I recently had to get my watch repaired. I was at the gym and I clipped the glass face against the end of a barbell. The impact cracked the face and took the second hand off with it. IT was annoying, but not a catastrophe. Someone recommended me a local jeweller to take it to and I dropped it off the following Saturday.
I’ve been wearing this watch constantly since I was about twelve years old. I got it for my birthday that year. At the time it seemed expensive to me, I think it cost a couple of hundred dollars. It was kinetic, so whenever I moved this mechanism inside moved as well and charged the battery. Totally self powered, if a little noisy and heavy. It had a couple of new faces and other little repairs occasionally, but on the whole it had served me well for a decade.
A couple of days after dropping it off, they called me with some pretty grim news. The jeweller said that the whole mechanism needed replacing. Ten years with no service will do that to a watch apparently. I’d never heard of anyone I knew taking a watch in for a service. I honestly never knew you had to. It was gonna cost $160, but then it might be good to go for another ten, he said. I probably couldn’t have replaced it for that amount, plus it had some sentimental value, so I told him to go ahead with the rebuild. It was a great gift that had served me very well so I thought I might as well keep it going for a little while longer.
A month went by without a call from the jewellers. When I called to see what was happening, they hadn’t even sent it to their watch repairer yet. Somehow they thought they were waiting on my decision, when I was sure I had already given them the go-ahead. Another fortnight went by without any calls, so I contacted them again, and they said they’d call back the next day when they’d spoken to the the repairer. No call. I called again after another fortnight. ‘I’ll speak to him and call you tomorrow.’ Again, no call. I was pretty angry by this stage.
I called up on Friday of last week and asked what the latest news was. The watch was ready to pick up on Wednesday, apparently. When were they going to call? ‘We were going to call today’, he said.
I didn’t know whether he was lying or not, I just couldn’t believe a word he said at that point. I made a firm comment about how I would’ve liked for him to call me on the Wednesday. He was responded quite indignantly’ like I had no right to make such a comment. They were hopeless.
When I went to pick it up, I quickly noticed it the band had been changed. I wondered why that was, because there wasn’t anything wrong with the band when I dropped it off. I asked about it, but the watch repairer had not noted why he had replaced it. It was pretty different from the original band: it was a glossy silver in appearance whereas the watch itself and the old band had a matte look. It didn’t really match the face. After surveying the old band it seemed that one of the hooks that held the pin to the watch face was broken beyond repair. I was sure this wasn’t my fault, but I was beyond caring at this point. I just wanted to never have to deal with these people again. I paid and left, and it was over.
I don’t like writing this sort of stuff. It comes across as precious, pedantic and whiny, but I think that it’s a story worth telling. Frankly, with something like this, I feel the best way is to just not deal with them again. It’s not my style to get angry or abusive or summon a plague on both their houses. I’m just disappointed, that’s all. Jewellery is gifted to people from their loved ones. People care about their jewellery. I care about this watch. I suppose that’s the story, really. What should’ve been a pretty straightforward experience turned into a drawn-out saga that was expensive, frustrating and disappointing. Make of that what you will.