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someone recently posted a request for a local northern VA watchmaker, which brought to mind a perilous two year journey with my own credor phoenix. and when i say "two year", i mean that i was without my watch for most of that period while it was in the hands of laggards and butchers. it spent six months in the company of one watchmaker who had done good work for me in the past, but was completely flummoxed by the credor. while he didn't repair the watch, he at least had the decency to recognize that he shouldn't disassemble it until he had figured out how to deal with it.

after that, i handed it to an over-confident and largely unskilled 'watchmaker' in DC. he had it for nearly a year, and in the process nearly destroyed the watch cosmetically, and it will probably never again see its +- 2 second timekeeping again. to his credit, he did fix the problem for which i brought it in, but the cure left the patient in a far worse state than the disease.

it brings to mind an essay by mark twain, which i haven't seen posted here for a while. now, i know that there are good watchmakers out there. i've dealt with some in the past. but just as there are doctors who graduated at the bottom of their class, there are watchmakers who barely passed their courses and who have no analytical skills at all. it is for those watchmakers that i'm sure mark twain wrote this essay, and some things haven't changed much in the intervening 123 years: http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=TwaWatc.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1
 

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Sad to hear that this happened Juan. One question though, how come you didn't send it to Yserv and instead chose to go local? Not criticizing, just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Isthmus said:
Sad to hear that this happened Juan. One question though, how come you didn't send it to Yserv and instead chose to go local? Not criticizing, just curious.
i was hoping to find someone local who could be trusted. admittedly, it was probably not that smart to entrust a discontinued credor to someone i didn't know, but a friend (with mostly european watches, natch) recommended them highly. and when i took the watch to them, they "talked the talk" and seemed quite comfortable with the task when i explained that this watch was irreplaceable should something go wrong. my usual watchmaker was at least honest enough to admit when he was in over his head, but this guy was not, and i paid the price for being gullible.
 

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A competent watch repairer should be able to repair any standard mechanical watch without real complications. Obtaining parts could be a problem but afterall that's his job. The problem is there are pitifully few real watch repairers left. Mostly guys who were trained in quartz repair who are trying to learn mechanical repair by practicing on your watch. Unless you know for a fact the repairer is competent you'd be crazy not to send it back to the factory for repair.
 
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