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The Parts Issue Continues

by Jordan Ficklin

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I have been out of town for a few days and of course the work piled up while I was gone. I spent most of today estimating repairs.

One of the watches I dealt with today was a Maurice Lacroix automatic that I serviced one year ago. It had stopped working and when it came to me this time the oscillating weight had separated at the rivet, and the mainspring was broken. The watch houses an ETA 2834. I can get all the parts for the movement from any parts supply house except the oscillating weight which is signed Maurice Lacroix. Of course, I phone up Maurice Lacroix so I can hear them say what I already know. They don’t sell movement parts. If I send them the watch they will want to do a full service (but it was just serviced). I was able to re-rivet the weight back together but it gave me a bit of a scare. If I had not been able to repair the weight I would have been stuck sending the watch to them and either, losing a bunch of money on the repair, or making the customer pay for the repair.

This little scenario begs the question. Do I need to refuse every watch that I can’t get parts for, even if it houses a basic ETA movement? I don’t think I can keep entirely busy repairing only the few brands that will take care of me by supplying parts.

To add to the problems I screwed up the keyless works which will give me a topic to write about tomorrow. The day ended up okay with the watch reassembled and working.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted June 27, 2008 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I often see broken “parts only” movements on eBay. I guess the stuff you’re referring too is unlikely to turn up in such a state, but you never know. At the watchmaking club/school I attend we have a massive collection of broken bits collected over the years – it’s not often you can’t find a suitable bit. :-)

  2. Prem
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Hi Jp,
    Making common sense of it all, is the challenge s faced by watchmakers in the 21st century! Maurice Lacroix use, to their own advantage of course, modified ETA movements. These, as you are well aware of, are practically the same as other ETA movements- except when you get to parts like the main plates, or bridges, and ornamental designs. In every likelihood, one never needs parts such as these- but when it happens the manufacturer will take stock of the situation, and probably would want ‘in’ on the repair prices charged. The possibilities are limited, when you repair, and as my old Boss always said, ‘Let common sense prevail’
    I’d always say Amen to that…LOL
    Prem

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