frustrated with patek philippe poor service

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cantos
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frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by cantos » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:11 pm

What would you do?

I have a vintage gold patek with very strong sentimental value, given to me. It works alright (automatic) but is too small for my wrist. From what I can tell online, the watch itself is worth maybe $10k. I send it over to Patek locally for repair/updating (it's been 30+ years since last servicing), and they send it to Geneva for an estimate.

3 months pass (!). I get an estimate. Hope you're sitting down. "Mandatory repair" estimate is $2,500. The "optional repair" estimate is another $4,000, which includes enlarging the bracelet (making a new part/etc for it, all solid gold). So they want total $6,500. After much thought thought I gave in partly, and said I'd do the mandatory & part of the optional repair (beautifying/replacing the face), but not bother with enlarging the bracelet, so total $4,000 instead of $6,500. So now Patek has to come up with another invoice.

Another 2 weeks have passed (!), nothing happening. I mean really. All they have to do is delete a few items and re-print the dang invoice and email it.

Anyway, what would you do? I'm of a mind to say forget about it, send me back the watch, I'll hold it forever as a lesson in money: avoid owning something that will cost you a lot over time, especially gaudy things. On the other hand due to sentimentality I'm thinking just wait it out patiently and pay up the $4,000. (I'm an impatient person). FYI I do wear a suit fairly often and give presentations so wearing the watch is something that I would actually do and not be too out of place.

Note that for my financial position this is affordable (<1% investable assets) and not a huge deal. But $4,000 for a watch that is worth $10k at best is an exercise in pain and rather incredulous, regardless of whether I can afford it.

Frustrated with both the ridiculous (in any other industry, UNACCEPTABLE) amount of time it takes to do anything w Patek, and with the high service price. Give me your wisdom, Bogleheadlians...

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Pajamas
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Pajamas » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Do what one of my professors did. Wear the expensive broken watch for show and keep a Timex in your pocket to tell the time with.

These days, you could just use your phone for the time, you wouldn't even need to buy a Timex.

If you insist on a working watch, get someone here in the U.S. who specializes in vintage timepieces to fix it. Of course a Geneva watchmaker is going to charge a small fortune to restore a vintage model. They are not only having to repair it but also assume the liability of any damage incurred. Plus the USD is weak. You are also paying for heritage, "the richness of Patek Philippe"!

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/fash ... nd-me.html
Last edited by Pajamas on Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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parsi1
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by parsi1 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:18 pm

forget about servicing the Patek and keep it the way it is in a safe.
spend $5000 for a Rolex, wear it the rest of your life and enjoy it.

Katietsu
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Katietsu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:34 pm

Read this story. Then you at least will understand the world you are interacting with.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... e.amp.html

z91
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by z91 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:08 pm

Try WatchUSeek forums. Share your story there and see if they can help provide some advice. What may be better is finding a local (at least in the US) watchmaker that can help fix this at a fraction of the cost. They can probably source genuine parts too depending on their volume/connections.

Vintage is tricky..some parts are easy to get, others you have to get direct.

Silk McCue
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:14 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:34 pm
Read this story. Then you at least will understand the world you are interacting with.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nyt ... e.amp.html
Thanks for finding and sharing this interesting read.

sambb
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by sambb » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:27 am

didnt realize people wear watches anymore - iphone tells the time well. I have owned lange, rolex, patek, etc. Sold them all in the last 10 years, as most people i know dont wear watches anymore (except smart watches). For some, who still like them, and like newspapers, record players, etc. etc., these watches are more like art for the vintage lifestyle. I remember a Lange i owned was 1500 for routine service. Patek's prices and time delays are typical for that brand. I dont consider that price to be exorbitant for a patek at all. Seems reasonable. Just not for me .. Similar could be said for newspapers (news is free and more up to date on internet, so why pay), and record players (music is free on internet also).

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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by HongKonger » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:53 am

I don't see this as slack service at all. It is a luxury brand, not a conveyor belt product. They probably imagine you are wearing you L&S/Audemars in the meantime, lol.
If you want to maintain it's value, I would not have it serviced by another watchmaker. Service history is important.

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happyisland
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by happyisland » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:02 am

Sounds like unacceptably crappy customer service, particularly from a brand that is supposedly selling luxury goods.

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corn18
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by corn18 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:07 am

Can you post a pic of the watch?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:40 am

I'll tell you what I did. I have a 1963 Longines automatic watch inherited from my dad. It needs work. I consider it to be a bracelet and wear it rarely. I have a phone, so why would I need a watch to know what time it is?

If this were my watch and say my dad had sent it off for repair estimates before passing, I'd have them send it back with no work done to it. Automatic watches are sort of silly these days when a $2.95 watch from Wal*Mart keeps time better.
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midareff
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by midareff » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:50 am

Some watches such as Patek, or even a Rolex which is more common can be considered wearable art (Patek) or jewelry (Rolex, etc.). Everything in life requires maintenance, even us. For folks that can afford a new Patek I don't see a once or twice a lifetime maintenance like this as a big deal.

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Strayshot
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Strayshot » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:27 am

I would fix it for the full amount and get it ready to wear, the money isn’t significant, you say it has lots of sentimental value, go for it. Life is short, fix it and wear it! Pass it on to someone special in your will and hope they also enjoy it :sharebeer

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samsoes
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by samsoes » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:29 am

sambb wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:27 am
didnt realize people wear watches anymore - iphone tells the time well. I have owned lange, rolex, patek, etc. Sold them all in the last 10 years, as most people i know dont wear watches anymore (except smart watches). For some, who still like them, and like newspapers, record players, etc. etc., these watches are more like art for the vintage lifestyle. I remember a Lange i owned was 1500 for routine service. Patek's prices and time delays are typical for that brand. I dont consider that price to be exorbitant for a patek at all. Seems reasonable. Just not for me .. Similar could be said for newspapers (news is free and more up to date on internet, so why pay), and record players (music is free on internet also).
I always wear a watch. It's far easier to glance at my wrist than retrieve the phone (in which ever pocket it may be) and press the button on the side to see the time.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

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topper1296
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by topper1296 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:42 am

samsoes wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:29 am
I always wear a watch. It's far easier to glance at my wrist than retrieve the phone (in which ever pocket it may be) and press the button on the side to see the time.
Agreed.

And wow. I know that Patek and Longines are NOT on the same level in the world of watches, however I guess I can't complain about the cost to service my Longines I've owned for about 8 years now. I took it in a couple weeks ago to a local jeweler that is authorized to work on Longines and it will cost me about $400 for routine maintenance on the movement and to polish the casing and bracelet (this will be the first time I've had any work done on it). I'm supposed to get it back in about 3 weeks and it comes with a 24 month warranty for the service done to it.

Frisco Kid
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:02 am

I also don't see this as poor service. A Patek is a "niche" high end product along the lines of owning a Ferrari in the automobile world. Their clientele is typically very discriminating. Great article shared by previous poster, a company that can fabricate parts when required can charge time plus materials and yes it will be very expensive. To me old world craftsmanship is worth the $ to those that can afford it. While a Patek is way beyond my means am fortunate to own a Rolex and several antique clocks. Getting them repaired/serviced is just as much of a challenge but thankfully much more affordable. For example, sending an antique Chelsea ships clock back to the factory results in a similar process as Patek.

barnaclebob
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:38 am

Think of it as dealing with artists, not a business. Get the watch fixed so you can wear it, you probably wont regret it.

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corn18
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by corn18 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:41 am

I'd love to see some pics of the watch. A vintage, gold PP that has been fully serviced by PP can be worth well north of $16k. And if you still have the original box and papers, stand by for crazy numbers.

davidsorensen32
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:51 am

I had very similar experience as you. At the end I sold the watch and donated the proceeds to charity. Solved 2 problems at once and I feel so much more happier than when I had the PP.
cantos wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:11 pm
What would you do?

I have a vintage gold patek with very strong sentimental value, given to me. It works alright (automatic) but is too small for my wrist. From what I can tell online, the watch itself is worth maybe $10k. I send it over to Patek locally for repair/updating (it's been 30+ years since last servicing), and they send it to Geneva for an estimate.

3 months pass (!). I get an estimate. Hope you're sitting down. "Mandatory repair" estimate is $2,500. The "optional repair" estimate is another $4,000, which includes enlarging the bracelet (making a new part/etc for it, all solid gold). So they want total $6,500. After much thought thought I gave in partly, and said I'd do the mandatory & part of the optional repair (beautifying/replacing the face), but not bother with enlarging the bracelet, so total $4,000 instead of $6,500. So now Patek has to come up with another invoice.

Another 2 weeks have passed (!), nothing happening. I mean really. All they have to do is delete a few items and re-print the dang invoice and email it.

Anyway, what would you do? I'm of a mind to say forget about it, send me back the watch, I'll hold it forever as a lesson in money: avoid owning something that will cost you a lot over time, especially gaudy things. On the other hand due to sentimentality I'm thinking just wait it out patiently and pay up the $4,000. (I'm an impatient person). FYI I do wear a suit fairly often and give presentations so wearing the watch is something that I would actually do and not be too out of place.

Note that for my financial position this is affordable (<1% investable assets) and not a huge deal. But $4,000 for a watch that is worth $10k at best is an exercise in pain and rather incredulous, regardless of whether I can afford it.

Frustrated with both the ridiculous (in any other industry, UNACCEPTABLE) amount of time it takes to do anything w Patek, and with the high service price. Give me your wisdom, Bogleheadlians...

adamthesmythe
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Most amusing (to one who does not buy watches).

An expensive watch is a gift that keeps on taking.

hilink73
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by hilink73 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:09 pm

cantos wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:11 pm
I have a vintage gold patek
Very nice!
Congrats.
cantos wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:11 pm
Frustrated with both the ridiculous (in any other industry, UNACCEPTABLE) amount of time it takes to do anything w Patek, and with the high service price. Give me your wisdom, Bogleheadlians...


Excuse me, but what are you complaining about?

1. It's a great Swiss watch.

2. Living in Switzerland, I can tell you: this is normal. It's slow and you pay for everything. There's nothing free.

3. Living in Switzerland, I can tell you that "service" in Switzerland means something different than in the US. Obviously.
Service means quality which you pay for. [OT comment removed by moderator prudent]


So, stop complaining, get your watch repaired and wear it until you drop dead.

hilink73
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by hilink73 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:08 pm

topper1296 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:42 am
samsoes wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:29 am
I always wear a watch. It's far easier to glance at my wrist than retrieve the phone (in which ever pocket it may be) and press the button on the side to see the time.
Agreed.
Agreed, too.

Funny how people compare a classic watch, a piece of craftsmanship, to a piece of plastic which is replaced every two years or so.

There is fashion, and there is style...
Knowing the difference is what makes you stand out.

mouses
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by mouses » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:40 pm

If I were rolling in money, I'd have it repaired. Otherwise, I'd just ask for it back and keep it as a keepsake.

(If you're going to fork out major bucks anyway, I'd have the bracelet enlarged. It can't be comfortable wearing it with one that is too small.)

leod
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by leod » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:42 pm

For 4000, i would take the watch back. Its small on your wrist anyway thetvyou not even use it

123
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by 123 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:49 pm

Maybe $6,500 every 30 years ($217 yearly) or $4,000 every 30 years ($133 yearly) is a reasonable cost when you amortize it all out to enjoy a fine watch. I could buy a new Seiko watch every year at those rates, but I'm not you.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

daveydoo
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by daveydoo » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:54 pm

From experience:

Get a really nice leather strap -- maybe alligator or croc (few $hundred). Do not repair the watch unless it fails to keep time. For a Patek, go whole-hog (mixing animal metaphors, I guess) and look up Dangerous9 in Germany. He will custom design a strap for your exact watch. It will not be quick but they are beautiful (family surprised me with one; DS is an expert).

Why I say this: I had a nice vintage Omega "pie-pan" dial (tiny fraction of the value of yours) and I took it to the ultra-high-end independent watch service in my town. They did the full rehab on site so I would not need to send it back to Omega (maybe $400). They bent the minute hand. Many months and arguments later, they found the "identical" hand -- which isn't -- and I hardly wear the watch because it reminds me more of the painful experience than of the loved one whom it was intended to remind me of!

So I vote for minimizing the pain and simply making the too-small watch wearable. Patina on the dial and scratches on the case? That's perfect, imo. That's the original owner's mark.
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staythecourse
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by staythecourse » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:08 pm

midareff wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:50 am
Some watches such as Patek, or even a Rolex which is more common can be considered wearable art (Patek) or jewelry (Rolex, etc.). Everything in life requires maintenance, even us. For folks that can afford a new Patek I don't see a once or twice a lifetime maintenance like this as a big deal.
To be honest I completely agree. If you were telling me your seiko or timex needed this much work I would say forget about it since they have a PURE utilitarian function of keeping time with much cheaper options already available.

Your watch is NOT utilitarian it is an expressive decision to have it and wear it. Those who wear such watches (not specifically the OP, but for the most part everyone else who purchases such products) are not wearing it to tell time, but for others around them to know they have money. or status or both. So paying x amount once for a vintage version of the watch is no big deal if you look it through those lenses. These type of extra costs come with the territory. It is like complaining the tires on your Rolls cost more then a Honda's tire. That is the cost of making expressive decisions.

Now if holding onto the watch is an emotional one (sentimental) and have no interest in ever wearing it (thus not expressive) don't waste the money and have it in safely tucked away in your sock drawer.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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corn18
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by corn18 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:22 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:08 pm
Those who wear such watches (not specifically the OP, but for the most part everyone else who purchases such products) are not wearing it to tell time, but for others around them to know they have money. or status or both.
Hmmm... I did not know that is why I bought these watches. I can assure you absolutely no one knew that I was wearing a $40,000 watch. That's what a Rolex is for. Very, very few people in the world know an AP, PP or ALS and what they represent.

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prudent
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by prudent » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:28 pm

Topic is locked (derailed, exhausted).

Dottie57
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Re: frustrated with patek philippe poor service

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:33 pm

samsoes wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:29 am
sambb wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:27 am
didnt realize people wear watches anymore - iphone tells the time well. I have owned lange, rolex, patek, etc. Sold them all in the last 10 years, as most people i know dont wear watches anymore (except smart watches). For some, who still like them, and like newspapers, record players, etc. etc., these watches are more like art for the vintage lifestyle. I remember a Lange i owned was 1500 for routine service. Patek's prices and time delays are typical for that brand. I dont consider that price to be exorbitant for a patek at all. Seems reasonable. Just not for me .. Similar could be said for newspapers (news is free and more up to date on internet, so why pay), and record players (music is free on internet also).
I always wear a watch. It's far easier to glance at my wrist than retrieve the phone (in which ever pocket it may be) and press the button on the side to see the time.
+1

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