Watch Manufacturers' Restrictive Parts Policies Harm American Consumers!
It's Your Watch! Shouldn't You Be Able To Choose Your Own Watchmaker?
It is a well-established fact that mechanical watches require periodic service in order to keep them in proper operating condition. The cost of this periodic service is often overlooked when purchasing a high-end watch, yet it is a major part of the long-term cost of ownership. Unfortunately, many consumers find out too late that they have little or no choice about ongoing service for their watch, and must pay whatever price the manufacturer demands. Manufacturers with a monopoly on repair have no incentive to keep prices in check, and frequently quote exorbitant rates or unnecessary extra services for what should be routine maintenance.
At Renaissance Watch Repair, we believe that you deserve the right to have your watch repaired by the watchmaker of your choosing and not be forced to obtain service only from "factory authorized" repair facilities at non-competitive prices. After all... it is your watch!. The decision to have your watch repaired by a factory service center or by your local independent watchmaker should be made by you and you alone; it shouldn't be dictated — either directly or indirectly — by the watch manufacturer.
When you have your car repaired, you have the choice of taking the car to the dealership or having it serviced by an independent mechanic of your choice. Why should it be any different with your watch? We believe that your substantial investment in your premium watch should give you, the owner, the unconditional right to all information about your watch, as well as access to the parts needed to keep it in proper operating condition.
Watch Manufacturers Are Destroying American Jobs
An open market for repair service promotes fair competition, helps to hold down repair costs, and is good for the watch-buying consumer. Supporting independent American watchmakers also helps to keep skilled jobs here in America... and that's good for everyone! At a time when all we hear about is "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!", you have to wonder why our government authorities stand by and do nothing while giant Swiss watch companies are allowed to crush the independent watchmaking trade in America.
It is our understanding that manufacturers of the following brands refuse to sell repair parts to independent watchmakers. In some cases these manufacturers will not even sell repair parts to their own authorized dealers! Because of this, it is impossible for the independent watchmaker to perform any repair which would require a replacement part, resulting in an effective monopoly on repair services. We believe this practice to be unfair to both American consumers and independent American watchmakers.
Ask Questions Before You Buy the Watch!
Anyone considering the purchase of a high-end, luxury-brand watch should inquire whether that brand will provide repair parts to the independent watchmaker of your choosing, or if the watch can only be serviced at the manufacturer's own repair facility. Please ask them whether your substantial investment in their premium watch gives you, the owner, the unconditional right to all information about your watch, as well as access to the parts needed to keep it in proper operating condition. Ask them to put their repair policies in writing! We hope you'll carefully consider the answers you receive before making your purchase decision.
The following companies are believed to restrict the sale of repair parts to independent watchmakers:
- A. Lange & Sohne
- Alfred Dunhill
- Ball (modern Swiss)
- Daniel Mink
- David Yurman
- Franck Muller
- Frederique Constant
- Harry Winston
- Marcel Watch
- Meylan Stopwatches
- Mont Blanc
- Pierre Balmain
- Raymond Weil
- Revue Thommen
- Ulysse Nardin
- Vacheron Constantin
- Van Cleef & Arpels
We want this list to be accurate: If you have any information that would show that any of the above brands have changed their parts distribution practices, or have otherwise been listed here in error please contact us to have the error corrected. If our assertions herein are false, then you can be assured that Swiss manufacturers (or their attorneys) would have contacted us about it. To date we have not been contacted, nor have we been asked to remove any names from this list.
What You Can Do To Help:
If you own a watch from one of the companies listed above, and have been forced to send your watch for "factory service" at whatever price the manufacturer wanted to charge you, or if you purchased one of the above watch brands and it was not disclosed to you at the time of purchase that you would not be able to have it repaired by the watchmaker of your choosing, then we ask and encourage you to voice your concern to your State's Attorney General. A handful of complaints from the few remaining watchmakers isn't going to have nearly the impact as complaints from thousands of watch-buying consumers.
This matter is already a subject of investigation in Europe, and it is the hope of many American watchmakers that the US Government will take similar action to halt this practice that harms American workers. Simply send a brief letter stating that you support independent American watchmakers, and believe that as the owner of a watch, you should have the right to purchase parts and have your watch repaired at competitive prices by the watchmaker of your own choosing.
Help support American jobs through free and fair competition!
If you have been harmed by these unfair practices, please contact your State's Attorney General. Or write to the Federal Trade Commission at the address below:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20580