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IWC Watches

You need an IWC watch service, now what?

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IWC Watches

When the time comes for your IWC Watch Service it can be difficult to know where to turn

Do you return your IWC to the jewellers where you bought it? Do you hand it over a shopping centre kiosk? What about the number of online 'specialists'?

Many claim to be the fastest, the cheapest, the most experienced, leaving you confused with who to trust with your precious IWC. We have created this step-by-step guide to help you understand the accredited process of having your IWC serviced and what issues your watch may be experiencing, helping you make an educated decision when choosing a repair centre.

What’s wrong with my IWC watch?

IWC

That IWC on your wrist is a marvel of human engineering, with up to and sometimes exceeding 60 meticulously manufactured parts working in unison to keep accurate time.

Not only is it working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it also has to sustain the jolts and movement of day to day living which is no easy feat. Over time your IWC watch is going to need to be maintained by a professional watchmaker to restore it to optimum performance. Some of the most common faults your watch could be experiencing are;

Irritants in the Movement

Irritants in the Movement

The number one reason for your watch experiencing issues is a buildup of dirt and irritants inside the movement. The tolerance levels inside watch movements are so fine that any amount of dirt or dust can cause poor performance by becoming trapped between the parts. It is with this in mind that all watches should be serviced every 3-5 years to clean the movement completely and when having a battery replaced all seals and gaskets should be replaced to protect the movement from exposure to irritants. It is so important for a watchmaker’s workshop to be as clean and dust free as possible when working on your watch so always ask to see the workshop when having your watch repaired. If it doesn’t look like you could eat your dinner off the floor then it isn’t a suitable place for premium watch repairs to be carried out.

Mainspring

Problems with the Mainspring

The second most common problem that can affect your watches performance is an issue with the mainspring. The mainspring is your watches power source, which slowly unwinds releasing the right amount of energy to power the wheel train. It is the mainspring that is being wound when you turn the crown on a manual watch or when the oscillating weight in an automatic watch turns. If your crown is turning completely without any resistance this is most likely because your mainspring is broken and will need to be replaced. Without the mainspring performing at it’s optimal level your watches performance will suffer, so it is often replaced during repairs or services. You cannot however overwind a watch which is often what people believe to have happened when bringing in for repair.

Dry Oils and Lubricants

Dry oils and lubricants

Your watch has a number of moving parts all working together in unison. To stop each part wearing against each other specialist oil and lubricants are used to keep everything moving smoothly. These oils and lubricants only have a set shelf life and will dry up over time resulting in your watches parts grinding and wearing each other down. This causes dust and irritants to fill the movement and the level of accuracy to be diminished. Having your watch re-lubricated is very intricate work as there is a fine line between under and over oiling the movement and should always be carried out by an experienced watchmaker.

Moisture and Water damage

Moisture and Water damage

Nothing ruins a watch faster than water damage, causing rust throughout the movement. The only option available to repair if rust has set in is to replace the movement in it’s entirety. Although many watches are marketed as ‘water resistant’ this is only half true. The majority of watches are only splash proof and should never be submerged fully in water. Only specialist diving watches are designed to be worn under water. If in doubt you should always err on the side of caution and take your watch off if you plan on being anywhere near water as the damage to your water through water ingress could be substantial.

Magnetized movement

Magnetized movement

Just like other metals your watches movement can become magnetized when it comes into contact with certain levels of magnetic fields. These can be found near microwaves, large speakers or even the magnetic closure of purses and bags. A magnetized watch will run much faster than normal. Once magnetized you will have to take your watch into a professional watchmaker who will be able to check the movement and demagnetise using a special machine.

High Movement Consumption

High Movement Consumption

The older quartz movements (battery powered) become the higher their consumption can be which results in a new battery being needed more frequently. This can be due to dirt inside the movement, which is making the battery work harder to power the watch. It is often better value to replace the quartz movement in its entirety rather than service the watch as the replacement movement is cheaper than the value of the time it would take to strip and restore.

Where do I get a quote for an IWC watch service?

  • You need to locate an IWC Certified Watchmaker who has received IWC specific training
  • Find an accredited IWC Service centre to ensure your IWC repair is being carried out correctly.
  • Either drop off your watch in person or use the post to have a certified watchmaker examine your watch and prepare a diagnostic report for you.
  • It is important to only use an accredited service centre to ensure the repair to your watch has been carried out to IWC standards and with genuine IWC parts, retaining the value in your watch

We are proud to be an accredited IWC Service Centre. We offer a free repair pack which allows you to safely and securely post your IWC to our workshop from your nearest post office

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All watch deliveries are insured to £20,000 and tracked by Royal Mail

What is involved in an IWC Watch Service?

  • 1The watch is broken down and the movement is removed from the case. The bracelet, case, seals and movement are inspected thoroughly to diagnose any issues. We strip the whole movement and the case components.
  • 2Every part inside the watch is inspected for wear and anything showing the slightest sign of deterioration is removed and replaced with new parts from the manufacturer. Tolerances inside watches are so fine that even the smallest defect can affect performance.
  • 3Once inspected all parts are then put through our ultrasonic cleaner with specialist fluids, which removed old grease from the parts.
  • 4After it goes through the cleaning agent and three rinsing agents, it is put through a drying process resulting in a completely clean movement ready for re-assembly and lubricating.
IWC Watch Service
  • 5We assemble the movement and fit the dial and hands assuring everything are aligned and then time test the watch to assure it is performing accurately.
  • 6We then move on to the case and bracelet (if the watch has one) which is cleaned and refurbished. We use various polishing, cutting and grinding wheels to remove any small dents, scratches and imperfections where possible, brining the watch as close to new condition as possible.
  • 7The case is reassembled so it is now a watertight empty case. We then pressure test it to the required bar to ensure there are no leaks.
  • 8Watch is reassembled and time tested for the second time and placed on test for 2-3 days on our workshop simulator which slowly moves the watch round in different positions. This allows us to monitor the watches performance and see if any further adjustments are required.

What is the price of an IWC watch service?

IWC Watch Repair Price list

  • Maintenance Service – £65
  • Automatic Watch Service – £350
  • Chronograph Service – £430
  • Case and Bracelet Refurbishment – £70
  • New Sapphire Glass – £POA
  • New Bezel – £POA
  • Bracelet Restoration – £POA
  • New Strap – £POA
  • These are guide prices only, all watches are diagnostically inspected and quoted on a case by case basis.

Your IWC watch must always be diagnostically inspected first to produce an accurate repair quotation, this allows the watchmaker to find out exactly what issues need addressed and price any parts accordingly.

However most repairs are covered in a full IWC watch service price which varies depending on model. The price is made up of the master watchmakers time in servicing the watch (which can take up to 4 hours) and the cost of any parts required to restore performance. If you are being offered a service for cheaper than these costs it would be advisable to proceed with caution as it may be generic parts that are being used in your repair resulting in your watch losing its worth and running into similar problems soon after. The old adage holds true for luxury watch ownership, buy cheap, buy twice. Having your watch maintained by an accredited service centre will ensure your IWC watch lasts long into the future and retains its value.

How long do IWC repairs take?

Time for parts to arrive from manufacturer (can’t keep stock as too vast) and watchmakers time (can only do 2 services a day) Master watchmakers are in high demand with only a select few across the U.K who are trained and accredited to work on IWC watches.

UpdatesWe provide email and text updates on the progress of your watch repair.

Returned

IWC Mark XV Full Service. Recently sent my IWC Mark XV in for a full service. From getting the initial estimate to returning the watch the service from the team was great. The watch came back in fantastic condition, all blemishes removed. The watch has been keeping very accurate time since the repair and you can feel / hear how smooth the automatic mechanism now is. The repairer obviously knew what they were doing! Difficult to get IWC watches properly serviced without going back to the manufacturer, Jon Vincent's is a really good alternative.

Martyn Pearce
Trustpilot

Why choose Jon Vincent Watchmakers?

Fully Accredited
Fully Accredited

Fully accredited workshop in the U.K., purpose built to the highest Swiss standards.

Free and Secure Postal Repairs
Free Delivery

Our fully insured & tracked postal packs allow you to send your watch to us from anywhere in the U.K

Official parts and processes
Official Parts

Brand specific tooling and full access to official parts.

Established since 1987
Established 1987

Highly skilled team of watchmakers.

Restore your watch to showroom new

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Accreditations

The History of IWC

A brief History of IWC

Probus Scafusia – pride of workmanship, is the underlying motto of the International Watch Company. Established almost 150 years ago, IWC is one of the world’s leading premium brand’s in the luxury watch segment. It has distinguished itself for its passion for exquisite craftsmanship, and understated elegance.

The fascinating history of the brand reaches back to year 1868, when Florentine Ariosto Jones – a young American engineer and watchmaker, crossed the Atlantic to establish a company which would combine Swiss craftsmanship with a pioneering spirit, in order to make top quality watches for the American market.

Set in Schaffhausen, in the remote valleys of eastern Switzerland, Jones chose an unlikely spot for his business, far from the watchmaking centres of the Jura and Geneva. Characterised by innovation and technical inventiveness from its early beginnings, the IWC factory was established on the banks of the Rhine, where its modern premises relied on a hydropower plant to run its machinery.

Despite its advanced modes of production, the company faced problems in its early years resulting from an industry-wide crisis. This eventually led to bankruptcy, converting the business to a stock company in 1874. Six year later, it was taken over by the Schaffhausen industrialist of agricultural machinery – Johannes Rauschenbach. In 1883 Rauschenbach employed Urs Haenggi, who proved an important pillar in establishing the company anew, bringing order to its affairs. Along with Haenggi came Johann Vogel. He too was an important agent in ensuring prosperity of IWC by setting a clear technical direction.

Four generations of the Rauschenbach family owned IWC, under changing names. In 1905 the company was bequeathed to Ernst Homberger-Rauschenbach and to 25% to the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung and his wife Emma Marie Rauschenbach-Jung. In 1978, Hans Ernst Homberger, son of Ernst Homberger-Rauschenbach, became the last sole proprietor of the family business, selling it to the German VDO Adolf Schindling AG. Since 2000, the company has been part of the Richemont group.

Having a long tradition of exquisite craftsmanship, favouring manual dexterity over machinery, IWC watchmakers have successfully combined horological excellence with innovation. In 1977, IWC created the open-face pocket watch with a calendar and moon phase display – the firm’s first truly complicated timepiece. Following that, in 1985 the company produced a true milestone in watchmaking: the perpetual calendar from Kurt Klaus, found in the Portugieser as well as Da Vinci models.

Since 1978, the company has co-operated with the designer F.A. Porche. This resulted in the world’s first titanium-case chronograph produced in 1980, along with a collection of extra sleek, all black titanium-cased models with automatic chronograph movements. Original in appearance, their push buttons were completely integrated into the case.

In the 1990s, the engineers from Schaffhausen showcased their exceptional watchmaking skills, creating the first Grande Complication – a wristwatch featuring the automatic 79091-calibre movement. To mark the company’s 125th anniversary, 1993 saw the development of an even more advanced watch, the II Destriero Scafusia. At the time it was the world’s most complicated mechanical wristwatch. It sold in a one-off limited edition of 125 pieces, retailing in Britain for £125,000.

Currently the IWC watch family offers a wide diversity of styles. Among the most sought after models is the beautiful Portugieser. The line reaches back to the early 1930s when two Portuguese businessmen ordered wristwatches with the precision of marine chronometers. The eye-catching line consists of reliable pieces fit for ocean navigation, encompassing a classic design reminiscent of the epoch of great discoveries. The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is one of the most popular models of the brand and is the sportiest timepiece of the line.

IWC Portugieser watch

The history of the Portofino watch began in the late 1970s, which coincided with a steady increase in demand for simple, classic models. IWC’s Lépine pocket watch served as the basis for the new model. Thus, the Portofino became known as the ‘pocket-watch style wristwatch’.The classically elegant Porofino watch family reflects the laid back life-style of Southern Europe. Furthermore, the wide choice of colours of the Portofino midsize collection was inspired by the brightly coloured facades of the houses in Italian fishing village, after which the line takes its name. Ever since it premiered, it has been one of the brand’s most successful lines, and a symbol of understated good taste. The Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night combines the luxury of diamonds and mother-of-pearl for a more nonchalant appeal.

IWC Portofino watch

In 1967, diving’s growing popularity prompted the company to launch the first Aquatimer. The current watches from this line are more purist in appearance and feature a subdued colour range. They are water-resistant to 30 bar and include an internal revolving ring to indicate the time of immersion. Designed to accommodate the timekeeping needs of divers, they are an expression of truly advanced watchmaking.

IWC Aquatimer watch The Ingenieur was developed in 1950s. It was created as the brand’s leading antimagnetic watch. It is characterised by a practical design and a stainless steel case. It is a perfect blend of functionality and advanced technology.

IWC Ingenieur watch IWC started producing the Big Pilot’s watch in accordance with military specifications for a navigation or deck watch. Mark 11, produced from1948 onwards featured a plain, easy-to-read design, inspired by cockpit instrumentation of a contemporary aircraft. This was the best known of the Pilot’s watches. It was built for the Royal Air Force and was in service for more than 30 years. With its black dial and clear white numbers, date display, and slim centre seconds hand, it became the flagship of IWC’s line.

IWC Pilot's watchWhile producing an extensive collection of watches for a wide range of tastes and purposes, IWC remains true to its primary focus of crafting exceptional pieces, maintaining meticulous attention to the slightest detail. Each IWC watch is a captivating display of exceptional workmanship, functionality and design.

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Jon Vincent watchmakers have been repairing the world’s finest watches since 1987, providing a valuable and secure repair service for luxury watch owners across the U.K.

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