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Thread: Is this meatball watch surgery?

  1. #1
    Misunderadjustimated dbakiva's Avatar
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    Is this meatball watch surgery?

    Sorry, I can't post pictures for this, but let me describe the situation:

    I purchased a watch, new, from a boutique manufacturer, and wore it for a while on a strap. After a while, I decided to put on the bracelet that came with the watch. Couldn't quite get it on, so I took it to a local jeweler who had done some work for me in the past. He got one of the end pieces on, but told me that something was wrong, and he couldn't put the other one on.

    So I took it to a local watch repair shop, who has done some minor work for me in the past; service on an ETA movement, a regulation of a couple watches, fresh battery and water pressure test, and a de-magnification, the latter done gratis. He looked at the watch, and told me that the holes were drilled incorrectly. So he re-drilled the holes, put the bracelet on, and gave it back to me. It fits just fine. Tight, without gap or wiggle, though I don't know what it will look like with bracelet removed, nor how it will take to springbars and a strap.

    I suppose I could have stopped him had I been watching him work over the counter but he was in the middle of doing it before my synapses clicked in and said, "hey dummy, he's putting new holes in my watch." At the time, my intention was to wear the watch for a while and flip it, but this presents a problem; I'd have to let a prospective buyer know this. The watch was neither cheap, not very expensive; roughly in the $1K range, a bit over. It's also a limited edition.

    Although I'm wearing the watch, I like the watch, and he did a good job (at least from appearances with bracelet on), I think what he did, without running it past me, has surely impacted on the resale value of the watch, or if not, on its salability.

    I think this was meatball watch surgery, and he had no business doing it without approval. Although I'm not sure if there were any options other than returning the watch (after a couple months), or asking for a warranty service which may either consist of essentially what he did, or (who knows how likely) replacement of the case.

    I'd be interested in your thoughts. Also if you have similar experiences.
    Last edited by dbakiva; Nov 18, 2014 at 07:03 PM.

  2. #2
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    I agree with what you are stating, but in his mind that was the only option to make it work correctly. And based on previous experience with good jewelers, most tend to act directly as opposed to much discussion if they see a resolution to the problem.

    That's their job and how they make a living.

    It also sounds like it was really the only good long term solution and if it works now, you just need to disclosure this if you decide to flip it.

    Better to disclose and sell a corrected watch than one which still has an uncorrected issue, at least that is my viewpoint.

    Would not be an issue for me if everything worked as it should.

    But IMHO, I don't see it effecting resale value too much, given the price range of the watch. It might not get you your top asking $, but the market is more forgiving than you think in this price range.

    Now if it were a ALS, Patek, etc, that is another story...

    Would I have liked to have been asked before any work was preformed?
    Yes.

    Would I have probably told him to go ahead once informed of the action anyway?
    Yes

    I think overall it all worked out well for you. You can wear and enjoy the watch with no issues, and if you do sell it, just let everyone know.

    Believe me, I have seen MUCH worse (Less than truthful) disclosures, so this should not be an issue to you, again IMHO.

    Just wear it and enjoy!
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

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  4. #3
    Misunderadjustimated dbakiva's Avatar
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    Thanks Nokie. I really appreciate your feedback and your balanced outlook.

    Nice to see you here on the flip side.

  5. #4
    Did he drill totally new holes or did he redrill the existing holes? Perhaps the holes were not finished properly or even completely drilled and he redrilled to clean out spurs or shavings or something.

    If I were buying, I'd have to see what it looked like and how a strap looked like on it. If it was all good, then I wouldn't have a problem with it, though Nokie is right, you may not fetch top dollar in the bracket.

  6. #5
    Holy crap... I do believe I'd have leapt over the counter and smacked a mu fu...

    I'm not even sure what your recourse is at this point... but I would be absolutely furious.
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  7. #6
    Member Perseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nokie View Post
    I agree with what you are stating, but in his mind that was the only option to make it work correctly.
    This was my thinking as well, but I'm still surprised he didn't say anything prior to making a permanent change to your watch.

    Did he drill all the way through the lugs? If the spring bars are holding the bracelet on I would assume they would hold a strap just fine.


  8. #7
    I should clarify that I don't think the watchmaker took the best approach by doing the repair without checking with you first.

  9. #8
    Timewaster jsw41's Avatar
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    Maybe, you should have said 'what are my options?' Then he would have had to respond.

    John
    If you come to a fork in the road; take it, and then put it down so someone else can use it.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jsw41 View Post
    Maybe, you should have said 'what are my options?' Then he would have had to respond.

    John
    LOL! Right?!?

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  12. #10
    Misunderadjustimated dbakiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perseus View Post
    This was my thinking as well, but I'm still surprised he didn't say anything prior to making a permanent change to your watch.

    Did he drill all the way through the lugs? If the spring bars are holding the bracelet on I would assume they would hold a strap just fine.
    No. Apparently the lug holes were just slightly off on one side. Nothing at all is perceptible with the bracelet on.

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