Do you have a valuable watch that is in need of repairs? Do you worry about handing it over to someone who doesn’t have the knowledge and skill to work on your watch? The shrinking number of repair shops across the nation can make finding a reputable shop even more daunting. However, you can set your mind at ease by researching your options to choose the best watch repair professional for your high-end watch.

While humanity has always sought out ways to record the passage of time, watches take the experience to a personal level. More than just timepieces, watches tell a story about the owner. In fact, well-known watch manufacturer Patek Philippe crafted one of the first wrist-designed timekeeping device to decorate the wrist of Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.

Today, most folks in the modern world have a smartphone with them around the clock. However, this doesn’t mean that timepieces are obsolete. Quite the opposite is true; today, a timepiece conveys a great deal of information about the wearer. The classy sophistication associated with luxury watches and the elegant display are enough to attract anyone to purchasing one.

But, that leaves the question of what to do when it quits working. In fact, you need to think about regularly scheduled maintenance checks to catch potential problems before they have a negative impact on the watch function or aesthetics.

Unless you live in a metropolitan area, you might need to have your valuable watch repaired in a distant location. One option is to have your watch serviced while you are near a reputable repair shop. Alternatively, you can ship the watch.

Go online to find onsite jewelry repair near me. If you live in a smaller community, you might need to expand your search parameters to include more populated areas nearby. Begin your research with these results.

For those unable to find a reputable shop with the initial search near home, it will be important to come back to this step and extend the parameters. You can focus on your region of the country, or even the entire nation itself. Be leery about shipping your expensive watch overseas where you will have little recourse, if any, should the repair shop fail to return your repaired watch.

Now, you will need to visit the website for each shop on your list. Look for a list of watch brands serviced by their watch experts. While this alone isn’t a guarantee that they are the right company for your watch repair needs, you can certainly eliminate any that don’t list your watch manufacturer. After all, why would you turn over a Rolex or Girard-Perregaux to someone ill-equipped to fix it?

Next, you will want to investigate the history of the business. Visit the “About Us” page of each site to find out how long the watch repair shop has been in operation, as well as staff credentials. Are they accredited by various brands listed on their site? Are they part of an organization like the American Watchmaker-Clockmaker Institute or Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program? Certified brand affiliation should be the minimum standard you have.

In addition to watchmaking affiliations, you need to look at professional affiliations within the community. Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce? Have they been covered in a reputable publication, such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or similar local publication?

Your list should have narrowed down considerably from where you started. At this point, you are ready to begin reading reviews about each of the businesses. While you will still need to find more on their websites, you don’t want to invest any more of your time until you have researched their service reputation.

Go to your favorite search engine, type in the name of the watch repair shop, adding the word “review” to the search query before you hit “Enter.” Click on several of the search results and scan through what people have said. In particular, you should pay attention to customer reviews with similar needs to your own. This includes brand and service type.

While every business can get a bad review from time to time, you should be looking for patterns of poor service. Give greater weight to results left within the past year, because changes in the staff could impact the statistics. Eliminate any of the watch repair shops with consistently poor or average service.

There are many different types of watch repair services available, and you might not even know what your watch needs to function properly. However, you can go back to the websites of the remaining shops to find out which professional services are provided for watch repair. Some of the things to look out for are:

* Strap or band replacement

* Polishing

* Basic maintenance and service

* Full overhaul

* Calibration

* Hand and crystal replacement

* Refinishing and replacement of dial

* Replacement of stem and crown

* Functionality review

* Testing against factor specs

At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of your top two or three picks. Put any remaining ones on the back burner, focusing on the first three. Contact the repair shop via their website in order to begin a dialogue. When you interact with company representatives, pay attention to how you are treated. Do you feel comfortable or ill at ease? If you feel any twinges in your gut, eliminate them from your list of candidates.

Discuss the best way for you to get the watch to and from the shop. Whether this is establishing an after-hours drop off, secured mail or simply stopping by on your lunch break, you will feel better going into it with a plan. Don’t forget to get a clear time frame and cost estimate before handing your luxury watch over to the repair shop.

If you go through these steps, you should have a positive experience with your watch repair services. Then, you will have a dependable shop to handle all of your watch maintenance and repair needs!