Monday Morning blues

Just dropped off my Royal Eagle and Overseas with the local agent in Dubai, both stopped working around a year ago but as I travel around 200 days a year its not been a top priority. This is the 3rd failure for the overseas, 2nd for the Royal Eagle. These watches are rarely used and since I don't ever have this issue with any of my other timepieces, (Rolex, PP, GP,Omega)  I hoped to get some feedback through this forum on general reliability of these pieces?  reccomended service intervals for watches that have less than 40 hours use per year?

Another qute disturbing piece of information from the agent themselves... apparently it will take around one month to issue a report, I can be guarenteed it will state that the watches need to be sent to Geneve for repair and irrespective of the problem I can expect to pay around Usd 1400/ per piece ! This appears unusual and quite unsettling to me, I do not know if this is testement to the integrity of the agent or a process goverened by VC? I know from past experience that VC repairs take a long time to process (on past experience it was an average of five months per watch/repair)  The watches are eight and nine years old and in very good condition.

Needless to say Ive lost a lot of confidence in the brand and I hope some feedback may either reinstall some confidence or reaffirm my suspicions that quality control is not what all it should be.

With regards
Paul
Some thoughts
10/24/2011 - 15:58
Hi Paul, The oils of your watches have probably dried if you seldom wear your watches. Normally the best is to wind them up at least once a month. What other issues did you have with these watches? As for repair times a regular servicing for a modern watch takes 4-6 weeks. I can't give you indications on price but sometines retailers add a margin to what VC charges.
Re: Some thoughts
10/24/2011 - 17:39
Hi Alex and thank you for taking the time to respond. Other than the issue with them quite consistently breaking down, they are beautiful timepieces.  I did have them on winders for some of the time but I unfortunately got to the stage where rotating the watches on the winders (only three winders and 16 watches) became a bit of a chore, especially as I work away so much I just seemed to have other priorities when I got home.These particular watches have been worn once or twice each since we moved from Malaysia mid 2008 and ceased working around mid to late 2010.  I'll take your advice and in future make sure they get a charge at least once a month. With regards to the agent, I have no objection to a resonable margin being allocated, it was more the complacent process that appeared to be in play that  concerned me. Thanks and regards Paul
Hi Paul, I'm sorry to hear about your watch's problems
10/24/2011 - 16:09
I've had positive experiences so far with my VCs and after-sales service. Vintage watches that I've had to send to Geneva have taken awhile to restore (8-12 months).  All but one came back without a problem.  The one that did have a problem was sent back to Geneva, but turnaround was only 2 months. I'm lucky with my more modern VCs, as I have access to the NY and Shanghai Boutiques - both of which have master watchmakers that can perform maintenance and service on both the OS and Royal Eagle that you have.  Turnaround from these locations has also been around 2 months. I've found working with authorized dealers has been more challenging than VC owned Boutiques. When I can, I try to wear all of my watches, at least once a month...or at least wind them up once a month.  WIth your travel schedule, it looks like that is not necessarily easy for you to do - unless you bring them with you during your travels. What type of problems are you experiencing, are the watches stopping prematurely after a full wind, are they losing time?  I know my comments may not be of direct help to you, but your issues, just like anybody else's, always concern me - as I hope everybody receives the positive experiences that I have so far.  It is a major reason I am such a VC fan. Best Regards, Dan
Re: Hi Paul, I'm sorry to hear about your watch's problems
10/24/2011 - 17:46
Thanks Dan, I hear you on the dealers! Ive experienced this more than once. I have to say though that one both occassions the overseas went back to Switzerland it took four to five months to have it returned.  When I compare this turnaround to other industries it appears unusually long to me, especially when the problems appeared relatively minor. I'll take your advice in futue in terms of regular charging, the same from another chap on the forum so it sounds logical. Interesting that Ive never ever experienced this with any of my other watches, other breakdowns and failures yes but none that completely stopped working in the way both the Royal Eagle and Overseas have. Thanks and regards Paul
Re: Hi Paul, I'm sorry to hear about your watch's problems
11/14/2011 - 07:10
A wee update, just got the quotes in for both watches, around Usd 3000 for the Overseas and Usd 2000 for the Royal Eagle. What was a surpirse were the following notes on the report :

COMPLETE SERVICE MANDATORY - MOVEMENT IS STUCK AND DIRTY

- DIAL HAS MARKS AT 7 , 11

- DUST UNDER THE DIAL

- HANDS ARE RUSTY

- DENTS ON CASE AT 11

- WATCH IS OPENED

- SCRATCHES ON MOVEMENT SCREW AND BACK SCREW

- BACK SCREW HOLE IS DAMAGED - WRONG SCREWDRIVER USED

- BRACELET IS WRONGLY POLISHED

  The overseas has been to Vacheron COnstantin in Switzerland on the previous two occassions it stopped working, no-one else has touched it. This in my opinion does to some extent bring into question the integrity of the previous repairs. How can a watch that is only eight years old and is used around 40 hours a year and never neen in water have internal rust and dust under the dial? when not being worn its kept in its original  box in a safe.  The Royal Eagle does not appear to have the same issues but its anyway a Usd 2000 repair, this watch is around 6 years old and also kept in a safe in its orginal box. What concerns me is that I have never had an issue with any of my other watches all of which are stored in a similar way, These include GP,IWC,Omega,Rolex, Oris & Tag.  Other than looking at being Usd 5000 light to get these watches up and running I am based on the comments from the authorised dealers workshop, Im quite concerned about the integrity of the servicing in Geneve. Does anyone think it may be worthwhile contact VC in Geneve on these issues?  Would they be concerned that incorrect tools and processes appear to have been used ? Id welcome and appreciate some feedback from other Vacheron owners, I'd like to regain some faith in the brand as they are beautiful time pieces but reliability and service integrity appears to be in question,Regards Paul