Decoding the cost of maintenance of a wrist watch


Watches are the men’s best friend! But when purchasing a watch, servicing and maintenance is seldom part of the decision making process.

Most will consider the brand recognition, the prestige that comes from wearing branded watches, the inclination over a mechanical movement Vs a quartz, the design of the watch and of course the price!

Not all can manage or wish to burn through thousands of USD / EUR into a luxury timepiece!

While in particular of these variables are obviously significant, many watch owners sometimes discover with astonishment the repair or servicing cost that comes with it.

Similarly to a luxury car, the repair and maintenance can bring their share of surprises but unlike cars, the vast majority don’t consider the expense of the servicing when it boils down to watches.


How often is servicing needed?

Well, there is no straight answer, but we will try to shade some lights: Firstly, it relies mostly on your movement. Quartz or Mechanical?

Most quartz movements (with the exception of the Kinetic movement), the battery requires to be changed at regular intervals: usually 2 years. As a general rule, this activity can be accomplished effectively and at sensible expense.

Be that as it may, opening the back case of your watch will also entail changing the gasket to ensure water resistance is preserved. In addition, some brands also recommend servicing the movement.

What does that mean: Like a car engine needs oil, your watch movement require lubrication as well.

After a few years, the oil loses its propriety and thickens. It is thus advised to clean the old oil and replace it with new one.

In comparison, the recommendation for a mechanical watch servicing is 4 to 5 years. Similarly, the same typology of servicing applies.


Looking at the breakdown of regular servicing (Men’s watch or Women’s watch):

Change of battery – (Quartz only)

Replacing the gaskets (Crown + Back Case + Crystal)

Movement cleaning (requires more time for automatic watches) and change of oil

Cleaning and polishing of the case / bracelet (optional = approx. 200 – 300 USD/ EUR)

Test of water Resistance

Test of accuracy (mechanical movement only)

Shipping to / from the Service Center


While any decent watchmaker can perform these operations, it may be more problematic to obtain the replacement gasket / parts by the brands.

Why is servicing so expensive?

The more complex is the movement, the more costly it will be: a Chronograph automatic watch will be more costly to service than a regular classic watch with 3 hands date.

For a long time, repair and maintenance used to be an afterthought for the brands. The Swiss watch industry, in the mid-2000, started realizing that this was a strategic aspect of the business they had neglected for years.

It progressively became a key ingredient to their business and have decided to treat the servicing as a profit center. They started limiting the number of points of repairs / servicing so as to impose higher cost of maintenance on their watches, supplying only their authorized repair network with spare parts.


The cost of servicing your watch has now become progressively expensive. It is not uncommon that brands require to ship the watch to their HQ for the servicing, even for a regular servicing.

When adding the polishing, your maintenance cost can easily amount to 700 – 1000 USD / EUR

The cost of servicing for most Swiss brands (even for the entry price range brands) is on average 400 – 700 USD / EUR.  This sum can sometimes represent half of the price of the watch!! And this is without any potential repair cost in the event they discover that some parts need to be replaced once the watch is open.

Evidently, the higher the retail price of the watch, the higher the cost of servicing so for famous brands the servicing of mechanical watches climb to 800 – 1500 USD/EUR on average.

One more miserable perspective to this servicing business is the time necessary for the brands to service your watch. It can easily take between 2 to 3 months.


What if I don’t service my watch?

Not servicing your watch properly and regularly will result in its early retirement. Numerous things can occur:

  • Water may enter the mechanism = replacing the movement, the dial, the hands, etc.… $$$$
  • Some part of the movement will wear out = parts may break and movement parts or the entire movement will need to be changed. $$$$

Many watch owners have have ruled against the maintenance of their watch which is now resting in a drawer of their dresser or night table. Often broken.


The story of TEKNON and SEIKO

 TEKNON uses only SEIKO automatic movements in all our watches: NH35 for our Classic Master, NE20 for our Reserve Master & NE88 for our Sports Master.

The choice of a Japanese SEIKO movement was part of our strategy. We wanted to offer a balance between quality and price. So we offer the best automatic watch under 500 and the best automatic Chronograph watch under 1500 USD/ EUR!

We will not debate here between the Swiss Movement Vs Japanese Movement and will keep that hot topic for another time. However, we can provide you with a quick over overview:

While Swiss-made watches are still considered to be the highest standard of quality due to their hand assembly watchmaking process, the Japanese movement is mostly assembled by an animated robotics line, hence leading to a lesser margin for human error.

The Japanese approach revolves around efficiency and functionality. These watches are built with precision and effectiveness at the forefront, with aesthetics as a more secondary thought.

Japanese SEIKO movements are thus as robust or precise as their Swiss counterparts. SEIKO movements have an excellent reputation, are solidly built and can be serviced by any watchmaker.


So how does TEKNON compare to these Swiss brands on servicing?

We understand your watch is important to you.

Since SEIKO movements are common, most watchmakers are familiar with them. In addition, we do NOT have any restriction on our spare parts. All watchmakers can order them from us.

In addition, TEKNON has decided to only charge the actual servicing cost WITHOUT any margin. Thus, reestablishing this maintenance as a reel service to our customers.

We do not charge an inflated price on our parts.

Since Automatic SEIKO movements are less costly to produce than mechanical Swiss Made movements, in the event of repairs, the cost will also be affordable.

At last but not least, our modular concept allows you to replace your case. While Swiss Brands charge a hefty fee for polishing, at TEKNON, you can just buy a new case (starting @ 70 USD/EUR). And there is no need to send us your watch!

Alternatively, you can select to get your case polished by your jeweler, the disassembly of the watch / movement being unnecessary.



So tell us how does that sound to you?

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