How Long Does A Watch Service Take?

Servicing your watch is an essential part of its care. Even with the best care you can provide at home, having your watch serviced will be beneficial. Now, you might wonder how long a service will take, as you don’t want to be without your beloved timepiece for too long.

These are the durations of servicing for different brands:

Rolex4-6 weeks
Tag Heuer5-6 weeks
Omega3-5 weeks
Grand Seiko4-6 weeks
Panerai4-12 weeks
Audemars Piguet8-16 weeks
Average time it takes to service a watch

As you can see, the time a watch service takes can vary a lot. In this article, I will make sure you understand why these variations occur. 

Table of Contents

How Long Does It Take To Service A Watch?

On average, servicing a watch takes anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. How long exactly will depend on the design of the piece. For basic timepieces with basic designs, the service could be done in a couple of weeks. For more complex watches, servicing a timepiece could take several weeks. 

It Depends On The Complexity Of Your Watch

A complex mechanical watch will require the movement to be dismantled completely to proceed with the service. This is a delicate and lengthy process that could make the service longer than you think.

Complexity is the key to knowing how long the process will take. For battery watches, the service would be considerably shorter. These models don’t have as many parts nor as many details as mechanical models could have.

The duration of the service will also vary depending on the work that needs to be done. If the watch has suffered extensive damage, you might be looking at a longer period of time. You cannot rush the watchmaker in the process of fixing your timepiece.

It is paramount to leave the expert do the job untroubled. That way he can provide the best results. The more attention to detail, the better.

It Depends On Where You Have Your Watch Serviced

Another aspect to consider is the location of the service center. Each manufacturer will have service centers in different states, cities, and countries around the world. You might want to go with the nearest service center to your location. 

That way, you will not have to worry about the time it will take for the watch just to arrive at the service center. In some cases, you might prefer to prioritize quality over time and send your precious model to Switzerland. 

Sending the watch to Switzerland could ensure the high-quality of the service, but you need to be conscious of the time it will take. If you have a high-end Swiss watch and want to protect it at all costs, you might prefer to send it to the original manufacturer.

Basic models could probably be serviced in the city you live in, eliminating the necessity of sending them to another state or overseas. The time it would take to service them would be less compared to complex models. 

In general terms, a local watchmaker would have a quicker turnaround than sending the watch to a service center in a different location.  

Moreover, most manufacturers have some specifications regarding how long the complete service should last. You can check the recommendations for your timepiece directly with your manufacturer.

Knowing your watch and its requirements will give you a helping hand to provide the best care possible.

Where Can I Have My Watch Serviced?

Watches can be serviced by qualified local jewelers and the certified service centers of the manufacturer. The optimal condition would be to have the manufacturer service the watch. If a local jeweler works on a timepiece, the warranty could be voided.

Manufacturers know better than anyone the importance of servicing a watch. For that, they also offer this service to the buyers. The leading watch brands have service centers all around the world to take care of their timepieces.

The best thing you can do is leave your watch in the hands of the professionals. They will treat your timepiece as it was originally intended to be treated. Moreover, they will act according to the warranty, so you will be on the safe side there. 

The other option is to have a qualified local jeweler take on the task. This could reduce the time of the service, depending on the demand of the jeweler. The watch would not need to travel anywhere to be treated.

The problem with having a local jeweler do the job is that the warranty would be voided. Once a third party works on the watch, the manufacturer has no further responsibility regarding the timepiece. If your warranty is still in effect, you might want to think twice before doing this. 

Having the manufacturer service the watch would be more expensive, compared to a local jeweler. The costs of sending the timepiece to a certified service center for maintenance are normally higher. 

However, a certified watchmaker will ensure the quality of the job and the protection of your watch. Another thing to consider is that if any part needs to be replaced, the manufacturer will have the original components at hand.

There would be no messing with the original design and parts because the manufacturer would be in charge of the process. 

With all of this in mind, you will probably want to leave your watch with professionals and have a good night’s sleep knowing that your beloved piece is in good hands. Your best option would be to send it to the official manufacturer and have it serviced there. But even a local watchmaker can do a phenomenal job.

If you want to know more about watch service, you can check this detailed article I wrote about it.

What Is Done During A Watch Service?

These are the standard procedures of watch service:

  • Inspection and assessment of the repairs needed
  • Removal of the movement 
  • Dismantling of the other parts
  • Breaking up the movement into its individual parts
  • Replacement of damaged parts
  • Cleaning and lubrication
  • Reconstruction of the movement
  • Adjustment

Inspection And Assessment Of The Repairs Needed

The first thing the experts will do is inspect the timepiece to understand the work that needs to be done. Once they have an idea of the extent of the damages and necessities of the watch, they can begin working.

If any extra repair is needed, this could also increase the price of the service. That is also one of the reasons why this is the first step, because the customer can be informed in a timely manner.

Removal Of The Movement

The movement will be the most essential part of the service. As you might already know, this is the heart of the watch. The movement requires the most attention to detail, as even the slightest of hiccups here can destroy the inside.

Having the movement removed from the case will allow the expert to work better and more precise.

Dismantling Of The Other Parts

Dismantling the hands and the dial will allow the expert to access the interior of the movement and continue with the maintenance of the watch. These parts could interfere with the process and be damaged if they are not removed. 

The functionality of each one of these parts is checked before going forward with the movement. 

Breaking Up The Movement Into Its Individual Parts

The best way to reach all the spots of the movement and clean it effectively is by breaking it up into its different parts. With this procedure, the expert will be able to analyze all the pieces and decide if there’s damage or any other problem to address. 

Each one of the parts is inspected individually to ensure it is in the most optimal conditions.

Replacement Of The Damaged Parts

After the movement has been dismantled and the parts have been checked, it is time to replace the damaged ones. Damaged parts could cause more harm in the long run, so removing them is a crucial procedure of watch servicing.

Thees broken parts will be replaced by new parts, ensuring the watch will work as new again.

Cleaning And Lubrication

Before reassembling the watch, all the parts are cleaned and lubricated. Many service centers use an ultrasonic bath to ensure the quality of the cleaning. After this, the pieces are oiled, and they are ready to be put in place once again.

Reconstruction Of The Movement

Once checked, cleaned, and lubricated, the parts of the movement are ready to return to their functions. The movement is reconstructed piece by piece, and then it is placed back in the case. 

Reconstructing the movement is not an easy task, hence the need of an actual professional. Or, better yet, have the actual manufacturer do it for you to ensure a perfect reconstruction.


Ultimately, the watch is adjusted using a timegrapher. This tool helps the timepiece have an efficient and precise adjustment. The accuracy is also tested before finishing the service.

As you can see, all these processes constitute a watch service and are one of the reasons why it can take so long to service a watch. They also clearly show why you need a professional to do this, as most of these steps cannot be done by your average Joe.


Jasper has always been a fan of watches. But when he took on a project of restoring a nearly 30-year-old timepiece, he was hooked. Throughout the years, he has learned a lot about horology and shared his passion on Watches of Today!

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