Terms & Conditions

Last updated: 9th July 2020

Who are The WATCH Lab?

The Watch Lab Holdings Ltd (Registration No. 11640971) operates nationally from retail outlets in major shopping centres under the brand The Watch Lab and has an internet postal repair service too.

It employs highly skilled Technicians and Watchmakers based from a high specification modern Workshop. The business began in 2000, expanded to 23 retail outlets in major shopping centres. They offer a range of services from watch battery & reseal, to bracelet repairs, dial restoration, service and vintage watch restoration. The WATCH Lab’s Head Office Workshop is an Authorised Service Centre for numerous Swiss brands including Omega, Longines, Rado & Tissot. The company also sells a number of fashion watch brands in certain stores plus some branded cleaning products.

Estimates and Pricing

Prices for in branch repairs are based on our company wide price guide and an initial inspection of the watch, our prices for battery replacement and resealing are fixed along with our prices for mini-valets and simple bracelet adjustments and repairs.

If, however another more complex issue is identified with the watch we will offer to carry out any additional work based on a technical assessment, this also applies to more complicated repairs and services which require a full inspection and assessment of the watch.

When we carry out a technical assessment we will give a guide price from our price guide and take a £100 deposit, your watch will then be sent to our Service Centre where a full technical assessment will be carried out before giving you a final price to proceed with the repair – if the price we quote is more than 10% greater than the guide-price we gave you in branch and you chose not to proceed the £100 deposit will be refunded in full, it will also be refunded in full if the work cannot be completed and the watch returned to the branch for you to safely collect.

If you are happy to proceed with the repair the balance to pay will be taken once the price is confirmed and before any work is carried out.

If the price is within 10% of the guide price and you chose not to proceed we will deduct from your deposit the costs incurred to us in couriering and assessing your watch including any costs passed on to us by third parties before refunding the balance – we do not intend to make any profit from retaining any amounts not refunded simply to cover costs incurred.

Rarely due to changes in the cost and availability of parts or an issue not initially identified additional costs may be incurred we will always give our customers the option to proceed before incurring any additional costs not identified in the original technical assessment, we may ask for additional payments to be made before we proceed.

What is The Watch Lab policy on water resistance following repairs?

We will inform our customers when a watch repair is collected or returned to its owner what level of water resistance has been achieved.

Water Resistance is not the same as Water Proof, most watches are clearly marked with the industry recognised pressure levels as follows and this resistance can be checked in branch using our pressure testing equipment free of charge and as standard with all battery replacements.

Water resistance rating
Suitability
Remarks

Water Resistant 3 atm or 30 m

Suitable for everyday use. Splash/rain resistant.

Not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, snorkelling, water related work, fishing, and diving.

Water Resistant 5 atm or 50 m

Suitable for everyday use, showering, bathing, shallow-water swimming, snorkelling, water related work, fishing. Splash/rain resistant.

Not suitable for diving.

Water Resistant 10 atm or 100 m

Suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkelling, sailing and water sports.

Not suitable for diving.

Diver’s 300+ m for mixed-gas diving

Suitable for saturation diving (helium enriched environment).

Watches designed for mixed-gas diving will have the DIVER’S WATCH xxx M FOR MIXED-GAS DIVING additional marking to point this out.

Diver’s 200 m or 300 m

Suitable for scuba diving at depths not suitable for saturation diving.

Typical ratings for contemporary diver’s watches.

Diver’s 100 m

Minimum ISO standard (ISO 6425) for scuba diving at depths not suitable for saturation diving.

Diver’s 100 m and 150 m watches are generally older watches.

Water Resistant 20 atm or 200 m

Suitable for professional marine activity, serious surface water sports and skin diving

Suitable for skin diving.

The Watch Lab cannot guarantee water resistance on older timepieces, gold watches or indeed any watch that has either not been tested for water resistance or has been tested but failed. In the unlikely event that a pressure test results in the glass popping out of the watch this is an indication that the same would happen under pressure in a ‘real world’ scenario and as such we cannot be held responsible for this occurring as it is simply an indication of an existing fault.

What does the guarantee mean with service and overhaul work?

The Watch Lab fully guarantees its quality of workmanship; regrettably however, we are unable to guarantee modern day and accurate timekeeping to service and overhaul work on older mechanical watches. On these occasions we may advise ‘timekeeping is best possible’, similarly on some repairs we may not be able to guarantee the watch for 2 years, in this instance we will always inform the customer before carrying out the work and taking payment.

The guarantee that comes with a quartz service is for the movement and the battery for a period of 2 years.  Watches serviced by The Watch Lab however should not need any further attention until their normal scheduled service dates normally recommended every 5 years.

What happens to old watch parts?

The Watch Lab discards old damaged & defective parts during repair.  With the exception of batteries which get recycled, old parts are considered scrap and disposed of. If you wish us to retain and return any old parts please make this clear at the time of booking in.

What is The WATCH Lab’s guarantee period for battery installation?

The Watch Lab uses the highest quality Swiss batteries and guarantees them for a period of 2 years. Normal battery life however when fitted and resealed ‘our way’, is usually up to 3 years, but this does depend on the age and condition of the watch.

What if a quartz watch stops in the guarantee period after a new battery is fitted?

In the unlikely event of a battery not lasting at least two years, The Watch Lab will fit a new one and reseal the watch case where appropriate at no cost to our customer.

A battery lasting less than 12 months can often indicate a secondary inherent fault or require servicing, often we will identify this during the process as we test every watch with a diagnostics-consumption test.

Should it however require service and overhaul of the movement, The Watch Lab would normally reduce the further charge by an amount equal to…

  • Up to 3 months 100% of the original battery and re-seal fee,
  • Up to 6 months 50% of the battery and reseal fee,
  • Up to 12 months 25% of the battery and re-seal fee.

Most manufacturers recommend a quartz service approximately every 5 years and a water resistance test (carried out free at The Watch Lab) every 12-24 months.

If I have had a watch bracelet repaired by The Watch Lab and it breaks again, what will you do?

In the unlikely event that a watch bracelet needs further repairs after work being carried out by The Watch Lab, we will repair the bracelet at no further cost to the customer assuming the repair is in the same place and that it is within a reasonable time scale.

How long does your watch repair take?

Many repairs are undertaken the same or next day in branch depending on when the watch is booked in. If the repair is not possible in branch, estimated time-frames are given based on previously achieved timescales and our partners service level agreements. We allow up to one week either end of the repair for the safe, insured transportation and processing of the watch to and from the service centre

We keep in stock a comprehensive range of specialist parts and materials however we are still reliant on the watch brands and component companies to supply some necessary parts which have to be ordered in specifically for individual repairs.

In some circumstances with your consent we will need to send your watch to an alternative accredited workshop and will be entirely reliant on their own internal timescales and the availability of their specialist watchmakers, in these circumstances we will continue to act on your behalf throughout the process and update you on any delays.

We will contact customers direct when their watch is available for collection, we can achieve watch repairs as quickly or more quickly than anyone else but sometimes more complex repairs particularly on more specialist timepieces can take time.

Our commitment regarding watch repair completion times is to…

  1. Promise to carry out repairs as quickly as is practical whilst achieving the best quality possible.
  2. Flow work smoothly and efficiently through our system never prioritising one job over another unless we are waiting for parts
  3. Return watches to customers as soon as they are ready and following a full quality control and timekeeping check
  4. Return watches if requested at any time before a repair has been started, however once a repair has begun the watch will need to be fully repaired before it can be returned.

In return for the above, we politely ask our customers to…

  1. Please try to be patient – we do sometimes go over estimated completion times when manufacturers don’t have the correct parts, the components we need are obsolete and have to be purpose made, or special-order parts from brands in Switzerland or the Far East have their own production delays.
  2. Please understand that in a specialist service business like ours, occasional delays are inevitable, unavoidable and almost always out of our direct control.
  3. Respect our employees, delays can be frustrating but the delay will rarely if ever be because of the efforts of the people tasked with updating our customers, we will always make best endeavours to return your watch as soon as we safely can and it is not in our interest to frustrate our customers.

At completion, we promise to without fail, telephone our customers to advise of collection.

Do you carry out all watch servicing in-house?

The Watch Lab has a full team of excellent watchmakers and technicians however not all repairs can be undertaken in-house. It is sometimes either more cost effective or technically more appropriate to use one of our accredited outwork partners, or indeed the manufacturers themselves where necessary through our trade accounts.

Either way, all repairs are first rate, quality controlled by The Watch Lab watchmakers and are of course fully guaranteed.

We will always inform you before sending your watch to a third party.

Do you service the expensive watches in your retail outlets?

We can usually carry out battery replacements and resealing as well as bracelet adjustments and repairs in the branch, often where jewellers or boutiques have to send your watch away for several weeks… But all major repairs and watch servicing is either carried out in our Service Centre based in Preston or where necessary outsourced to the relevant accredited service centre, however you can drop off and collect your watch in any of our branches where it will be transferred by G4S in fully insured secure packaging.

Will my watch be safe if I post it to you?

When you have a postal repair, we will send you a freepost parcel for Royal Mail Special Delivery – this is the preferred carriage method for the majority of the jewellery trade and is found to be extremely safe, reliable and insured up to £2500.

When you drop your watch at a branch, we transfer it internally via G4S insured up to £20,000 so if your watch is particularly valuable, we would always advise that you drop off and collect at a branch.

What is your policy regarding unused / unwanted new watch purchases?

Customers will be offered a full refund or exchange on all new watches, if returned within 14 days of the date of purchase. The watch must be in perfect condition, unused and unworn and with all original packaging material with warranty and instruction booklets. We do not accept any watch with any indication that it has been worn or used in any manner.

**At Christmas this policy is extended and purchases made during December can be returned for refund or exchange up to and including December 31st.

What guarantee comes with new watch purchases?

All new watches purchased from The Watch Lab come with their manufacturers guarantee. This usually covers the watch movement only, and not the bracelet, case, glass, strap or battery. The Watch Lab however additionally guarantees the battery for 12 months from day of purchase.

Complaints, queries or frustrations

If a repair is unsatisfactory or unsuccessful, we will of course try to rectify the issue, where we are unable to satisfactorily repair a watch within the guidelines on accuracy and water resistance set out above we will offer a full refund, however we reserve our right in law to rectify the matter before offering a refund.

If a watch is shown to have been damaged in our care, we will put right any damage done where necessary replacing damaged parts – all watches are photographed to record condition when they are booked in and in case of dispute these images will be used to determine the condition on the watch as it was received.

In the unlikely event that a watch is lost or damaged beyond repair it will be replaced like-for-like as closely as possible to the original timepiece, we will not replace new for old and for the purposes of valuing a replacement watch for cash compensation; market value will be offered if a replacement cannot be obtained.

We do not offer compensation for overdue repairs if we have acted in accordance with these terms and conditions, if a repair is overdue and incomplete a full refund will be offered and the watch returned undone, if a repair is overdue and complete then we do not offer full or part refunds for unavoidable delays. Reasons for repairs being overdue can be very difficult to avoid and are explained elsewhere in this document.

Although we base all of our estimates on achievable timescales and most repairs are completed on time; it is not unknown for repairs to take longer than anticipated due to the availability of parts or the availability of the correctly accredited watchmakers. We appreciate this can be frustrating but the watch industry is a vastly complex area of operation with an eclectic range of parts and specifications, although we appreciate the frustration this may cause we do not recognise that this in any way diminishes the value of the work carried out nor do we accept harassment or abuse of employees.

Frustrations aside the abuse of our staff will not be tolerated but we appreciate the need to maintain communication, if a member of branch staff feels it necessary all communication relating to a disputed repair may be re-routed to our Service Centre, if telephone contact becomes in any way abusive we will revert to email only communication and ultimately to postal mail both of which will be retained until the dispute is resolved always in line with our data protection policy.

None of the policies above are intended to affect your statutory rights

Valuations

The Watch Lab is not licensed to and does not give valuations of watches.