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33 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

I think you'll find that these CW21 isn't the magical key to spare parts. When awci came up with this nifty new certificate it was promised as the key to everything it would show the Swiss that we were decent watchmakers and we desire their spare parts. personally I tend to think it was an attempt at destroying of the professional watch industry but then I might be opinionated on the subject.

I think your chances of obtaining new parts is better, as a "certified" watchmaker, as opposed to being a hack, like myself...

But, it is true, that unless you are a certified (enter watch brand here) repair person/location, you ain't gettin' jack.

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12 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

too many variables to properly answer your question like what type of watches would you like to repair?

unless you want multiple paragraphs were explain simplistically obtaining spare parts for watches are always going to be an issue. Then  with time this is getting worse sort of. Sort of aspect is we have the Internet and eBay. So while other sources are disappearing new sources are appearing but overall depending upon what you want to repair is going to get harder to get spare parts.

I think you'll find that these CW21 isn't the magical key to spare parts. When awci came up with this nifty new certificate it was promised as the key to everything it would show the Swiss that we were decent watchmakers and we desire their spare parts. personally I tend to think it was an attempt at destroying of the professional watch industry but then I might be opinionated on the subject.

 

Thanks for the welcome and the replies. Appreciated.

The question centres around my need to replace an escape wheel with a broken pivot. The movement is a Unitas 6497. A staple movement for aspiring watchmakers to train on.  I obtained from eBay eventually. Cousins UK stating supply from ETA had internal issues.

So the question was really about being able to acquire parts for commonplace average wristwatch movements.

 

 

 

 

 

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there's a whole variety of paths you could follow to get the part.

I was like to go to this website just to see how many variations there are.

http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Unitas_6497

shouldn't occur for this watch but escape wheels have different pivots styles as to whether they have Jewels are not. Then just to make it more interesting some watches might have a Jewel only on one side. So you can get the correct escape wheel but it has the wrong pivots for your particular watch.

next is an interesting website because it gives you a part numbers and cross-references etc.

http://cgi.julesborel.com/

it was probably good that I brought up the pivot problem  as it looks like we're having a problem

you'll notice that there are two escape wheels one was straight shoulders and one with conical pivots which typically would have Jewels. Most common would be the straight shoulder version.

http://cgi.julesborel.com/cgi-bin/matcgi2?ref=UT_6497

then we finally get to the part which gives us all sorts of interesting things. Like a lot of material houses would like the top number which I tend to think of as a bestfit number. so to give this number to a material house  705/1245  they would know what you're talking about and produce your part if you're lucky or if they like you they might even order it.

http://cgi.julesborel.com/cgi-bin/matcgi2?ref=[\_DXFWJ

then it's amazing what happens if you Google what you're looking for or use your favorite search engine. I changed the company to ETA because it's newer. Then amazing what you find like the links below

https://www.startimesupply.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_code=ETA6497-1-0705

http://www.tztoolshop.com/page151.html

http://www.ofrei.com/page1418.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, jdm said:

There is no "best place" for parts, everybody does the same searches

the above statement isn't entirely correct? A lot of this depends upon when you learned watch repair. for instance in those dark ages before the Internet when I learned watch repair in the city of Seattle we had four separate material houses. Where typically as students we would call up to get stuff at least for the classroom projects. But as far as buying our tools and stuff we would go downtown and go to the physical material houses. This way you got to know the material houses

the reason I bring up the experience of physical material houses and going there or telephoning is that some of this material houses still exist. One of the original material houses when I started is still Blair multi-generations of family later. then Bob who worked at all of the material houses started his own crystal cutting business and then expanded it into a material house. His daughter is still running that material house.

Now as far as I know neither one of these material houses does online business you either physically go see them or you email like I occasionally do or telephone. Where I work they continuously telephone and then usually towards the end of the week shall send us a package. Now the reason I bring this up is that means there are material houses out there that are not online and you cannot do the same search like everybody else because you do not know these material houses exist.

But in this generation basically the above statement is correct everybody does the same searches the outcome is different if you grasp what exactly are searching for and how to figure out what actually you need versus the more generic where conceivably you will not get what you're looking for

then of zero help all is there are watchmakers out there that still have relationships with the various watch companies that absolutely hate hobbyists and they can order parts direct. But that is slowly being trimmed away and even they spend a lot of time looking at eBay and looking online exactly the same as everyone else here.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

the above statement isn't entirely correct? A lot of this depends upon when you learned watch repair. for instance in those dark ages before the Internet when I learned watch repair in the city of Seattle we had four separate material houses.

Right, and then my mentor which is a master clock and watchmaker, inventor and maker of a cool lathe, plus too many other things, also was founding partner in a material house that still exists and prosper? Not to mention his personal stash of cylinders balance staffs and heven knows how much other stuff?

Problem is, how all that good old times is going to help our typical beginner member here? Some genuinely believe that watch parts are like car parts, just get the right name or number and shop around, yeah right.

If there is millions of parts sitting in forgotten depots, or even resellers that can or won't get online, how that helps all the others needing the part out there?

Answer is always the same, search the internet, that is what I mean when I say everybody can do the same searches and get the same results. In other words, wait for this, there is no secret place for parts. But if there is I beg you to tell me what it is, I swear on  Kintarō Hattori that I won't tell anyone.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, jdm said:

Right, and then my mentor which is a master clock and watchmaker, inventor and maker of a cool lathe, plus too many other things, also was founding partner in a material house that still exists and prosper? Not to mention his personal stash of cylinders balance staffs and heven knows how much other stuff?

oh dear are you suggesting that I'm calling your mentor a dimwit because he can't teach you how to find material?

5 hours ago, jdm said:

There is no "best place" for parts, everybody does the same searches with the same results.

I think you misunderstood my intent! Yes everyone searches online but if you do only online searching you are restricting your ability to find material.

58 minutes ago, jdm said:

Problem is, how all that good old times is going to help our typical beginner member here? Some genuinely believe that watch parts are like car parts, just get the right name or number and shop around, yeah right.

If there is millions of parts sitting in forgotten depots, or even resellers that can or won't get online, how that helps all the others needing the part out there?

okay the above quote really splits this discussion into several things.

For any of the beginners and watch repair you need to think about this put on your detective Every single watch is a crime scene you have to look at it like that what happened here. Cleaning does not fix all problems. Then once you figure out what the problem is if you need parts you have to put on your detective Again and go and find those parts if you restrict your search to online only your limiting your ability to find parts. Now unfortunately depending upon where you are in the world and other circumstances online may be her only source pot even searching online is misleading

the reason I pointed out about the physical material houses is there not online. If Seattle still has to what are the chances of their other material houses out there in the universe? So if you could find your local material house if it still exists and if they will do business with you yes there's a lot it if's in watch repair unfortunately. I will use Seattle as an example the one material house will sell you anything she basically sells retail I'm sure she does wholesale but everything is retail and probably wholesale. The other material house differentiates she collects sales tax for all of the tools and supplies severe wholesale your watchmaker you have to pay sales tax on the twice you apply. But the material is tax-free but somebody sooner or later has to pay that sales-tax. So typically she does not sell material unless you have a business license. At least that used to be the old policy I haven't asked lately.

Now it's not just local material houses I searched online for somebody I found a part only get a response back they won't do business because I don't remember the reason so you may do your research find something and find either online or physical they won't do business with you because you're not the chosen profession one or something.

Then even online searching the material houses especially the older ones have more parts than water online. Go to her home page read their about and how to order etc. you can probably emailed them on a timestamp other services still fit crystal so do other stuff you won't see that if you just do a search you have to read the see what they will and cannot do.

Then do not waste their time. As a newbie and that was basically quoted above when you're dealing with a material house beyond their online search you better have a pretty darn good clue of what you need you can't just call up and say hi I need a. You really do have to know what you need and give them a proper description because if they're going to go search they need to know what they're searching for and that if you reject the part of the deer it's the wrong part they may not do business with you ever again. It's kind of a 2 Way St. here they won't work with you unless you work with them.

Then I've use this more for tools but depending upon where you are in the planet there may be horological associations. Those horological associations may have meetings or regional events covering several states or even a national event for instance the nawcc has local chapters they have meetings they sometimes have what's called the Mart I think 99% of the time I found it a waste of time although I did get a Rolex for $25 of dear I'm reminiscing about something that none of you will ever get and yes it really was a real mix. But best thing of all was the regional meetings which unfortunately are shrinking but still your regional meeting with people coming together you may find watches tools and supplies you just have to go look every single time is different.

What about professional watchmaker's? Could they be helpful for us? The answer is yes and no I have example stores for both but go find your local watchmaker ask them where they get their parts from providing they don't feel threatened by you which they can be then there got throw you out maybe they'll tell you where the material houses are or who they do business with.

So simplistic of my answer and who knows if the stupid dictation software got the intent downright yes everybody searches online but why restrict yourself when they may be other opportunities if you're willing to explore them.

 

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14 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

 yes everybody searches online but why restrict yourself when they may be other opportunities if you're willing to explore them.

Sorry to be blunt but it seems to me that none of the approaches you mentioned above is universally applicable. Different locations , different backgrounds, different parts, etc. But no matter how they try, I whish good luck to anyone that at least does.

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On 6/24/2021 at 4:49 AM, jdm said:

Sorry to be blunt but it seems to me that none of the approaches you mentioned above is universally applicable. Different locations , different backgrounds, different parts, etc.

unfortunately that is a true statement.

but do not assume that googling is the only answer you may have other options or you may not but unless you explore them you definitely do not.

On 6/24/2021 at 4:49 AM, jdm said:

But no matter how they try, I whish good luck to anyone that at least does.

then when you're searching for parts don't give up it's not a instantaneous thing. Sometimes acquiring what you need takes time sometimes a lot of time. Like for instance on eBay you can set up an active search where whatever you're looking for you'll get an email because looking each day to see if it's there is a pain.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've come across two instances where I not allowed to have access to parts. I've just asked Citizen if they could register me for trade parts and I was rejected as I don't sell their watches. I also asked the Fossil group and yet again, the same reason.

It makes it impossible to just open up a repair centre. I don't want to stock any watches whatsoever but it means you have to be tied in to watch sales.

Anyone else share my frustration?

 

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2 hours ago, Hiren said:

I've come across two instances where I not allowed to have access to parts. I've just asked Citizen if they could register me for trade parts and I was rejected as I don't sell their watches. I also asked the Fossil group and yet again, the same reason.

It makes it impossible to just open up a repair centre. I don't want to stock any watches whatsoever but it means you have to be tied in to watch sales.

Anyone else share my frustration?

 

 

2 hours ago, Hiren said:

I've come across two instances where I not allowed to have access to parts. I've just asked Citizen if they could register me for trade parts and I was rejected as I don't sell their watches. I also asked the Fossil group and yet again, the same reason.

It makes it impossible to just open up a repair centre. I don't want to stock any watches whatsoever but it means you have to be tied in to watch sales.

Anyone else share my frustration?

 

Watch parts are an ever increasing problem. Fossil watches IMO are poor but made fashionable to enhance their sale price. Citizen / Seiko and many others do not now sell parts to non trade buyers they prefer to sell more watches. Sad but it’s just the way it has gone in the horological world.

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21 hours ago, Hiren said:

It makes it impossible to just open up a repair centre.

just because you want to open up a repair center what makes you think the watch companies want you to open up repair center?

a very long time ago yes there were people that could get citizen parts or Seiko or a whole variety of other brands and they didn't have to sell watches. But for the most part that appears to be a thing of the past. Basically today to get their precious parts you need to sell watches conceivably purchased quite a few watches. Then you may also have to purchase whole bunch of expensive tools and conceivably go to one of their training classes. Just because they want to make sure that your worthy of their valuable parts.

then if you think you're being frustrated what about a Rolex parts account what is that take to get? Have to sell Rolex watches that means you have to have a boutique boutique has to be made the specifications right down to the color the paint. I think in this country they dropped some of the requirements for the watchmaker so they don't have to have a CW 21 certification. But I'm assuming they still have to go to accredited school. My understanding your Rolex parts account is a nightmare and the rules can change just to make things more interesting.

it does appear to be today that watch companies apparently don't want service centers. Watch companies want to sell watches that means you'll need to have a watch specialty store. More than likely you have to purchase more than one watch sometimes tens of thousands of dollars of watches just to get their valuable parts which they may not sell to you anyway. and yes even if you sell their watches they still may not sell parts to you.

Welcome to the world of modern watch repair and lack of parts availability.

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It's not just a watch issue, it's a modern world issue, if your Watch, Phone, Camera, TV, Computer (to name just a few) stops working, the makers don't want you to repair it, they want you to buy a new one and throw the old one in land fill.  They all make obtaining parts and documentation almost impossible. Just look at Apple, they make it so difficult even their own service centers can't get parts and have to replace entire boards, not that most of their technicians could change a component if they wanted to, but fortunately they are not allowed to, why charge to replace a fuse when you can charge to replace the entire board.

This is why the Right to repair movement started.

Don't get into repairs thinking you will get manufacturers support, it's not happening any time soon.

Paul

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10 hours ago, Paul80 said:

It's not just a watch issue, it's a modern world issue, if your Watch, Phone, Camera, TV, Computer (to name just a few) stops working, the makers don't want you to repair it, they want you to buy a new one and throw the old one in land fill.  They all make obtaining parts and documentation almost impossible. Just look at Apple, they make it so difficult even their own service centers can't get parts and have to replace entire boards, not that most of their technicians could change a component if they wanted to, but fortunately they are not allowed to, why charge to replace a fuse when you can charge to replace the entire board.

This is why the Right to repair movement started.

Don't get into repairs thinking you will get manufacturers support, it's not happening any time soon.

Paul

I'm an electronics technician by trade and even though finding parts is easy enough, getting the schematics for something is a nightmare. 

We have to thank the Americans for being able to buy parts for cars now, their motor repair unions kicked up a stink when some manufacturers started doing what the Swiss are doing now (I'm no history buff so I'm generalizing). 

I don't think there's enough watchmakers or electronics repairers around to sway the big corporations. 

I'm surprised the Chinese haven't cashed in on the watch spare parts market yet... or have they? 

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8 minutes ago, Plato said:

I'm surprised the Chinese haven't cashed in on the watch spare parts market yet... or have they? 

Very very little compared to what in theory could be done. In the end the market for spare part is very small, while the Chinese manufacturing model is to produce in large volumes, at low cost, and virtually no advertising.

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38 minutes ago, jdm said:

Very very little compared to what in theory could be done. In the end the market for spare part is very small, while the Chinese manufacturing model is to produce in large volumes, at low cost, and virtually no advertising.

Give them time... even if we had to do a little filing and polishing on a part we needed they'd be quids in. 

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1 hour ago, Plato said:

Give them time.

how much time should we give them how long should we wait?

There is another minor little problem with watch spare parts which spare parts would you like to have?

Rolex parts for instance there are people out there making Rolex replacement parts. As Rolex is relatively narrowed defined is a limited quantity of models etc. it's easy to make parts but what about the entire rest of the watch industry?

then how far back should we go? Used to be it seemed like 50 years was vintage but 50 years is more like current at least on this discussion group so it probably need 100 years of spare parts any idea how my spare parts that would be?.

6 hours ago, jdm said:

In the end the market for spare part is very small, while the Chinese manufacturing model is to produce in large volumes, at low cost,

unfortunately this is a very true statement. Which does not work well for watch parts at all.

 

 

 

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I can remember when Rolex said they would no longer supply parts to suppliers, that was back in the 70's. Rolex said in order to have there watches repaired you had to take them to a Jewellers that sold  Rolex watches as they were agents, only they would be able to send it in for repairs. The trouble with that in Devon at that time there were only two agents in the whole of Devon.  

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On 7/10/2021 at 11:24 AM, Hiren said:

Anyone else share my frustration?

Yes! It can be extremely time consuming and frustrating to find a spare part. My main sources are CousinsUK.com for new parts and eBay for used (and new) parts or complete but used movements in decent condition. The JBC Watch Parts Database is a great cross reference. You can read about how to use it here. Welcome to "the club"!

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Anyone on here registered as a customer with Flume, Engelkemper, Boley or the like without a VAT number or genuine business name?

I would also be interested in a wider discussion of why these material houses only want to sell to the trade, and what the implications of circumventing the restrictions are.

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Depending on your location, UK  Cousins  uk watchparts, A.G.Thomas, Gleave and co.  USA    Jules borel, Esslingers , Timesavers,  Canada   Perrins. there are others that you will find via google.   Also on ebay there are dealers,  one.   I use is watchfanuk, always helpful.  Esslingers web site has a tutorial on measuring and fitting crystals. always worth a look.  When ordering parts you will need the movement makers name/logo (found under the balance usually) and the caliber number 

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