You might be wondering about the title of this blog, what does a visit to the dentist have to do with getting your watch repaired? Well, with this quick story, I will give you an idea of how similar they are to each other.
Now for some background info. I have had a toothache off and on for the last year. Nothing major, just an occassional pain in my back left wisdom tooth. Like most people, going to the dentist is not my idea of how I want to spend an afternoon. So with that being said, I put off going to the dentist for as long as possible. Fast forward to mid December. Now the tooth is a constant pain, starting to get annoying every day. My next though is, do I want to deal with this during the Christmas season or put it off for a bit. I thought about all of the good food and cookies coming up in the next few weeks and decided to wait until after the first of the year. By the first week of January it was time to go to the dentist. I stopped at my dentist(Dr. M) on a tuesday morning and told him of the problem. He was nice enough to take a quick X-Ray and said he would call me shortly. At about 10:00 his office called and said he could see me that day at 2. I left work early and stopped at his office. He showed me the X-ray and said I had a slight crack in my tooth but was unsure how bad it was since nothing major showed on the picture. His plan was to take a look and see what he found. He said I had 3 options, try and fill the tooth, cap it or pull it. I said OK, lets get started. He quickly found that the crack was not all the way through my tooth and he thought he could fill it. I gave him the go ahead and he started to drill. After quite a bit of work, he had it filled and we both crossed our fingers and hoped that it would hold. After a week, the tooth is still a bit sore, but seems quite a bit better than it was. I cross my fingers every day and hope the filling holds.
Now what does this have to do with your watch repair?? Quite a lot actually. Most of the calls that I get are from customers that have a watch that has been running well, but way overdue for service. Other calls are from customers that have a watch that is slowing down, or taking on moisture. They almost always wait until the watch is in dire need of service before they call me.
Sound familiar?? Dr M said that if I would have come in a year ago, it would have been a simple job, if I would have come in December, it most likely would have been no trouble, the fact that I waited the extra time is where things get difficult.
All of us that have a car take special care to change the oil every 3,000 miles. A big red light comes on in the car and gives us the news when we are overdue. A car is just too expensive of an investment to put off regular service. So why do we normally put off service on an expensive watch or a valuable family heirloom?? I think it is just human nature, the idea of “if it is not broke, don’t fix it” many time holds true.
The other similar thing with the dentist is when the Dr. told me that even with an X-Ray, he could not really tell how bad the tooth was until he got started. I tell customers this same thing every day. I can’t tell you what is going on under the dial until I have a chance to get the watch apart, then I can give them a more accurate estimate of the repair. My first estimate is from a quick look and things might change once I actually get into the watch. Customers also want me to diagnose the problem or give them an idea of cost just from seeing a picture of the watch or a description over the phone. As the Doc said, “I am not a mind reader” I need to see what you have before I start quoting prices or tell you if it is a job that I can do.
Movement side. Looks great, nice and clean, no visable rust.
Dial side, lots of rust!!
So the next time you run into trouble with your watch or a tooth, keep the Watchoctor and the Dentist in mind and take care of a small problem before it turns into a costly one!!