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Watch Repair--Replacing Glass
March 1, 2006 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Watch repair: I just want to get cracked glass replaced.

Cheap? Expensive? Quick and easy, or long, drawn-out hassle? This would be on a watch that isn't wildly expensive, but not cheap either, originally about US$250.
posted by gimonca to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
 
I did it before with a Fossil watch about half that price. I just took it to a dealer who deals in that brand, they shipped it back for glass replacement & I picked it up at the dealer when it was done a couple weeks later. about US$30 as I recall. No hassle. Totally worth it for a watch you like.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:26 AM on March 1, 2006


It can't be that expensive; I have a friend who is a jeweler and who has replaced the crystal on my seiko of similar value for free (and cleaned the movement at the same time).
posted by TedW at 8:31 AM on March 1, 2006


It depends on how new your watch is, and the brand. If it's fairly new from a large, well-known watch company, then just take it back to the place that you bought it (they'll be an "authorized dealer"), and they'll send it in for you.

If it's an older watch, look in the Yellow Pages for a watch repair place. A watchmaker will have access to many different size crystals. If your crystal is sapphire (not as expensive as it sounds - it's synthetic sapphire), then it will cost anywhere from $20-100.

Good luck.
posted by Flakypastry at 8:33 AM on March 1, 2006


My spouse took an old family watch (circa 1930) to a mall watch repair place to fix the back seal and clean it out. He noted that the crystal was cracked and replaced it on the spot. It was fairly cheap and for an obscure watch, he had a matching crystal right there. My take is that this is a common enough problem (find a match for a broken crystal on watch brand foo) that it should be straightforward to manage it.
posted by plinth at 8:44 AM on March 1, 2006


gimonca, I'm so glad you asked this question! I have a swiss army watch (a mid-priced watch, maybe $300 - $400) and the crystal is pretty heavily scratched. I've been wanting to have it replaced, but was too lazy to actually look into doing it. Thank you!
posted by discokitty at 9:39 AM on March 1, 2006


It can't be that expensive; I have a friend who is a jeweler and who has replaced the crystal on my seiko of similar value for free (and cleaned the movement at the same time).

You have a generous friend. A full COA (clean, oil, adjust) for a watch movement generally goes for at least sixty bucks nowadays.

Crystal replacement is generally cheap, often no more than thirty or forty bucks. As Flakypastry points out, if you can do without the watch for a couple of weeks, send it to the manufacturer and they'll likely replace it for no more than the cost of shipping.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2006


Oh, and if the crystal is just scratched and is made of plastic (not glass or sapphire), it can be buffed.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2006


Removing the old crystal, and, particularly, putting in the new crystal, requires a special tool, which squeezes the edges of the crystal at many points around the edge. You can't do the job without it. Every watch-repair shop has the tool, as well as crystals in all the standard sizes.

This can be done in a few minutes and can cost as little as $25.
posted by KRS at 6:08 PM on March 1, 2006


You have a generous friend. A full COA (clean, oil, adjust) for a watch movement generally goes for at least sixty bucks nowadays.

Yes, he is a long-time buddy, but we have done each other a lot of favors over the years. In any event, you should remember that what a retailer charges for something is usually much more than what he pays for it, and this sort of thing is almost all labor cost. According to this page a Seiko crystal is only 8-15 dollars. And cleaning a quartz movement should be pretty trivial. Cleaning and adjusting a mechanical watch could be quite a job, and $60 might be a bargain. It would be interesting to know what kind of watch the original poster has.
posted by TedW at 7:32 PM on March 1, 2006


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