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Discussion Starter #1
In an earlier post ( http://www.thewatchsite.com/index.php/topic,5398.0.html ) I asked if it was OK to name the name of a watchmaker that won't return the watch he has restored for me. Some of you thought so and posted answers to that effect. Others, who sent me PM, were more hesitant, even though several of these messages informed me that I wasn't alone in my predicament with this watchmaker. For the time being I have informed one of the moderators, John (TheTigerUK), of the man's identity. Hopefully this will slow down the high praise here on SCWF of a guy that has his best work years behind him. And if you're about to send out a watch to be overhauled, you can check with me and see if the watchmaker you have picked is the very same that I have been having trouble with.

As Time and tunafied wrote in their answers, there is always two sides to a story. What the watchmaker would say about all this I don't know, but as andy b asked for the email correspondence, I think that would be the easiest way to show you all what has been going on.

Okay, okay, I might look meek and wimpy in the correspondence, but in my defence I want to say that I see watch renovating as long time projects. 6 months, 8 months, even a full year is not unusual. What I had problem with was the lack of communication. But when that silence is broken by a positive message, well, in that moment everything that has gone before is forgotten. Stupid? Maybe. Here goes.

It all started on 2 June 2008:
"Hello
I have just won a King Seiko 4502A on the Bay and it is in pretty good cosmetic shape (some small scratches on the hands, major scratches on some numbers on the date wheel). But it runs several minutes fast / 24h (15-20?) and the feel when you turn the crown is not that good. However, it's a very nice watch and I think it should be worth the money to put it in shape.
So, I wonder if you have the time to take it on?
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

2 June 2008:
"Lars
I'd be glad to take your watch on.
Please go to my website and fill out the repair form to send with the watch and note my address.
WATCHMAKER"

13 June 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
The watch is on it's way, finally. The # is RR---68343SE
Best regards
Lars"


21 June 2008:
"Lars,
I received your watch. I'll take a look this weekend and let you know what I find.
WATCHMAKER"

8 August 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
I haven't heard from you, so I just wanted to check that your e-mails hasn't disappeared in my spam filter. No rush.
Best regards
Lars"

31 August 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
I haven't heard from you, so I just wanted to check that your e-mails hasn't disappeared in my spam filter. No rush.
Best regards
Lars"

3 September 2008:
"Lars,
Did I ever get back to you with an estimate. Things are so crazy here, I don't remember
WATCHMAKER"

3 September 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
No, no estimate. Good to hear from you.
Best regards
Lars"

25 September 2008
"New e-mail adress: [email protected](nospam)...
Best regards
Lars"

14 October 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Haven't heard anything from you about an estimate. Just wanted to check.
Best regards
Lars"

15 October 2008:
"Lars,
I sent an estimate about 3 weeks ago. The total for the repairs is $XXX for servicing, date disc and luming hands.
WATCHMAKER"

15 October 2008:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Thanks. The message must have gotten away when I changed my e-mail adress. USD XXX it is. I hope Paypal is okay. I am looking forward to it.
Best regards
Lars"

4 January 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER and a happy New Year to you.
Lars Jakobson
Stockholm, Sweden"

6 January 2009:
"Lars,
I am still waiting on the date disc. Borel shows they have it but were out. They said they would backorder and should have been in by now. I will check in to see what the hold up is.
WATCHMAKER"


14 March 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
just wanted you to know that I am going to be out of the country and hard to reach from March 24 until the end of May.
Best regards
Lars"

29 June 2009:
"WATCHMAKER,
Anything new on the KS front?
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

16 July 2009
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Any news about the KS?
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

28 August 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Any news about the KS? If you have the number for the date disc, maybe I can try to do some searching.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

4 September 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Any news about the KS? If you have the number for the date disc, maybe I can try to do some searching.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

2 October 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
I haven't heard from you since January, so I just wonder how the KS is coming along. If the date disc is still on backorder, maybe I can do some searching on my own. Just need the parts number.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

8 October 2009 I posted on SCWF about my problems and the silent treatment. ( http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index.php?mod=103&action=0&id=1255023567 ) The same evening WATCHMAKER replies:
"Lars,
I think I have located a date disc for your watch. I will know next week.
WATCHMAKER"


9 October 2009:
Thanks, WATCHMAKER. Good to hear from you. Let's hope that you get that disc. And if not - please, put the watch together, bill me and send it back.
Best regards
Lars"


6 November 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
You didn't get back to me about the date disc, so I sort of concluded that
you haven't found one. I have sourced one on my own, though, and I can send
it to you, but then you got to give me some response. Otherwise, as I wrote
in my last message, just put the watch back together, bill me for what I owe
you and send it back. Thanks.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"


7 November 2009:
"Lars,
I was waiting to hear from my supplier. It was backordered. If you have
found one send it and I will install it right away and get your watch back
to you.
WATCHMAKER"


7 November 2009:
"That's good to hear. I will have the disc here at the end of next week
(hopefully) and then I send it to you ASAP.
Regards
Lars"


18 November 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Today I have sent you the date disc, package #: RR---120272SE
Best regards
Lars"


1 December 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Could you just please confirm that the date disc reached you? Thanks.
Best regards
Lars"

2 December 2009:
"Lars,
Got the date disc and will install in the next couple of days. Your watch
should go out by the end of the week.
WATCHMAKER"


2 December 2009:
"Wonderful! Thanks.
// Lars"


11 December 2009:
Lars,
I have installed the date dial and serviced the watch. The detent (holds
the stem in) is worn and I have ordered a new one as, down the road, the
stem could slip. I should have it here early next week and have your watch
out by next Thursday.
WATCHMAKER"


12 December 2009:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Very good. I am looking forward to it.
Best regards
Lars"


23 December 2009:
"Wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year
// Lars"


26 January 2010:
"Lars :
I have your watch completed and will ship this week after timing it out. I apologize for the delay. I have attached an invoice for the work performed. If you would like to use papal our ID is [email protected] Let me know if the address is correct.
Thank you for your business - we appreciate it very much.
Sincerely,
WATCHMAKER"


26 January 2010:
"Thanks WATCHMAKER
The adress is correct and the money has been PayPaled. Looking forward to it.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

23 February 2010:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Haven't heard anything from you, so I just wonder if you have sent the watch. And if so: do you have a tracking number?
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

2 March 2010:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
Five weeks since I paid for the repair and I haven't heard anything from you. Please, have the courtesy to send a reply.
Best regards
Lars Jakobson"

9 March 2010:
"Hi WATCHMAKER
It's now six weeks since I paid for the repair and still not a single word from you. What am I to do? Beg? Threaten? Don't think so. I can't see why I should have to do anything of the kind just to get something back that I have paid for and belongs to me.
// Lars Jakobson"

9 March 2010:
"LarsI haven't been able to ship the watch yet. The watch is running great but I have been having problems finding paint that will stick to the hands so I can redo the black stripe on them. I have found an automotive paint shop that is going to paint them. It should work and your watch will go out this week.
WATCHMAKER"

9 March 2010:
Thanks for your answer, WATCHMAKER. I am looking forward to it.
// Lars

1 April 2010 (April Fool's Day):
"Happy Easter, WATCHMAKER! A Happy Easter!
// Lars"

29 May 2010:
"WATCHMAKER,
Where is my watch? It is four months since I paid for the completed work and almost three months since you told me that you just had to paint the hands to get it all done.
// Lars Jakobson"

7 June 2010:
"WATCHMAKER,
Where is my watch? It is now more than four months since I paid for the completed work and three months since you told me that you just had to paint the hands to get it all done. After that: nothing. You have my watch, you have my money, time goes by, month after month without a word from you. Come on, man. Just put the damned watch in the mail and send it back.
// Lars Jakobson"

8 June 2010:
"WATCHMAKER
Where is my watch? It is now more than four months since I paid for the completed work and three months since you told me that you just had to paint the hands to get it all done. After that: nothing. You have my watch, you have my money, time goes by, month after month without a word from you. Come on, man. Just put the damned watch in the mail and send it back.
// Lars Jakobson"

9 June 2010:
"Lars,
I am trying to get your watch back to you. If you remember from my last
note, I had sent the hands out to get painted. I just got them back and am
making sure the watch is running correctly before I ship. Will go out this
week."


10 June 2010:
"WATCHMAKER
What you're saying is good to hear. And I am well aware of your last note.
But that note was three months ago. That's why I don't think it's
unreasonable that I ask you how the work is coming along.
// Lars"


28 June 2010:
"WATCHMAKER
Where is my watch? June 9th you gave me your third "going out this week" and
NOTHING! You are sitting on a watch that I paid USD XXX for, I have supplied
you with parts (which cost me USD XXX + shipping) and I have paid USD XXX
for your work. I am getting worried. You have had the watch for TWO years
now. And it's been FIVE months since you told me the work was done and sent
me an invoice, which I immediately paid. Still you don't even have the
courtesy to communicate with me. What shall I do? Take legal action? I am
sorry, but that seems to be the only option left. So: Where is my watch?
Lars Jakobson"



There. That is all information I have. Now you know just as much as I do about the watchmaker's work on my watch.

To all of you who has taken the time to post and send messages of support: Thanks!

Lars Jakobson
 

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:mad: I would be hopping mad if I were you. But it seems that you were very patience and courteous throughout the whole process.
No matter how good or popular this watchmaker is, I think it is ridiculous to have to wait for that long and also with all the promises that it will be ship back to you. June 21, 2008- July 2, 2010 is more than 2 years. I would out this watchmaker!! O:) IMHO.

Good Luck Lars!!

Cheers,
Jeremiah
 

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red2ndhand said:
>:D After more than 2 years, it better be a good statement. Good Luck Lars!!!
LOL!!! And it should probably include a refund of some sort for keeping the watch for two years. I will withold judgement though until I hear WATCHMAKER's side of things. Although, from the emails it appears there isn't much to add.

andy b.
 

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Am I the only one that would have just reported it to Paypal?
Its the fastest way for resolution.

Not to belittle the situation, or to be a rude, but really I don't come here to read
about Drama. Drama is in part what sponsored this move to this forum.

Stuff happens.
deals go bad
people forget, people inadvertently make mistakes, or sometimes blatantly.

Watchmaking is a strange business, particularly in this micro community that we are part of.
not to belittle your situation, but stuff happens.

I wont argue that , in your case, no matter what happened, you should have gotten satisfaction
in a more expedient fashion.

That being said, why go through all this?
I know first hand its stressful, and I know the process can just leave a sour taste in the mouth.

File a complaint with paypal, stating that you paid for services that
where not timely and your property is missing.

Its like going to court, you can call, email, a million times and get no-where.
this is one of the great features of Paypal, if not the only good feature.

Paypal by freezing someone's bank account kind of gets the point across very quickly.
Im sure by filing and escalating this situation it would resolve very quickly.
 

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Lars, you have the patience of a saint and I can see that this is a last resort action taken by you in order to set things straight, if possible.
I keep my fingers crossed for you but after reading this I must confess I have little faith that you will ever see this watch again.

/Stefan
 

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I feel very very sad to read a story like that, Lars. Really, brother....you didn't deserve that. :'(

I am truly hoping that you have a happy ending to your situation. Until a definitive outing is in order, stuff like that ruins things for all the good guys outhere who put on an outstanding job in watchmaking and make bringing our puppies from the dead possible.

I feel very sad seeing a relationship solely based on trust getting treated that way by one of the parties involved. And I feel sorry for the watchmaker, already, once his name gets written on here. He can pretty much rule SCWF customers out from his book, I think. :(

Lars, you're not alone, bro. By all means, count on your SCWF WIS bros. for support, at least the spiritual one.

Kind regards, man.
CHRIS
 

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Kudos to you Lars for being so level headed and a gentleman. I can't believe how accomodating you've tried to be considering the total lack of respect you're getting in return. My hat is off to you. This is coming from a redhead with the stereotypical temper to match who would have been on the watchmakers doorstep at the end of year one with my friends Smith & Wesson in tow. Okay I'm exaggerating, it would have been the Louisville Slugger.
 

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Lars: Sorry about your troubles but as Kevin suggested, you could have settled this months (or years) ago simply by filing a Paypal dispute and asking for your watch and money back. I'm not positive I know who you are writing about, but I can make a good guess, and if that person is the watchmaker to whom you refer, you should know that some of us had long waits and problems, but many of us have also had great work done at a very fair price. I do think it's small of you to post this here, given that the other person probably won't respond. Did you pick up the phone, even once, to talk with the watchmaker in person? It also sounds like you kept OK-ing the delays (the datewheel search, etc), and so bear some culpability in the situation. Believe me, I know it sucks to have a watch kept for too long a time, or worse, damaged (I experienced that with a local guy where I live), but 1) you could have simply demanded the watch back after the first few months and 2) whatever stage it has gotten to, and however frustrated you are, you could have dealt with this privately. Finally, I'm surprised you paid for the watch before receiving it. I've dealt with a handful of the watchmakers/restorers known to this forum, as well as a couple of others that are out of state, and I have never been asked to pay for a watch before receiving and examining it.

Paul
 

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"Paypal by freezing someone's bank account kind of gets the point across very quickly.
Im sure by filing and escalating this situation it would resolve very quickly."
(Quoting KMCNYC)

PayPal freeze someone's bank account? I hope that was supposesd to read "PayPal account" and not "bank account". If the latter, I'm abandoning the PayPal ship. :-[
 

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Two weeks is ok. Two years is THEFT.


What is the point of pussyfooting around and trying to get "his side" of the story? The only part of the story that matters is that our good brother WIS has not held his very own King Seiko for two years. The guy who is holding it is a crook. His "side" of the story is irrelevant. If he operates in this sphere of collectors, then hiding his name and trying to be diplomatic are just giving him more time.


When I had a problem, I posted on Watchnet, on TZ, on PMWF, on the MWCF etc.
 
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