If you are anything like me, you never fully read the documents given with any purchase, preferring instead to just look at the quick guide to get whatever it is you have purchased up and running!
Of course as consumers, we are protected by law that the items we buy are fit for purpose and reputable brands and retailers only want delighted customers. There are however limitations to what warranties do and don’t cover, which is why we have created this blog. The more advice we can give you, the stronger peace of mind you will have.
The minimum guarantee period for any watch brand is 2 years from date of purchase, but many luxury brands now exceed this and supply their watches with anything from 3-5 years which really gives the customer ‘peace of mind’ and increased confidence in the quality of their watch.
The best advice is to take time to read the warranties terms and conditions that came with your watch, for full disclosure of all information. However as a general rule, your watch is guaranteed against material and manufacturing defects existing at the time of purchase.
By presenting a correctly stamped and dated warranty to an authorised dealer, you have the right to have any defect repaired free of charge. If a repair is unable to restore your watch to perfect working order, then you are entitled to an identical replacement or an alternative with similar characteristics.
Getting a refund for a faulty watch is at the sole discretion of the retailer from where you purchased the watch and not an obligation of the brand itself. In my experience, a reputable retailer will always work with you to provide a satisfactory solution and retain your valued future custom.
On the very rare occasion that your luxury watch does have a warranty issue, the brand will treat this as a priority and fast track it through their service departments to be rectified. It will then be thoroughly tested before being returned back to you.
WHAT TO EXPECT
It’s important to have the correct expectations on a time frame for repairs. The brand and retailer should keep you updated on anticipated return dates, which are always subject to the watch passing through the very stringent quality control. The brand's priority will be to ensure that your watch is returned in perfect working order.
It’s also worth noting that if you have a watch repaired or replaced under its purchase warranty, this does not reset the warranty period. Therefore the warranty date will continue to be from the original date of purchase. There can of course be exceptions to this, and retailers and watch brands should always treat every case on its own individual merits.
WHAT ISN’T COVERED
As well as knowing what your warranty does cover, it’s equally important to know what’s not included. In simple terms, it’s any defect that has been caused by accidental damage and general wear and tear, or incorrect use of the watch by not following the operating instructions.
Shocks to the movement are one of the most common reasons a watch will have a time keeping issue. More often than not you will know if you have dropped your watch or banged it in some way and there is usually some evidence of this on the watch case.
UNSURE WHY THERE IS A FAULT?
If you are not sure if your watch has a manufacturing defect or has incurred accidental damage during the warranty period, then return it together with the warranty for the brand's diagnostic teams to examine. If there is no clear evidence as to how a fault has come about, then the brand will repair your watch free of charge.
If the defect is a result of an accident, then the brand will provide evidence of this and give an estimate for the required repairs.
Many people are unaware that their household contents insurance often includes accidental damage cover, so it may be worth considering making a claim.
Many of today’s luxury watches are developed to be worn in challenging environments and withstand a certain amount of punishment. The brands will always take your watch's design specifications into account when considering a warranty claim and if there is ever any doubt about how a fault has come about, then they will nearly always act in favour of the customer and any retail partner.
No retailer ever enjoys telling a customer that the fault with their watch is not a manufacturing defect, but instead has arisen due to accidental damage or misuse. To help you potentially avoid this situation, I thought it a good idea to list some general advice on caring for your watch.
HERE ARE MY TOP 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR WATCH HEALTHY AND IN GREAT WORKING ORDER!
1. MAGNETIC FIELDS
Avoid placing your watch on computers, loudspeakers or refrigerators because they generate powerful magnetic fields. This can upset the mechanical movement inside your watch.
2. SWIMMING IN THE SEA
Always rinse your watch with fresh, clean water afterwards, for salt and grit can get stuck under bezels, crowns and between links which over time will cause premature wear. Of course if your watch is not meant for sea adventures, please don't take it in the ocean with you!
Your watch's waterproofing gaskets will be affected by ageing or a shock to the crown. I recommend that you have all seals checked a minimum of every 12 months to ensure a watertight seal.
Avoid them! The vibrations can really affect the delicate infrastructure inside your watch, which can result in your watch losing time or not functioning. If you have any concerns, please bring them into us.
Whether screw down or otherwise, ensure that it's in the correct position to avoid moisture entering your watch.
6. CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS
Unless your watch has been designed for the pushers to be used underwater do not operate in order to prevent water from entering the movement.
For metal bracelets, rubber strap and water-resistant cases use a toothbrush and soapy water for cleaning and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
8. CHEMICAL PRODUCTS
Avoid direct contact with solvents, perfumes, cosmetics, insect repellent etc as they may damage the finish or gaskets of your watch.
Avoid exposure to very extreme temperatures as this will have an effect on the oils inside your watch. A natural environment is always the best.
10. IF IN DOUBT - ASK
Never hesitate to reach out to an expert if you have any concerns. Sometimes ignoring that niggling feeling can do more harm than good, and we will always ensure that even the smallest issue is treated with our full attention.
A reputable retailer should always ensure you purchase a watch which that will suit your pattern of wear and be suitable for your lifestyle and activities. Have confidence in what you are buying and whom you are buying it from, and you will have many years of pleasure from wearing and owning your watch.
After all, time is very precious so enjoy every second, minute and hour.