The battle between the top luxury watch makers is truly ongoing, with names such as Rolex , Omega, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, and more each attempting to woo customers with services and perks outside of merely producing the more desirable timepieces. One of the things that makes watches a lot like cars when it comes to luxury goods is the fact that they will require service or repair from time to time. This makes timepieces very distinct from items such as jewelry, clothing, and handbags which have no mechanical element to them. Today, Rolex has confirmed to me that they are increasing the warranty and service offered with all new Rolex watches starting July 1, 2015. This is good news for Rolex buyers, but it is important to understand why this is happening in the context of luxury watches.
Conventional knowledge might suppose that the more expensive an item is, the more durable and robust it should be. Ideally is should be the case that cheap things require more repair while expensive things last longer. That isn’t always the case, unfortunately (as buyers of exotic cars will frequent lament to you), and it is very true in the sphere of timepieces. Perhaps, the biggest complaint watch owners have (aside from high initial prices) is the cost and effort required to get their watches fixed or merely serviced. At least for now, some of the world’s top brands are increasing the warranty period for new watches so that customers won’t have as much out of pocket expense when it comes time to fix or service a watch.
Like cars, timepiece need to go in for an “oil change” each few years. Some brands recommend each five years, and some brands a bit more or less. Unless you are the owner of a timepiece with a very complicated or exotic movement I suggest not servicing or repairing a watch until it has an actual problem. Servicing a watch is expensive, but it is also something that, if done correctly, requires a lot of time and effort. When service centers rush watch repair work, the results are often very disappointing. So yes, it can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars merely to service a watch. Repairs are yet another story, depending on the issue and complexity of the movement.
When taking a watch back to an authorized dealer, customers often fear being hit with high fees. With that said, in many cases, watches should go to authorized dealers for the best service results. By offering longer warranty periods, brands like Rolex hope to increase customer esteem for their products, but are also trying to lessen the potential costs of repair over time. With that said, even with increasing their warranty for all Rolex Oyster and Cellini watches to five years, most Rolex watches will never see a service center during that time. Warranties cover problems with a watch, and not servicing.