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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says really, what do you charge for work carried out on watches that are not yours?
Im not a watchmaker by trade just by hobby and i do not call myself a watchmaker more of a tinkerer thats self taught. Trouble is word has got round my works that im the "go to" man for all things watch like. Mostly its just battery changes but i do get asked for crystal replacement, re stacking hands sealing and waterproofing etc. Trouble is i dont really know what to ask for for my service and time, mostly time and parts. I started to do the first job per person for free but i found that was the only job i was doing and i was losing out on batteries so usually im at the couple of quid, if they want it cleaned etc it goes to a fiver anything other than that i dont really know what to charge ( i know my watchmaker charged £65 for a movement service on a seiko 5 but he was a watchmaker so had the training to back up that price, bit of a quandary really.
 

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I fix any friend, family member, or friend's family member's watches for free. I don't even charge for the batteries since I buy 5-packs on ebay for like $3.

I enjoy working on watches so my pleasure gained offsets the cost of a cheap crystal. battery, etc.

I guy who works for me knows I wear Rolex to major work meetings, so he brought me his son's "Rolex" that he "found" Obviously a cheap knock-off. I polished the mineral crystal, changed out the crown, donated an end link, and gave it the full ultrasonic cleaner/Cape Cod cloth/Veraet treatment. All for no charge, because I'd rather my guy works hard for me knowing I take care of him rather than pop a crispy $20 bill in my wallet.
 

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It's all up to you, whatever you think is fair for your efforts. I think, and just imo, you should be at under what you know is the going rate as long as it remains a side job. If it becomes a side business, then charge whatever you think is worth your time and quality of your work, and that may be lower or above going rate.
I'm self employed (hvac) now but started building my customer base while employed and doing side jobs on my spare time. My rates had to be adjusted when I started working strictly for myself.
 

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I fix any friend, family member, or friend's family member's watches for free. I don't even charge for the batteries since I buy 5-packs on ebay for like $3.

I enjoy working on watches so my pleasure gained offsets the cost of a cheap crystal. battery, etc.

I guy who works for me knows I wear Rolex to major work meetings, so he brought me his son's "Rolex" that he "found" Obviously a cheap knock-off. I polished the mineral crystal, changed out the crown, donated an end link, and gave it the full ultrasonic cleaner/Cape Cod cloth/Veraet treatment. All for no charge, because I'd rather my guy works hard for me knowing I take care of him rather than pop a crispy $20 bill in my wallet.
That is exactly how I handle it also. I stick with just battery changes or installing a new band for friends and family.

Remember the movie The Karate Kid? Remember what he told Daniel "either you karate do yes or karate do no if youdo karate so so squish like a grape."

I enjoy helping other members here with a part they need to finish a project but diving in all the way could lead to regrets and then a lost love of great hobby. I personally receive more satisfaction from the appreciation for the help than the money ever would.

Another alternative would be to restore watches and then resell them for a nice little profit. It's much safer and you can finish them on your own time schedule. Just my 2 cents!

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some good answers there, obviously close friends and family get it on the house, i have found recently that people are insisting on getting charged, the other day a tenner was forced upon me by someone for some work i done. I know my limits and skills and know when to say no to a job, some things i will do on my own watches but not to others in case it goes wrong.
i love the world of horology and do this for the love and enjoyment, and if a little cash comes my way then who am i to say no. I was just wondering if other members charged for work carried out and if there was a going rate so to speak for different jobs done, i dont want to be asking silly money either way when people ask me for a price for a job to be done.
 

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I don't really want to do watch stuff for anybody else , but people know my hobby and ask me to look at their watch . If I change out a battery I usually charge $5 , but I use good batteries like Sony , energizer , maxcell , Duracell or the Seiko brand If I have it . Also I usually clean the case and bracelet in my ultra sonic , use Polywatch on the crystal and give it a shot on my de-magnetiser if its a mechanical watch .
I have a friend that sells at the swap meet every Sunday. He had a waterproof Pogue he picked up for $40 and asked me to give it some TLC .
I took it apart and serviced it , put new [AM] hands , bezel insert , new pushers [it had the wrong ones that kept getting stuck ] ,and Gasket set . It needed a new crystal but he didn't want to get it after I did a refinish on the original one...a lot of work there .
I charged him $45 . Since then I picked up from him a Seiko Sportsmatic 820 , waterproof , and a Very nice vintage Swiss made Gruen Precision hand wind with a linen dial . He deducted the cost for those and still owes me $20 of the original $45 I charged.
It's good for me to know someone that people come to and ask if he would like to buy the watches that were in a drawer for years , inherited , belonged to an ex-husband ETC
and he gives me a look or first choice on them or gives me deal on others that come his way .
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fair play to you ricardo, sounds like operate about the same as me after reading through your post, i dont unfortunately have a massive stock of spares to be able to grab a couple of pushers etc, my budget kinda limits me to ramons auctions, i do however like you generally give them an ultra sonic and polish, just gives the "customer"somthing visual to see that i have done work if you know what i mean
 

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"just gives the "customer"somthing visual to see that i have done work if you know what i mean "....Yup , I know what you mean , but more importantly for me , I like to see how a watch really looks so much better after going to the "beauty salon " .

The pushers and other parts I got on the bay and don't charge the owner for me ordering and paying for them myself , but I make it clear to them that I need to be reimbursed for that cost on delivery so I can make a payment to my Paypal account . My " service fee " can be pay me now or later , or better yet to barter for something I want .
 

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I guess this turned out very therapeutic for you, huh transporter? Cus you answered yourself. All good man, just keep the fun alive!
 

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well i agree i love to be able to help anyone who asks and when i can i have even help broker a few deals for them too...i think it all depends on how you feel about it...like most of us...we do it for the love...not for the extra cash...so if they insist on a tip..take it and say thanks...and what i do...i use those funds to help family...those i see in need..so it is a win/win...i can see that someone with real talent can make a very tidy living at it for sure...but i know myself that i would give away more than i charge...God Bless John
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Giving the customer something to see, well I have to agree with you on enjoying the Beauty spa treatment results here's a couple of pictures of a Sicura that came to me after the owner wore it in the bath , not just once but a few times, even though they knew it had filled with water due to a cracked crystal!!!




What didn't realise before I took this job on was the size of the watch, it's a ladies, so it was a real challenge, the rest of the movement was in the same condition as the auto winder so I had my work cut out for me, took about a week of working a couple of hours a night to finish it and get it working and sealed properly.
And the charge for that job a big fat 0, I took it on as a challenge and completed it. Next challenge is a 4205 from Ramon for my sister, again a freebie job, and another challenge as you can see from the following photo


Let the fun begin!!
 

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You certainly like a good challenge....don't forget to post the results ...
In one of the videos on the "Watch Repair Channel " on Youtube , Watchmaker Mark Lovic recovers a Breitling with water damage . One of the tools he used was a baking soda treatment .....Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mmm baking soda, might look into that, just got hold of some 100% ammonia to start making my own cleaning solution mixed with a few other ingredients
 

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wow..baking soda and ammonia...never used either one on a watch yet...will try them..i use white vinegar...and that stuff works so well...great video too...that guy is amazing....
 
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