Jump to content
MrRoundel

Order from Cousins. My error or theirs?

Recommended Posts

Greetings all,


While in the process of searching for vintage watch parts, I have often found that Cousins is about the only place that shows them in inventory. Because of this, I have ordered probably 4 batches of parts from them. I have also found that it's always a challenge to find the right part numbers in order to avoid throwing money away on parts that won't work. I think it's difficult for us, and it's challenging for suppliers.

That said, I've been a bit frustrated with my Cousins orders of late. Maybe it's my fault because I'm a relative newbie to wrist-watch work, and the fact that there are some many makes and models and parts numbers, that it can be tough to narrow it down. My last order I built around a crystal that I needed. In other words, there would have been no order if I didn't need the crystal. Still, I figured if I'm placing an overseas order I might as well add a few other items. After the order was shipped, I noticed that the invoice showed that the crystal order had been cancelled, but the rest of the order was on its way. Gah! I inquired of Cousins about what I could do in the future to avoid having an order sent until the "anchor" part(s) was in inventory, etc. I was told that they keep their site up to date so if it shows "in stock" it's in stock, and vice-versa. Well, that wasn't the case with the crystals, as they showed inventory when I ordered them and the order went through until it came time to grab them from the shelf. Moving along...

In the same order was another of the more important parts in the order, an escape-wheel cap-jewel for an AS1240. Before ordering, I went to the Cousins site and searched under "AS1240, All Parts". Up came a list of parts that I took to be for an AS1240. When I got to the cap-jewel there was a number in the column to the right. It was something like AS1193330. The AS1193 part of the number had me a touch concerned that it was for another model. Since there is an AS1193 model, and it too is an 8 3/4 L, I figured it must interchange with the 1240. There was no image of the part. It wasn't super cheap at around $8.50 American dollars, so I tried to be careful not to order the wrong thing. Well, it got here with the crystal-less order and it is indeed the wrong thing. So I'm curious, where did I go wrong on the ordering? Or was it Cousins' database that would be wrong to have it listed with AS1240 parts? My absorbing the cost may hinge on which one of us was in error, me or Cousins. What would you say? I suspect I'll get the hard-line from Cousins on it. It won't be the end of the world either way. What it does do is make me a bit more hesitant to buy from overseas if I'm losing the benefit of the bargain this way.

Any help is appreciated, as I'm relatively new to the world of (mostly) Swiss wrist-watches. Thanks ahead of time. Cheers.
 

 

Edited by MrRoundel
Correct Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cousins search function is funky. It returns a lot of bogus results. I just tried your search, and it certainly did come up with parts that were not AS1240. If I specified cap jewel,  it came up with no results.

My impression is that Cousins does not do returns unless the part is defective or was shipped incorrectly, being a wholesaler they expect you to know what you want :-)

Learning how to navigate the minefield of watch parts purchasing is part of learning the repair game, and I don't think it's going to get any easier over time. 

Don't get discouraged, though, just don't make any assumptions, and verify what you are ordering before you pull the trigger!

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, dadistic said:

Thanks for you input, dadistic. I will certainly be more careful in the future. One problem is that Cousins is overseas, so contacting via phone isn't as easy. Like I said, live and learn. I just wish there was a parts place in the USA with a similar inventory to Cousins'. Oh well, wish in one hand...Cheers.

BTW: The part was called "lower cap jewel with end-piece" in their inventory.

Quote

Don't get discouraged, though, just don't make any assumptions, and verify what you are ordering before you pull the trigger!

 

Cheers

 

Edited by MrRoundel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing helpful to say only I just recently had an issue with their availability display. I wanted a tube of molykote 111, ordered it when it said it was in stock, didn't turn up, checked their website to see it had changed to "available on ___" then i waited to that date and placed the order again, and once again it didn't show up, i checked the page again and the date had moved forward. I eventually got it on a subsequent order, but it was pretty irritating. 

Edited by Ishima

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ordering from them has been a bit of a hit and miss.

Last week I ordered 2 crystals (2 different watches) and both were smaller in diameter by almost 0,2mm which is VERY bad.

I also remember ordering a Seiko stem which was shorter than what it should have been as it was intended for a diver watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Chopin said:

Ordering from them has been a bit of a hit and miss.
Last week I ordered 2 crystals (2 different watches) and both were smaller in diameter by almost 0,2mm which is VERY bad.
I also remember ordering a Seiko stem which was shorter than what it should have been as it was intended for a diver watch.

I'm sure that once you show them product is sized different from what is advertised they will refund or exchange.
Seiko stems can be case-specific, I think we had this discussion already.

I have nothing but praise for Cousins. Without them I could not have done my hobby and trade as I did. Recently I have noticed they have raised prices on some items, but that means that people is willing to pay that, so good for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to chime in with jdm here. I had a recent experience buying several of their budget 10-in-a-box sets of crystals. All samples in a box were measuring 0,4 mm too small and I reported that back on their website and had overnight response that I was indeed correct and their stock had been checked and found faulty on that size. I was promptly refunded the not very big amount involved.

S**t happens and proper response and handling counts a great deal in my book...




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bsoderling said:

I want to chime in with jdm here. I had a recent experience buying several of their budget 10-in-a-box sets of crystals. All samples in a box were measuring 0,4 mm too small and I reported that back on their website and had overnight response that I was indeed correct and their stock had been checked and found faulty on that size. I was promptly refunded the not very big amount involved.

S**t happens and proper response and handling counts a great deal in my book...




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Interesting. The crystal that I mentioned in my original post was from a set of 10 of their budget crystals. I had originally ordered another individual that cost as much as the box of 10 but I deleted it when I could get 10 of them. Once I saw that the order was cancelled, I kicked myself for not keeping the original single on the order. Maybe they discovered a dimension problem after I placed my order? Oh well...

I'm pretty courteous about how I handle such issues. And, as I said, if they don't refund me on a return it won't be the end of the world for me. My post is more about wondering whether I can trust what I find during a search or not. From what I gather thusfar, I need to take an extra step or two to confirm such things as size.

Oh, and BTW, after this order disappointed, I decided to try a seller on Ebay who had NOS crystals. They had an envelope that was factory marked as a 20.7mm. When it got here this afternoon, I measured it, and it had an ID of only 19.5mm. Quite a difference. It's starting to look like I'm going to need to take a trip to downtown LA to see if I can find the right crystal at one of the suppliers there. Like you said, sh** happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another observation on crystal sizes...

As mentioned earlier, I bought several of these budget 10-packs and with one being obviously faulty, I started to measure the rest.

What I found was that this series seems (to the best of my measuring capacity) to be around 50 um short of the nominally stated.

This in contrast to the Sternkreutz crystals I had laying around that measure about as much (50 um) larger than nominal.

I guess it’s all about manufacturing tolerances with a not super stable material as the plastic these are made from and not much to complain about. But if I try them again, I will step up one size compared to what I’m used to.






Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For clarification, i wasn't attempting to say that cousins were bad, and I'm not sure anyone else was, i still order from them weekly and seldom order elsewhere, no plans on changing that, perfection isn't a reasonable expectation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Ishima said:

For clarification, i wasn't attempting to say that cousins were bad, and I'm not sure anyone else was, i still order from them weekly and seldom order elsewhere, no plans on changing that, perfection isn't a reasonable expectation. 

So you haven't told them of the problem? They have corrected all and any issue I've presented, even took back a cheap bracelet for my wrong order, something they weren't bound to do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Ishima said:

I'm not sure how you expect them to correct the problem unless they have a time machine. Other than that, they're surely fully aware of that hickup in their stock. 

As mentioned above, they will refund or replace. They would not sent wrong parts knowingly, and you would avoid others having the same problem, it takes few seconds form the "help & support" section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the midst of communications with Cousins on the end-stone. I sent them an image of the part supplied next to the engraved caliber number on the pillar-plate. Once I realized that the part supplied, 1193330, has a number made up of the caliber #, plus the generic part designation, I searched for an AS1240330. Something came up on Ebay of parts being sold as parts for an AS1240. One of those parts was an end-stone with the #330. I would think that this would be what I was looking for. Lo and behold, the image of it was the image of the type supplied by Cousins. That said, it certainly isn't the design that I have seen used on AS1240's here in the US. Maybe they are different than what's in Europe and the UK? Or perhaps this Ebay seller is selling a part for an AS1193 as one for a 1240?  Vintage watch parts can be a real challenge.

I'll attach the same image I sent to Cousins so you can see what I'm talking about. What I need is another of the oblong type end-stones in frame/setting. You can see that the one at the bottom is missing. Cheers.

DSC06050_2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cousins reviewed my situation, verified that their data table did show that this part was interchangeable between the AS1240 and AS1193. They were therefore kind enough to issue a refund. I feel for them, as I know how difficult is must be to keep such things 100% accurate. And again, mine may be an export variant that was used in the US and not the UK. Case closed. All's well that ends well.

All in all, this was a good experience. Thanks, Cousins, UK. Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found out yesterday that the upper end-stone from an AS 1194 will work as a lower end-stone for the AS1240. I spun the wheel and ordered it as a parts movement in the hopes that it would work. The jewel itself is a bit larger in the 11 1/2 ligne 1194, but the setting fits in the recess in the AS1240, and the distance to the screw keeps the flat end-stone where it needs to be. The lower end-stones of the AS1187/1194 (Movement is actually marked just like that, with two caliber numbers.) are of the round style that Cousins supplied in the above-mentioned order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have dealt with Cousins quite a lot, I am in Australia and there are no suppliers of watch parts here so I have to shop OS, I general my dealings with them have been positive, except for one instance, I ordered a balance complete for a Seiko I think, when it arrived packed in a little plastic box bound up with sticky tape, I didn't even have to unpack it to see I had a problem.

kA5gLN3.jpg

I have never seen a balance packaged as badly as this and I still have it to day still cocooned in its box and sticky tape.

When I contacted Cousins this is the response I got .

GeAqy8u.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ausimax said:

 I ordered a balance complete for a Seiko I think, when it arrived packed in a little plastic box bound up with sticky tape, I didn't even have to unpack it to see I had a problem.

I don't know which balance is this but all the Seiko balance complete I've ordered from Cousins had excellent packaging, very tightly sealed box. Regarding items that got damaged or lost because of poor packaging, I had this issue once and they refunded with no problem. If you have a similar issue with Cousins I recommend you call'em on the phone (about 1c per minute with Skype), and if still denied, when it's worth, open a claim with your C/C card issuer.

P2110349.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't be certain it was Seiko, this was over a year ago, but in any case it was negligent packaging, that is one of my main bitches with Cousins is communications, the web site like all automated complaint handling system covers every situation but yours, and no eMail address.

I wrote them a letter protesting their decision which they failed to answer, and you have little comeback because of the terms of sale you have to agree to to have your order accepted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ausimax said:

I can't be certain it was Seiko, this was over a year ago, but in any case it was negligent packaging, that is one of my main bitches with Cousins is communications, the web site like all automated complaint handling system covers every situation but yours, and no eMail address.

I wrote them a letter protesting their decision which they failed to answer, and you have little comeback because of the terms of sale you have to agree to to have your order accepted. 

I can't agree with you because from my personal experience they took the utmost care about every single issue (all quite trivial) I presented through the "support request", and once on the telephone.

I doubt very much that they can set terms for which they charge for faulty or poorly packaged items,  so you really should have brought it to your card issuer and let the claims department sort it out. Another thing which could have been done, even at the same time, was to file a complain with Trading Standards office. 
https://www.gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Yeah definitely feeling some regret as I was getting to the deep innards of the watch, being careful not to inhale the smallest screws, referring to YouTube to try and figure out what I was looking at... The watch came up pretty cheap in my neighbourhood and I couldn't pass it up. I'm not sure it would justify the cost of a professional service though, so here I am
    • I have an omega triple date repair....the issue is that the month wheel is jammed and will not advance....if the date is advanced via one click of the crown it will stop at 31..the only way at this point to advance it to 01 is via the crown while setting the time...now the issue I am having at time with...getting the pressure ring case back off...for some reason on older pieces I have not had an issue...on this one yes!..any advice on how to remove it would be most welcome...there is no where on the  case back indicating where to insert a case knife....my horotec case back remover was no help in this situation either...thanks...
    • Cheers oldhippy beat me to it,  yep as old hippy says that what it does, its cheap aswell, I think I only paid a few quid for my block from cousins, you have to move the brush very fast but nice and light at the same time to get the best results, then peg out all your pivot holes.
    • Did you modify the ergonomic oiler as well? Does the oil sit on yours as it does on mine?
      I just don’t know how I could use them, perhaps for posts, touching them with the side of the oiler. The oil is going nowhere if it touch something with the tip.
    • After cleaning and polishing brass. If you French chalk the brass parts with a soft clean brush it prevents tarnish of brass and can add that extra shine. Some clockmakers still use this old process today. It is also another way in which you do not need to bother to lacquer parts.   French chalk is magnesium silicate.
×