FAQ’s

Are you qualified to work on my timepiece?

Ryan Fox, your watchmaker, has received the finest training available.   He has achieved three elite certifications:

  • CW21 (Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century)                                                     Awarded by The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute.  The AWCI has established professional standards for American Watchmakers.     A detailed description of the meticulous and demanding requirements to achieve the CW21 certification can be found on the AWCI website.
  • SAWTA (Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance)                                            A Rolex sponsored training and certification program in the care, maintenance and repair of ultra-fine and high-end watches.
  • WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training Educational Program)                       An internationally recognized  Swiss certification of the Professional Watchmaker in all aspects of watchmaking skills.

Those knowledgeable about Horology, will recognize these professional and highly valued certifications.

Less than 3% of American Watchmakers have achieved all three.

 

What are your shop hours?

Our shop is open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 am to 530 pm.

Ryan is in the shop from 10 am to 3 pm.
Ryan’s hours begin early in the morning before the shop opens to the public.

If the shop is open on Saturday, it will be the 2nd Saturday of the month, 10am-2pm.  Please call to confirm that we will be in the shop that Saturday.

The shop is closed on the other Saturdays since we are out on house calls for Grandfather clocks.

We are closed on Sundays.

 

How do I know that my timepiece is safe?

Our shop is under 24 hour monitoring for intrusion along with video surveillance recording and alarm.  We have a jewelers safe for the watches.

If an intrusion occurs the police are called and immediately dispatched.  The police station is less than a mile away and officers will arrive quickly.

We have professional jewelers insurance for coverage of both clocks and watches.

 

How much will it cost to fix my clock or watch?

The cost will vary depending on what problems your watch or clock has.  Each repair is unique.  A quote will be given before any work is started.

If additional issues are discovered that would significantly affect the original estimate, then we will contact you before proceeding with the repair.

Visit the web page on “Clock Repair” for specific pricing on house-calls for Grandfather clocks.

Our minimum fee is $15.64 plus tax =$17.00

 

Why do some clocks or watches take longer than expected to repair?

The simple answer is Supply and Demand.

The best qualified professional is one person (limited supply) with clients waiting in line for his services (high demand.)

There are only so many hours in a day (limited supply) and multiple jobs requiring several repair hours (high demand.)

There are fewer and fewer watchmakers in the United States.

Out of the available watchmakers, 97% don’t have the certifications that Ryan has achieved.   This makes him a very rare professional (limited supply) in the watchmaking industry and highly sought after (high demand) for his expertise.

Your clock or watch will benefit from his unique knowledge and specialized training in receiving a professional repair.

He can only work so many hours in a day.  A challenging watch or clock may take several hours to repair.

He takes the time to get to know your timepiece and to let it “talk” to him.  This helps him to understand it’s oddities.   Then the repair work begins.

This is a profession that demands analysis, methodical procedures, precise workmanship and patience.

To do his best work, Ryan does not rush through the job.

This gives the customer the satisfaction of knowing that their timepiece has received the best possible service and has been repaired correctly.

Isn’t that what you want?

Please be advised that we are currently 2 – 8 months out for major repairs or overhauls for clocks and mechanical watches.

Common repairs can take from 2 to 5 weeks to complete due to the backlog of work in the shop ahead of you.

Please go to our web page entitled, About Our Shop – a “must read” to find out why there is such a long wait and why customers still keep coming in and leaving their timepieces with us to be repaired.

Your timepiece receives the attention and the quality of work it deserves when it’s turn comes.

The quality of the job is remembered long after the day your clock or watch was finally finished.

 

What watch brand do you recommend?

We promote and market the Mallard brand of watch.  It is an independent watch brand designed by a watchmaker for watchmakers to sell with confidence.  It is not mass marketed but only found in watchmaker shops.

The Mallard watch has features of high-end watches but sells in the price range of $170 – $350.

They are water resistant with most having a screw-down crown.  The watch case is stainless steel including the case back.  All crystals are made of sapphire glass which is highly scratch resistant.

These watches carry a 1 year warranty, have repair parts easily available to us and offers you a “design your own style” of some styles.

They have a high quality Swiss quartz movement.  They are built to last and look good at the same time.

Come to our shop to see samples.

Before you purchase a watch, find out if the maker of that watch will sell original repair parts to an independent watchmaker.

You’ll be shocked to find out how restrictive some watch companies are about this situation.  You may buy a watch, only to find out you have to send it into the service center for an expensive repair.

 

Can I bring my Grandfather clock to your shop for repair?   

Do not bring your Grandfather clock to our shop.  We provide “house calls” to inspect and adjust as needed.  Many times the clock may need a simple adjustment to start running again.

However, some clocks have problems that require the movement being taken into the shop for a detailed diagnosis and repair.

Please see the Clock Repair page for general pricing on repairs and for specific pricing on house-calls for Grandfather clocks.

 

Can you give estimates over the phone? 

Not really.   We need to examine the timepiece to give an accurate estimate.

 

Do you repair clock cases?

We can do minor clock case repair and touch-up.  However, we do not do major case damage repair or restoration.  Our specialty is repairing the clock movement.  We suggest you contact a cabinet maker to do your major case repairs.

 

What is a watch overhaul?

A watch overhaul includes cleaning, oiling, adjusting, testing for water resistance if applicable, replacing gaskets, and replacing damaged parts if necessary.

 

How many lubricants are used in servicing watches or clocks?

We use up to six types of special lubricants. We do not recommend trying to oil a clock or watch by yourself with whatever you have around the house.

PLEASE— NEVER USE WD-40 ON YOUR CLOCK.

 

How do I set the hands of my mechanical  clock?

To set the time, a safe method for mechanical clocks is to always move the minute hand clockwise one-quarter turn and wait for the chiming to finish before moving to the next quarter turn.  Do this when changing to  Day-Light-Savings Time.

You can stop the clock, wait until the desired time elapses, then gently move the minute hand clockwise until the desired time is reached.  Do this when changing to  Standard Time.

Do not turn any hands backwards.  Do not turn the hour hand, only the minute hand clockwise.

For quartz (battery powered) clocks, there is no need to move the hands.  On the back of the movement itself, is a small dial.  Turn the dial clockwise to move the hands.

 

Do you guarantee water resistance of my watch?

We are unable to guarantee water resistance of a watch because of conditions beyond our control.

Dropping the watch, re-opening the case to look inside, tampering with the mechanics, pushing buttons while under water, forgetting to screw the crown down tight….are some of the ways to void the water resistance of your watch.

If we overhaul your watch and it is labeled as “water resistant,” we do perform a water resistance test to confirm that the seals and gaskets are installed correctly.

Many watch companies recommend that the gaskets be changed every 3 years or sooner.

If you want a guarantee that your watch meets water resistance standards as when first manufactured, then send it into a service center for this service.

Watches that are continually exposed to hot soapy water, shampoo, detergent, chlorine,  hot tubs, saunas or exposing your watch to drastic changes in temperature, etc.,  can accelerate the deterioration of the gaskets and in time can destroy the water resistance.

Watches are not labeled “water proof” anymore, only “water resistant.”  Search the internet for more information about the different classifications of water resistance.

If a watch is labeled with a water resistance of  “100 meters,” that does not mean you can dive with it down to 100 meters.  It means a watch can resist the pressure from the weight of a column of static water, 1-cm square and 100 meters tall.

This means that water sport activities may have water striking the watch with such force that it may exceed the pressure described above for a “100 meter” watch, thus allowing water to enter the watch.

 

Why doesn’t my watch or clock keep perfect time?

It depends on the original quality of the watch.  Better quality watches keep better time.  All parts wear and can affect maintaining proper time.  That is why timepieces need proper and regular maintenance by a professional.  Digital  watches will be the most accurate, followed by Quartz and then Mechanical.

If a mechanical watch has a 99.9% accuracy, then on day 11 it will be 15 minutes off.  Watches that are at 99.998% accuracy (the highest % that only a few watch companies will certify)  will only be a few seconds off on day 11.

It has been estimated, that if a mechanical wall clock has a 99.9% accuracy, then on day 11 it will be 6 minutes off.

As you can see, the timepiece must be almost perfect in order to keep near perfect time.

 

Why won’t you work on my clock or watch?

We will not accept every watch or clock for repair.

A sample of these are listed below:

There may be some antique clocks and vintage watches that we will decline to work on and would encourage you to seek out repair shops that specialize in those type of timepieces.

We have decided to not work on watch or clock movements from China.  The quality of the movements are inconsistent.  We have found burrs, metal filings, parts out of alignment and generally poor fabrication.

We will only change the battery or size the band of replica watches.  There are so many replica Rolex, Omegas and other high priced brands being copied, that it is a serious situation in the world of watches.  We will not repair these type of watches since they are a fraud and harm the true value of high quality watches.

Small clocks with plastic parts would cost more to repair than buying a new one.  We will encourage you to “treat” yourself and buy a new clock.

At this time we are not working on Atmos clocks.

We do not work on vintage automobile clocks.  These clocks have a low quality movement and were not designed to be rebuilt.

We have decided to not work on aviation timers or clocks.

There will be electric clocks that we will not work on since some electrical components are no longer available.

There are some repairman found on the internet that are willing to work on the type of clocks or watches we may decline.

 

Do you do restoration work?

We don’t do restoration work.  We don’t have the time to do that type of work and few customers want to pay for the amount of time needed to have the work done.

There is a difference between restoration and repair.

Repair work is bringing the timepiece to functional working order using easily obtainable parts.

Restoration is bringing the timepiece to functional working order using original parts, mainsprings, screws, or searching for suitable replacement parts, etc.

To restore an item, takes a shocking about of time to find needed parts from that time period or fabrication of the part required.

There are restoration people around that will do a fine job, but be prepared to compensate them for their efforts.

 

We are not perfect.

We do our best to do the job correctly the first time.  But we do make mistakes.  There have been times when a job gets very ugly and turns into a sad ending for the customer and us.  These instances are far and few between, but they can happen.  An honest effort is made so that the outcome is fair for both sides.

 

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