Repair or Restoration?
There seems to be some confusion with pocket watch owners as to normal repair or service as opposed to restoration. When your watch quits ticking or does not run as well as it used to, do you get a normal service and repair or do you request a restoration?
A normal repair involves diagnosing the problem, locating and repairing or replacing the bad parts and then possibly cleaning, oiling and timing the watch. Your watch will be returned to you in good working condition. For example a high grade railroad grade watch or chronometer could be expected to keep time within a few seconds a day or a minute or two a day depending on the overall wear conditions of the gears, pivots, arbors and springs and sleeves. The accuracy of any particular watch cannot be determined without first cleaning, oiling and timing it.
A restoration involves replacing any component in the movement with a new part if it fails to meet size or quality specifications. This can sometimes be difficult because all parts are no longer available for many antique watches. If the watch has been used quite a bit, many parts might have to be replaced in order to restore the timepiece to "as good as new". Gears, pinions, and sleeves with any wear, balance assemblies, mainsprings, etc might have to be replaced. This can be very costly to say the least, and sometimes replacement parts are hard to find.
A normal repair is usually performed for most watches as this is normally economical and will result in reasonably good timekeeping. Good candidates for a full restoration would be a valuable historical piece or a very sentimentally valuable heirloom. Normal service many times involves only a professional cleaning, oiling and timing.
Remember to have your watch serviced every few years of use, so that the oils don't dry up inside, causing excessive friction and wear. Keep your watches away from extreme heat or cold or moisture. Clean them with a good quality polish cloth occasionally.
26 Empire Road
Castroville, CA 95012
Expert Pocket Watch Service