The repair of a high-quality mechanical watch should always be carried out by an experienced and competent watchmaker, and even greater attention is required when it comes to repairing vintage watches.
When repairing these special timepieces, the watchmaker must not only possess the necessary skills for any mechanical repair and restore its functionality but also be careful to preserve the watch as faithfully as possible to its original state!
The world of watch collecting has become increasingly attentive, thanks to the spread of the internet, to the integrity of vintage watches. This means that for a watch to increase in value over time, it must not only be 100% original but also have only parts from the era in which it was produced.
If even a single part of a vintage watch, whether it's the bezel, the dial, or any other detail, is replaced with one from a later model, even if it's an original part, the watch loses its value and collector's interest. For this reason, it's crucial that those who handle the repair of vintage watches can source original parts from the era of the watches they are working on and be careful never to use more recent parts, even if they can solve the watch's functional issues.
In our store in Milan, we have a workshop where our watchmaker is capable of performing any type of vintage watch repair without compromising its complete originality and integrity. Being open for about 30 years, we have been able to accumulate many vintage spare parts that are now quite difficult to find. If you need to repair a vintage watch in Milan, come and visit us; we always provide free estimates!
The most common interventions we perform in our workshop are:
Complete mechanism overhaul:
The watch's mechanics are completely disassembled, and the various parts are then placed in a special machine that rotates them at high speed within various acids, thoroughly cleaning them from the old lubricant. After this, the watch is reassembled, and new lubricant is applied where necessary.
Case, bracelet, and glass polishing:
Polishing vintage watches also requires special attention. Compared to modern timepieces, it's likely that a vintage watch has been polished several times over the years, which can gradually alter the shape of the case, making the object less appealing to a potential collector. For this reason, the watchmaker must always use a light touch and only polish a vintage watch if truly necessary.
Water resistance test:
The watch is placed in a compressed air machine capable of detecting if there are any infiltrations inside the case. If it doesn't have a satisfactory seal, depending on the type of watch, the watchmaker replaces the gaskets to make it waterproof again.
Replacement of exhausted batteries and circuits:
In the case of a quartz watch no longer functioning, the battery is replaced, and in 99% of cases, the watch restarts. Otherwise, the entire circuit is replaced.