Vintage Vacheron Repair

Hello everyone,

I accidentally dropped my 1942 VC watch on the pavement, there isn't much damage to the case as the first point of impact was the crown (which has survived with two minor dents), but the plexiglass popped out. I tried putting it back in by brute force but did not want to push it too hard.

So I took it to the VC boutique in London. The watchmaker wasn't in but one of the people there told me that they would have to have it sent to Switzerland, and that they would probably want to do a full service on it, and that getting an esitmate for the service would take 6-8 weeks and getting it actually serviced would take the better part of the year. 

The watch is still keeping good time post-trauma, so I hesitated to take them up on their offer; especially because this is my only dress watch and I would not want to spend a year without it, but also because they could not tell me how much all of this would cost me. So I took it to Wempe on Bond Street, where the watchmaker said they would simply take the piece and transfer it to the VC boutique.

First of all, what are your thoughts about whether I should leave it to the VC boutique to handle or have someone pop the plexiglass back in? If you think I could go with the second option, I was wondering whether anyone could suggest a trustworthy watch repairer in London who could help me out with this. I am leaning towards the second option, as I find it impractical to spend a year to have the plexiglass popped back in, and also because I just moved to London and might not be able to afford spending a fortune on a blunder.

Thank you all so much in advance.


09/25/2016 - 01:56

Much depends on the rarity, condition and value of your piece.  Can you please share some details and even photos?

Re: Vintage Vacheron Repair
09/25/2016 - 17:22

If all you think is needed at this point is to reinstall the plexiglass; then I would recommend taking it to a reputable watch repairman/woman next.

If you do not have a watch repairman ask around for recommendations.

If all you need is a new tire on your vehicle, do you schedule it in for a major overhaul/service?

Re: Re: Vintage Vacheron Repair
09/25/2016 - 22:49

The respose from 'tick talk' makes a greart deal of sense.

"Dont' tell me"

Take the trouble to feature some photographs - every picture 'tells a story!

Good to hear from you.


A service by VC will be relatively expensive and take time (11-months)
09/26/2016 - 21:48

A wristwatch of your vintage probably does not have shock protection, so while the watch is still may not be running within specifications.

VC tends to be all or nothing, so if they service the watch, they need to make sure it meets their standards, they do not allow a customer to pick and choose which services they deem to be required.  As they offer a 1-year warranty, VC also does not want to get into a "he said/she said" conversation about the root cause of any potential issue.

You can send it in to VC and they will give you a fully itemized description of issues they identify as well as cost.  You can then decide whether or not you want them to do anything to your watch.

BR, Dan

Boutique watch guy?
09/27/2016 - 12:33

Dan is right. While I've heard horror stories of Audermars Piguet service charges (done in Florida), I know that Vacheron Constantin is not known for it's service punctuality. (What ever happened to the Calvinist work aethic in Geneva?!) An alternative I will use is the NYC Boutique watch service guy. When I took him my 1972 for getting the movement number, he was fantastic. When I asked about service, he told me that if I gave him a few hours and returned, he'd give me a precise cost and time for the service. So, you might be able to find a VC Boutique (in Istanbul, possibly) and see if they can help.

The issue isn't actually the competence of local boutique watchmaker but VC policy is
09/27/2016 - 12:36

that all vintage watches should be sent to Geneva to the specific adepartment in charge of vintage. These are watchmakers who are used to working on vintage movements and have both the knowledge and expertise.

Of curse if it is just about putting a crystal back in the local watchmaker can take care of it

Re: Vintage Vacheron Repair
10/03/2016 - 16:19

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the suspense first of all. I was looking for an apartment in London, which turns out to be a full-time job on its own, and then I had to travel over the weekend.

Anyway, you may find some pictures attached although there is an advesive sheet over the watch to make sure everything stays in place. 

I will say that the watch still keeps pretty good time (less than +/-2 minutes if you believe it!). I haven't peeked inside since I have gotten it, and I do mean to get it fully serviced at some point but probably not right now. I'll be in Geneva in December, so perhaps I'll just deliver it myself.

So, for the time being, could anyone advise me as to where I could take my watch in London to get the plexiglass popped back in?

Thank you to everyone who has so kindly offered their advice and help.


A Vintage Vacheron Repair Vintage Vacheron Repair

why don't you just go back to VC boutique and tell them that you just
10/03/2016 - 16:23

want to have the crystal put back in. Their watchmaker, Celine, will be able to do it very rapidly and watch won't need to go back to Geneva

Re: why don't you just go back to VC boutique and tell them that you just
10/03/2016 - 18:34

Hello Alex. Thank you so much, I will do as you suggest tomorrow. The watchmaker wasn't in the first time I went and the other staff were quite adamant on sending the watch over, and refused to entertain the option of putting the crystal back in. I'm sure the watchmaker would be much more understanding :)

Lovely watch by the way
10/04/2016 - 06:18

Classic "claw" lugs really give it presence.