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Frank Wulfers

Watch repair by Christopher Ward

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I sent in my C60 Vintage for a small repair from the US on April 19. It was shipped with Priority Mail International and should take about 7-10 days. I returned watches to CW before and they usually get delivered in about a week.

I sent an email to CW and they replied with the following info:

Quote

The watch is being held awaiting payment of customs charges. They usually write to us to pay the charges and then the watch is released and sent in to us. Unfortunately this can be a timely process as they only write to us via letter. We will however confirm once the watch does arrive back here.

Is this slow process for custom clearance common? Other shipments with watches to the UK usually go through customs quickly. Wouldn't there be some kind of exception for watches that will not be imported and exported again? Who needs to pay those charges? It's a bit frustrating for it to take almost 3 weeks so far and nothing happening.

This is tracking info from Parcelforce. 

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Update May 10:

With the 5-8 weeks repair schedule, it was probably going to take 2-3 months before I will receive my watch back. Mine is only a small issue of a slipping crown which hopefully is a small repair. Oh well, fortunately I have a few other watches in the collection. At least it is not missing.

I sent another email to CW yesterday (no response yet) and noticed an update on the Parcelfore tracking site.

May 10 - Delivery scheduled
May 11 - Delivered

Looks like things were moving again!

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The watch was back in my possession on July 9 and the repair was made under warranty. The repair sheet showed 'crown head replaced' and watch kept for observation for 5 days. The good news is winding of the watch feels like new again. The time it took, communication and packaging is something that could be improved though, especially for an internet-only company. 

April 19: Watch shipped from USA

April 24: Arrived in UK

May 11: Delivery to CW after customs clearance

June 16: Received an order confirmation email. i assume this is when they started the repair. It was a bit confusing though because there was no mention this was for the repair.

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June 30: Received a dispatch email with order tracking number. Similar order email format, even though it wasn't really an order.

July 9: Delivered at my office

I sent in just the watch head wrapped in microfiber cloth and then in a box with lots of bubble wrap. This is how it was returned:

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It just doesn't seem the best way to protect and ship a 100g watch head in a 650g watch box that I will probably just throw out. And it doesn't look very professional. They added some bubble wrap between the top of the cushion and case lid but the watch head could still slide around.

I am glad the watch is repaired but it just took a long time and the process and communication from a customer point of view could be improved upon. Just some honest feedback that may be helpful to CW and not wanting to sound like a complainer.

So.... It took almost 3 months from shipping it out to receiving it back. Just one of the downsides of an overseas internet-only watch company but it is what it is. 

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I can understand some delays because of our borders but the way your watch was shipped back to you is inexcusable. CW needs to invest in watch service pods for repairs and warranty work. You are right when you say there packaging attempt was unprofessional. I had my Breitling serviced in another part of Canada and it was returned in a service module in a small box, very efficient and I am sure less costly than shipping another large watch box. The Breitling took 6 weeks in country, so I guess 3 months across the pond sounds almost reasonable.

Glad you got it back.........great looking watch.

Cheers, Mike.

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