Before the invention of quartz timepieces, synthetic oils, or modern interchangeable parts, a Complete Service (or Overhaul) would be performed by State Registered watchmaker annually. This was often because the natural oils used to lubricate the mechanical movement would break down and cause the watch to stop. Today, most manufacturers recommend to have a complete service carried out every three to five years.
Unlike the movements and cases of “Modern” timepieces, spare parts for Pre-1990’s timepieces are becoming scarce, even for watchmakers with spare parts accounts. Some manufactures have a policy of discontinuing parts from certain decades. In such events, we will either inform the client of the lack of original parts and will offer after-market substitutes, if available. Restoration will be performed with a limited or no warranty, as gaskets and many movement components are impossible to find.
Swiss Made movements are designed for longevity and serviceability. Quartz timepieces of non-Swiss origin rarely have spots on the movement that can be tested. Due to the limitation, unless otherwise stated, if a battery does not hold up to at least one full year of function, the price of the battery exchange will be deducted from the price of the more comprehensive quartz movement exchange. In the vast majority of situations, a battery exchange on these timepieces fixes the problem while maintaining a more reasonable cost.
The invention of the quartz movement revolutionized the industry and nearly drove the mechanical movement into extinction. The combination of relatively accurate timekeeping, low maintenance and simplicity was a winning combination for the consumer. However, modern Swiss Made quartz timepieces still require testing and verification that they are functioning correctly. For most clients, the water-resistant gaskets will wear out far sooner than the quartz movement. With professional care, Swiss timepieces can last decades.
It can be considered that in the over 400 year history of timepieces, water-resistant timepieces are a fairly new development in the industry. In 1927, Mercedes Gleitze swam the English channel wearing a Rolex designed to be “water-proof”. Since 1927, many manufacturers have sealed their timepieces with rubber gaskets, plastic gaskets, elastic UV glue and more. It is required that gaskets be replaced whenever a seal is broken (crystal removed, case-back opened, crown tube unscrewed). On modern timepieces, gaskets should always be replaced and NEVER re-used, modified, or replaced with inferior quality.