Vintage Gold Watches London has built some considerable experience in servicing, repair and restoration, through buying hundreds of vintage watches each year and restoring them to the very high standards you see on this website. This involves completely dismantling a watch for cleaning and close examination, replacing parts with genuine originals, rebuilding and then testing and calibration. Almost always, the dial and case will also require professional restoration. We only buy in the best quality watches we can find, however our customers will often provide us with watches in quite poor states of repair and in need of some serious restoration work. This is quite often a watch which has been passed on from father to son, or it may have been grandpa’s watch which has remained in the back of a drawer for many years and become part of his estate. Sentimental reasons aside, it is almost always worthwhile to repair and restore a vintage watch and as long as the watch has not been too badly damaged through corrosion or abuse. In some cases, minor miracles can be achieved in the hands of our experts in bringing good quality vintage watches, back to life!
We will always be happy to service your vintage watch if it is one of the brands in which we specialise i.e. Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC or Zenith. Our watchmaker will be pleased to service other high quality brands, but please enquire in advance. A full service on a vintage automatic watch costs £245.00 including service parts. A manual watch will be £195.00.
In more detail, repairs and restoration may involve any or all of the following:-
The Movement – It is often surprising just how long a high quality Swiss watch movement will last. The answer is, with care and regular servicing, almost indefinitely. This is not only because Swiss watches have always been so very well made, but there is almost always a good supply of parts available for replacement, so it is well worth keeping your watch properly serviced as this will prevent the lubrication from drying out on critical parts of the watch, therefore prolonging the life of the parts and so the watch.
The Case – Surface scratches will occur with use and are usually no problem as these can often be removed without any loss of definition to the case. Deep scratches and engravings are far more difficult to repair / restore, but can be repaired by a specialist wristwatch case-maker. If the case is in very good original condition and has never been polished, it is better to clean the case and not polish it, in order to retain the original look and feel of the watch.
The Case-Back – Unwanted engravings can be successfully removed, again by a specialist case-maker. The results can be dramatic with no loss of thickness of the gold. However this is highly skilled work and an estimate can only be provided when we have inspected the case-back.
Lugs – Where the strap or bracelet fixes to the case, one of the four lugs can become damaged or even break away, but this can be repaired.
The Dial – Scratched, pitted and mottled dials can be restored or ‘refinished’ to a very high standard. If the best dial restorers are used, the results are often spectacular and as good as new. However, this again can be expensive and if the dial is in good condition, it may be better to leave the dial alone to retain the originality of the watch. *Please see our FAQs and call us for further advice on this.
The Hands/Winding Crown – Over many years, hands and winding crowns are often replaced with generic crowns. We can usually source period hands/crowns but these can be scarce and expensive.
The Lens – While scratched acrylic lenses can be polished, we prefer to replace. A little more expensive, but in our opinion, well worthwhile.
To summarise, the restoration of a valuable vintage gold watch can be expensive, but almost always worthwhile. The cost is usually less than the value added to the watch and perhaps more importantly, you will be bringing back to life something which will always be treasured and enjoyed for generations to come!
Please contact us for an approximate estimation which will always be confirmed, once we have examined your watch.
* * * Price Guide Jan 2017 * * *
Watch Full Service: Includes fully stripping down a watch, cleaning and close examination, checking for signs of wear and replacing where necessary with original parts, reassembly and testing. With 12 months warranty included.
Hand wound watch : £195:00 Automatic watch : £245:00 Chronograph: £395:00
Dial Restoration: Restoring to the original specification by the U.K.’s top dial restorer. £345.00
Case Restoration: Cleaning and polishing by one of the U.K.’s top case-makers, to remove or repair damage for example, caused by attempts to remove the case-back using an incorrect tool, or impact to the case. £295.00
Replacement Lens: £ 75.00
Replacement Strap: As an example, a good quality padded, crocodile leather strap in your choice of colour.£ 95.00
Kindly note all the above prices are estimates only.
Valuation: We recommend while we have your watch, you opt for a written valuation for insurance purposes.This can be provided for £ 35.00
In order to proceed, please contact us, prior to sending us your watch so that we may book and schedule the work.
Regarding delivery, we recommend you keep all original presentation boxes and paperwork and simply use plenty of bubblewrap to wrap around the watch before placing it into a stout cardboard or a spare Tupperware container which we will later return to you. We recommend you to use Royal Mail Special Delivery to send the watch to us using the Next Day by 1pm service and request maximum insurance which will be £2,500. The total including postage and insurance will be no more £12.00. The size and weight of the parcel will not affect the price by more than a few pence. If your watch is worth more than £2,500 simply let us know and we will include the delivery on our insurance which will cover the value of the watch up to £10,000.
Please let us know when we may expect your watch. We will then confirm safe arrival and be in touch again shortly after to confirm the work to be carried out and provide an estimate.