The Watch Co - Avoid The Watch Co if you value your watch

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 7:52pm CST by Jason T.

Company: The Watch Co

Location: The Shops at Liberty Place 1625 Chestnut St

Category: Jewelry, Watches

First experience with The Watch Co was a few years ago. I took in a Seiko Perpetual Date watch that had a dead battery. They are listed as an authorized location on the Seiko USA website, and they are 2 blocks from my office, so I took it to them.

Because the battery was completely dead, the perpetual calendar would need to be reprogrammed when the new battery was installed. The staff at The Watch Co was incapable handling this task themselves, so they sent the watch to their off-site service technician. When the watch came back, it was running and seemed OK, but the following day, I realized the calendar was no longer accurate. The calendar programming was clearly botched by their technician. While the process is tricky, requires removal of the case back, and some delicate tools, the instructions to program the watch are freely available online and I was able to do the job myself. I wasn't going to go back to this shop ever again.

Fast forward to Dec 2012, and a pin in the bracelet of this same watch broke on me. While, I didn't feel I could trust The Watch Co with with complicated repairs, I figured they should have no problem repairing the bracelet. Once again, they told me they would need to send it off-site due to the way the pin broke - they didn't have the tools (or skills) to fix in in-house. I should have walked out with my watch then, but against my better judgement, decided to let them send it out for repair. Imagine my surprise when the watch came back a week or so later, not running! Opening the case back revealed that there was NO battery in the watch! All I needed was a fixed bracelet - there was no need to open the case.

Spoke to the store manager. He apologized profusely and said he would fix it, at his expense. I dropped off the watch again, they sent it out, and this time, it came back with a new battery, but still not working. They indicated that the tech removed the battery the first time because the movement was broken. I have no idea why they didn't tell me this the first time, rather than having me bring it back in and going through the motions of replacing the battery. They told me the battery was very expensive. This is a lie as well - they didn't even use an actual Seiko battery, but rather a Panasonic equivalent. This battery is commonly available online for less than $5. On top of that, I now see that the case back gasket (which was definitely there before) is now missing, which means my water-resistant watch is no longer that. Doesn't matter, because it won't run anyway.

The manager seems to think the watch was broken before I brought it in. Again, if that was the case, why did he ask me to bring it back to replace the battery? Makes no sense at all. Apparently, there is no real communication between the shop and their off-site repair tech. He suggested that I contact Seiko to see about getting the movement fixed, because apparently The Watch Co can't fix that part even if they wanted to. Useless.

I've reached out to Seiko USA and am waiting a response. For now, however, the watch is dead - for no apparent reason.

I have since spoken to a co-worker of mine who said The Watch Co messed up two of his watches as well. I wonder how many others have had problems as well?


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