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Article: When is the best time to have your watch overhauled?

When is the best time to have your watch overhauled?

When is the best time to overhaul your watch? Click here to watch the video.

In this article, we will explain the appropriate interval for overhauls.

When it comes to overhauling (repairing) a watch, there are probably many people who don't know when it is the best time to do it in the first place.

It's working fine now, so I can just get it repaired when it stops working.

If you think so, there may be something pretty dangerous going on behind the scenes.

Considering how often you use it, shouldn't you have it overhauled at this rate?

We make the products while asking our craftsmen these questions.

We will teach you how to properly understand the need for an overhaul so that you can pass on the watch you own to your grandchildren.

What is an overhaul?

I think there will be women watching as well, so I'll explain it in simple terms: an overhaul means a "repair."

We take our cars for inspection every two years to check that there are no problems, and it may be easier to understand if you think of doing something similar with our watches.

If this overhaul is not performed, the watch may stop working, the time may become significantly out of sync, or in the worst case scenario, it may become unusable.

This is true for all watches, whether they are hand-wound, automatic, or quartz.

As you may know, a wristwatch is made up of many gears and parts that mesh perfectly together in order to function.

However, if foreign matter gets mixed in between these parts, they will interfere (clash) with each other, and even if the interference is small one time, it will accumulate day after day and lead to defects.

What does this overhaul involve? It involves applying oil, removing any hardened oil, removing rust from parts, and removing any small dust particles, etc. to clean the watch and ensure that the gears mesh properly.

If this overhaul is carried out correctly, we believe that the watch can be used for 100 years.

100 years ago was 1924, the height of Art Deco popularity, but watches made at that time still lacked the durability of their parts, so it would be difficult to use them today. However, wristwatches made after the 1940s should still be working in 2040.

As technology advanced, watches from that era onwards are made to be more durable, and by the time we got to the '50s, '60s and '70s the parts had improved durability.

This is the explanation of the need for an overhaul, but just like I thought in my 20s,

『But, it's still working fine now, and the repair costs are going to be high anyway, so wouldn't it be more efficient to wait until it stops working before overhauling it? That would be more rational!』

I'm sure there are many people who feel this way.

So, from here on, "Why do we need to overhaul our watches before they stop working?"

We will explain what this means.

Why does it need to be overhauled before it stops working?

To make it easier to understand, let's use a car as an example.

Have you ever been told this at a gas station at least once?

Your tire pressure is a little low. Should I fill it up?

Your washer fluid is pretty low. I'll refill it.

The engine oil is pretty low or dirty.

Shall I refill it?


Air and windshield washer fluid are free, so of course you should refill things that are free.

is what I think.

The problem is the engine oil.

They have to be replaced after driving 3,000 to 5,000 km, but you can't see if they're dirty from here, and as long as the car is still running even if they're dirty, it's not a problem, right?

That's the story.

Why do I have to pay for engine oil there?

I can't help but think that.

However, this is because we cannot see beyond that, which is why we end up thinking like this.

If you don't change your engine oil, the gasoline combustion efficiency will decrease, and if you continue to drive your car with low oil levels, it will cause the engine to seize and be damaged.

In this case, if you had changed the engine oil in advance, it would have cost only 4,000 yen to change the oil, but if you do it now, it will cost a completely different amount than 4,000 yen.

The same can be said for watches.

On the surface, it's working perfectly fine and there are no issues whatsoever.

That's the state it's in, but it's time for some maintenance to be done inside.

It's how it is.

And when the clock stops working, it's almost a terminal symptom.

In the case of quartz watches, it's possible that the battery has simply died, so this is not always the case.

"I understand," he said.

It needs an overhaul.

However, overhauling a watch is expensive, so I don't really want to do it.

Some people may have this idea, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

When the time comes for an overhaul, you can just sell it and buy your next watch.

However, it seems that many of the people watching this video are attached to the watch they currently own, so I want to tell them that they should still have their watch overhauled, even if it costs money.

Now let's take a look at the overhaul cycle for watches.

What is the correct interval for overhaul?

About Quartz

First, let me explain quartz watches.

Quartz batteries last approximately three years, so we recommend having your watch overhauled at that time and having the battery replaced.

The next thing I'd like to share with you is something I'd like to especially address to women: quartz watches contain batteries.

If the battery runs out and you stop using it and leave it for a long period of time, the electrolyte inside the battery may leak and corrode the circuit board that makes the clock work.

Not all batteries are affected, but leakage is more likely to occur when using cheap batteries.

I don't think you can judge for yourself whether cheap batteries are used or not, so there is nothing you can do about it, but if the battery runs out and you think you won't be using it anymore, I recommend that you at least remove the batteries.

If you no longer need the watch, knowing that it will work when you put a battery in it will increase the resale value, and best of all, you can pass the watch down to your children.

If you have a Mast Tank Quartz or similar, make sure you store it properly even when not in use, as prices continue to rise.

Even if there is a watch store like that nearby, it can be a hassle to research it, so we recommend using a Mister Minute, which is usually located in or near a major station.

The process takes approximately 10 minutes and varies depending on the model, but costs between 1,650 and 3,300 yen.

Mr. Minute

About mechanical watches

Now let's move on to the main mechanical watches (hand-wound and automatic).

Mechanical watches come in many different patterns.

First, there are exceptions: Omega's coaxial movement, Master Chronometer, Rolex's For movements such as models equipped with Parachrom parts, the manufacturer recommends an overhaul within 10 years, so although it depends on the model and usage, we think it will be no problem to have it overhauled at least every 8 years and no later than every 10 years.

After all, the latest Omega and Rolex watches have incredibly improved durability, so this is probably proof that they are confident that their watches won't break so easily.

So, going back to the topic of watch overhaul cycles, excluding those exceptions, I can categorize them into three categories.

① Those who use it only about once a month

Use once a week (about 4 times a month)

3. For daily users

First of all, you should only use it about once a month.

Collectors are people who primarily display their watches and only wear them occasionally for fun.

For such people, an overhaul is required once every seven years under the best conditions, and once every six years under the worst conditions.

Once a month is 12 times a year, which is less than a month for someone who wears a watch every day.

Therefore, there is almost no wear on the parts, and since it has not been worn, it can be said that there is almost no deterioration of any of the parts.

My biggest concern is temperature control.

Just as the oil in ramen will solidify if you leave it out after eating it, the oil in a watch will deteriorate if it is left in an environment where the temperature repeatedly rises and falls.

The quality of oil in modern watches has improved significantly, so it is unlikely that it will break or harden so easily. However, there is still a chance that the oil may harden when there is a large change in temperature, such as from winter to spring, so it is best to handle it carefully at the initial setup.

Therefore, if you store it in a dark place where the temperature does not change much, it would last for 7 years, but if you do not store it in such a place, it is best to have it repaired after 6 years.

However, I think there are some people who wear their watch once a month but store it in a winding machine.

Putting aside the issue of winders for a moment, when you are using a winder to turn the watch, it is no different from using it every day, just not on your wrist.

Therefore, we will explain this again later in the section on conditions for daily use.

Next, the second We will explain the pattern for those who use it once a week.

This requires an overhaul every five years.

If you use it once a week, you will be using it four times more frequently than someone who uses it once a month, but you will have to think about wear and tear on parts.

And because the watch spends more time on your wrist, there is a greater chance that evaporated sweat and microscopic dust particles in the outside air, which we cannot see with our eyes, will get into the gap between the case and the back cover.

If you leave this as it is, the gasket will deteriorate, and if gaps appear in the gasket, these substances will then seep into the inside of the watch.

Ideally, you should wipe the entire watch with a cloth after using it, but I think it can be quite a hassle to do that, so taking into account how often you use it and the wear and deterioration of the internal parts, I think the ideal time to wipe it is once every five years.

Finally, the overhaul cycle for those used daily is once every three years.

Daily use means that the parts are subject to rapid wear, the oil is close to running out, and the device is exposed to sweat and microscopic dust.

This is also true for cars, but if you use machinery every day, the oil will run out in 2 to 3 years, but if you run it every day, it is always operating under constant conditions, so the oil will be evenly distributed throughout the machinery.

It is unlikely that modern lubricants will run out that bad, but compared to new oil from three years ago, the oil itself has deteriorated, oxidized, and become dirty. If left as is, it can cause the oil to stick, and if that oil gets caught in the gap between other parts, it will stop working.

If the watch is waterproof, the gaskets will likely deteriorate and have small cracks that are not visible to the naked eye.

Therefore, an overhaul is required at least once every three years.

On the other hand, even if you use it every day, if you take care of it properly, it can last for 100 years.

Going back to the winder we talked about earlier, there is a difference between wearing it on your wrist and not, but the chances of vaporized sweat or dust getting into the watch are likely to be very low.

Therefore, even though the watch is always running, if you only wear it once a month, I think an overhaul every five years will be sufficient.

Now let me explain the cost of overhauls.

About overhaul fee

There are many different types of watches and places to request repairs, from vintage watches to relatively new watches, models of the brand, whether you take it to a private repair shop or official support, etc., so this is the general price.

I can't speak for that, but in the case of Rolexes, they are generally around 60,000 to 120,000 yen, and my impression is that vintage ones become more expensive.

As expected, when it comes to vintage items, parts that are at risk of breaking are forcibly replaced mid-way, which increases the price.

If it were released to the private sector, I think it would be roughly 20 to 30 percent off that amount, so I think that would be about the right amount.

There is an important thing to note about overhauls. I mentioned earlier that if a part is broken, it needs to be replaced, but if you do not overhaul it properly according to how often you use it, the overhaul cost will be very high.

This doesn't just apply to official support, but even if you send it to a private company, if there are parts that need to be replaced, you will be told, "It won't work unless you replace this part."

This kind of thing happens quite often, so it is necessary to have your device overhauled regularly.

So let's consider whether it is better to get official support or to go to a private company.

This is heavily influenced by each individual's way of thinking, so it's best to put it out where you think is best.

With that in mind, the advantage of outsourcing to a private company is that it is cheaper.

It's cheap, they have great technical skills, and on average they deliver in half the time it would take to send it to the manufacturer.

So, what would take three months if you sent it to the manufacturer, can be returned in six weeks.

However, recently, manufacturers have stopped producing parts, so when a part needs to be replaced, private companies are unable to repair it, and it becomes necessary to ask for official repairs.

If you are ordering legitimately, it is important to have a sense of trust and a warranty included.

Although delivery times are often delayed, they provide thorough maintenance.

All brands have their watches repaired here.

They will enclose a repair invoice and there is a warranty period, so you can feel at ease.

Also, and this is a big point, having the itemized statement will increase resale value.

Prices vary depending on the model, so it cannot be said that it will always be enough to offset the cost of an overhaul, but if the watch you own is a model that is strong enough to be resold, I think it is worth getting official support.

Also, for newer watches such as Omega's Master Chronometers and Rolex's high-tech movements, it is extremely difficult to adjust the accuracy, so the only option is to send them to the manufacturer's factory.


Finally, to sum up, if you think about overhauls like this, you might think that it would be great if you didn't have to go through the two-year vehicle inspection! However, the more watches you have, the higher the chance that this cycle will come.

You are free to own as many watches as you like, but I think that having a number that matches your income will allow you to enjoy a stress-free and more enjoyable life with watches for a long time.

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