartz watches have an end-of-life (EOL) display. When the second hand begins to jump every four seconds, the battery needs changing.
New Bracelet or Band
Watches have either bands (typically leather, animal skin or a new material like rubber or carbon fiber) or bracelets (typically steel, gold, platinum or titanium).
When you decide to get a new band, you can replace it with a similar one or choose something different that also fits your particular model or taste. Replacement straps vary based on quality. It can typically start at $20 for a basic leather strap but can range all the way up to $500 the top Swiss brands.
Replacement bracelets are often more expensive and can range from $50 to $75 for a basic steel bracelet all the way up to $1,000, while gold and platinum bracelets can cost thousands of dollars depending on quality and weight.
Mechanical Watch Overhaul
The overhaul of a mechanical watch is an incredibly intricate process which involves taking apart the movement (the mechanical inside of the watch), washing all parts, replacing worn parts, oiling the movement, calibrating the time and resealing everything. Each watch takes many hours and brings the watch almost back to new especially if the overhaul includes the cleaning and polishing of the exterior of the watch as well.
An overhaul should come with a warranty for 1 to 2 years to ensure the timepiece continues functioning well from normal use. An overhaul’s cost ranges based on the manufacturer but for a fine Swiss timepiece, it typically starts at $200 but can go up to $1,000 or more for a vintage watch. A Rolex overhaul is usually around $750 with a range of $650 to $1,000.
The crystal is the clear, hard material that sits between you and the dial and hands of the watch. Fine timepieces have crystals made from synthetic sapphire while entry level watches often have acrylic crystals. Sometimes the crystal can be cracked or scratched after impact, but many times it can be easily replaced.
The cost of the replacement can range from $50 up to $250 or more for a replacement sapphire crystal from a fine Swiss manufacturer.
Other Watch Repairs
There are other minor fixes such as the replacement of the crown, changing the dial, replacing the hands, etc. The watch repair cost can truly range based on the brand and condition of the watch. If you require of these types of repairs, please bring the watch in for a consultation.