Recommendations for Mechanical Watch Repairs?
September 20, 2011 5:08 PM - Bob Marvin
I'm re-posting this here, at Arcady's request:

Not house related, but I'm hoping that some people I who like old houses also (like me) like old wrist watches. I have a late '40s Swiss chronograph that needs repairs. The last place I used for this watch was the Clock Repair People on 7th Avenue in PS, now long gone, Any recomendations, preferably, but not necessarily, in Brooklyn. The watch is fairly good quality but not a high end brand. Nevertheless, I realize that chronograph repairs can be costly.

September 20, 2011 9:31 PM - Arkady
Bob - you should join in the mayhem over here anyway!
Rocky Mountain Time Zone
Diagonal Plaza
2850 Iris Av. - Ste E-2
Boulder, CO 80301
303 442 2699
Tell him Sarah's aunt recommended him
He was $350 & did an excellent job. Macy's had quoted me $600 for the same work & that didn't include some replacements he installed.
Edited at September 20, 2011 9:31 PM
September 20, 2011 9:34 PM - Kensingtonian
There is a guy by my house who has had a watch repair shop for many years. It's on 18th avenue between ocean pkwy and east 5th street, right next door to Chinese takeout place. He's done a lot of simple things for me like replace batteries but he also fixes watches and has plenty vintage pieces in the store. Worth a try.
September 21, 2011 3:05 PM - Bob Marvin
Sounds like the right kind of place for a cheapskate like me:-)

I've used similar looking watch repair places in Park Slope and when I worked in Queens, but those are now gone.
September 21, 2011 5:05 PM - Kensingtonian
He he he. I say you give it a try. He is definitely not one of those 300 dollar a job guys, more like your local older watch repair guy. His rent is definitely not Park Slope rent and I've lived in the neighborhood for 18 years now and he has been in the same spot for all those years (probably a bit longer than that).
Edited at September 21, 2011 5:05 PM
September 22, 2011 4:31 PM - Bob Marvin
I tried the place on 18th Avenue, but he doesn't repair chronographs. He said he used to, but he's too old now :-(

Back to square one. I do have some other leads from posting here, the Brownstoner Forum, and my local Lefferts List.
September 23, 2011 12:37 PM - More4Less
Bob, that's my experience with mechincal chronographs - pricey to repair. if your search all end up with pricey quotes, it's worth looking into replacing it with a battery one. some pretty decent battery swiss chronographs can be had for 500-700. some even can be had in the 300-400 range but those brands are not as recognized even though the innards are of similar quality
Edited at September 23, 2011 12:37 PM
September 24, 2011 8:35 PM - Bob Marvin
I'm not too fond of battery-operated watches, except for my Bulova Accutron "railroad approved"watch, which has a certain charm (at least, with it's tuning fork, it hums, instead of being silent, like a quartz watch). I think I like "obsolete" wind-up watches for the same (crazy?) reason I like old houses. My '40s chrono, which is almost as old as me, has a certain flair that I couldn't equal with even a multi-thousand $$ new Swiss mechanical crono (I like to say that, since I wouldn't spend the $$ for one of the latter).

This afternoon I took the '40s chrono to a place recommended by one of my neighbors on our local Lefferts Yahoo list-- Manhattan Time Company--in an office building at 5th Avenue and 46th Street. They'll send me an estimate by Tuesday and, IF they can fix the watch AND it's no more costly than the price of a new quartz chrono, I'll go for it. If it can't be fixed I have lots of other mechanical watches to wear. Lately I've been wearing two American watches a lot, both considerably older than me. They're Walthams--a 1917 gold-filled WW I "trench watch" and a very deco octagonal 1929 stainless steel model. When those need repair they should be far less pricey than fixing a chronograph.
October 3, 2011 9:46 PM - petebklyn
google place in grand central station....way off in some corridor that is hard to find.
Edited at October 3, 2011 9:46 PM
October 9, 2011 3:35 PM - Bob Marvin
Thanks petebklyn, but I already accepted Manhattan Time Company's estimate. At $550 it's very expensive, but this chrono is my favorite watch and the price is within the range more4less mentioned for a good Swiss quartz chronograph. I guess I should still look for a less expensive place to repair my simpler American '20s and '30s watches.
Edited at October 9, 2011 3:35 PM
November 28, 2011 9:23 AM - Bob Marvin
I got the watch back from Manhattan Time Company on Friday and they seem to have done a really good job, even including a new strap. Of course the price WAS very high, as might be expected from a company that minly services high end watches. I'm not positive it was worth it, but I certainly prefer this'40s chronograph to anything I could buy new for $550.