Let Us Pamper Your Watch...


Vintage Watch Centre has gained considerable experience in servicing, repairing and restoring vintage watches by purchasing hundreds of watches each year and restoring them back to the beautiful condition they were originally in. The watch is entirely deconstructed down to each of its component parts to allow for a more thorough clean without any obstruction. Any components that are not up to par will be replaced with genuine original parts, being rebuilt and oiled in line with the manufacturers specification before we commence with the testing and calibration stage of our process. For the vast majority of the pieces we deal with, the dial and case of a watch will also undergo a professional restoration.

We choose watches to restore with great care, ensuring that only the highest quality pieces are accepted into our arsenal. However, our customers often approach us with watches in poor states of repair that will require a significant amount of restoration work, in these cases, the watch is often a family heirloom that has seen generations of wear – this poetic form of memorial is of the upmost importance to us, and as such, we will always deem a restoration of a vintage watch well worthwhile.

We will always be happy to service a top quality vintage watch, particularly if it is one of the brands in which we specialise: Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC,  Zenith, Universal Geneve Girard Perregaux and Heuer. Our watchmakers may also service other quality brands – please enquire. Our estimated prices can be found below.

We will be happy do as much or as little as you wish to your watch. In more detail, repairs and restoration may involve any or all of the following:

The Movement – A vintage Swiss movement is an incredibly robust example of mechanical engineering. With proper care and regular servicing one can expect a Swiss movement to continue beating almost indefinitely! Aside from the fact that Swiss movements are manufactured with incredible prestige, it is the fact that there is an abundance of replacement parts available that allows a movement to endure. Where replacement parts are not available, a watchmaker can craft a replacement part from scratch.

A vintage watch will undoubtedly require more regular attention than a modern piece, however, most issues can be resolved fairly inexpensively, unless of course the watch has been exposed to water or has been crushed. Most manufacturers recommend every three to four years, depending on the actual age of the watch.

The Watch Case – Surface scratches are an easy fix and can be removed with a light polish that will see no loss of definition to the case. Engravings and deep markings are a different story; this calibre of injury will require more attention from a specialist case-maker in order to restore it back to its former glory. If the case is already in good condition we would recommend a light clean and gentle polish to freshen up the steel.

The Case-back – As aforementioned, engravings can be attended to by our highly skilled case-makers which will undoubtedly see a dramatic improvement with no loss of thickness to the case. Unfortunately, this is highly skilled work and an estimate can only be provided once the case-back has been inspected. As a guideline, prices vary for this work between £300.00 and £500.00

Lugs – Lugs attach the strap or bracelet to the case. Bent or broken lugs can of course be repaired by our case-makers.

The Dial – Restoring a dial is an intricate process that will often require the careful stripping of paint and lacquer on the dial, only to have a fresh coat of each reapplied. This process will be recommended if a dial is scratched, pitted, stained or otherwise damaged. Our dials are refinished to an incredible standard, leaving them looking truly spectacular and undetectable from a new equivalent. However, this hugely time consuming process is reflected in its relatively expensive cost, so if a dial is in good condition it may prove more worthwhile to leave it alone to retain its originality. Please see our FAQs or call us for some further advice on this.

The Winding Crown – After many years of use the crown may have been replaced with an aftermarket counterpart – we can usually source an original branded crown to fix to your watch.

Watch Hands – A watches hands are often susceptible to wear through age or mishandling during a service. We can often source the correct replacement hands in fantastic condition.

The Lens – Whilst a watch crystal can often be polished to remove scratches, we prefer to replace these with the original replacement part. This is a little more expensive, but in our opinion, well-worthwhile.

To summarise, the restoration of a vintage watch can be expensive but this is almost always worthwhile. The cost is usually less than the added value to the watch, but perhaps more importantly, you will be bringing back to life something which is beautiful to wear and which can be treasured and enjoyed for many more decades to come.

Please call and ask for Alan or Brian on 0207 727 7095 (or +44 207 727 7095 from overseas), and we will be pleased to give you advice and approximate prices by telephone. Alternatively via email:  alan@vintagewatchcentre.com

 * * *  Price Guide Jan 2023  * * *

Servicing Your Watch: A full service includes fully dismantling the watch to all its component parts, cleaning and close examination, checking for signs of wear and replacement where necessary with only original parts, reassembly, adjustment, testing and calibration. This includes 12 months warranty on the movement.

Hand-wound watch: £395.00 Service
Automatic watch: £495.00 Service
Chronograph: £645.00 Service
Dial Restoration: £495.00 Restoring to the original specification by the U.K.’s top dial restorer.
Case Restoration: £395.00 Cleaning & polishing by one of the U.K.’s top case-makers, repair light damage.
Replacement Lens: £85.00 With a manufacturer’s original part. Typical price. Certain Omega and Rolex lenses may cost more.
Replace strap: £195.00 A good quality padded aligator leather strap in your choice of colour.
Valuation: £75.00 While we have your watch, we recommend that you opt to have a written valuation for insurance purposes. This will be for the replacement value, including three photographs. If you would like this carried out without any service work the charge will be £85.00

Kindly note, while these prices are estimated and do not include parts, these prices may be exceeded on rare occasion.

In order to proceed, please call us or send us an email prior to sending us your watch so that we may discuss and schedule the work.

Delivering your watch safely to us. We recommend you keep all original presentation boxes and paperwork as this keeps things simpler. Use use plenty of bubble wrap to secure the watch before placing it into a stout cardboard box or a spare Tupperware-type container.  Within the UK, we recommend that you use Royal Mail Special Delivery to send the watch to us, using the Next Day by 1 pm service and request maximum insurance which will be £2,500. The total, including postage and insurance will be no more £12.00. The size and weight of the parcel will not affect the price by more than a few pence. If your watch is worth more than £2,500 simply let us know and we will include the delivery on our blanket insurance policy, which will cover the value of the watch up to £10,000.  This method of delivery is very safe, as in over 15 years of using this system and literally thousands of consignments, we have never lost a parcel or needed to make a claim.

For overseas delivery, we recommend FedEx International and if you wish, we will arrange collection of your watch provided you agree to pack it carefully, as aforementioned. The shipping charges are typically £50.00 each way from most parts of the world. This will be included on the servicing repairs or restoration invoice prior to returning your watch.

Please use the following safe delivery address:-

VWCL – Alan Wood
Kensington Pavilion
96 Kensington High Street
W8 4SG

Finally, please let us know when we may expect your watch with a quick call to Alan or Brian on 0207 727 7095, (or if calling from overseas +44 207 727 7095). Alternatively, via email at: alan@vintagewatchcentre.com

We will then confirm the safe arrival of your watch and be in touch again shortly afterwards to agree the work to be carried out and to confirm our estimate.

We very much look forward to assisting you with your vintage watch, whatever the problem may be.