watch repair

Standing the Test of Time: Watch Repairs at Ernest Jones

Your watch does so much more than just tell the time; it tells your story. To ensure it continues to mark every special moment in your life, it needs to work to perfection – which is where Ernest Jones comes in.

15 September 2021 Editor - Ernest Jones

Every mark, scratch and dent on your watch is a hallmark of your narrative. It's because of this, that our brand-accredited watchmakers know just how priceless your timepiece is to you (no matter its monetary value), and why it’s vital that it keeps ticking away.

Behind the dials is a wonderfully complex machine – artistic in its design and flawless in its engineering – which confirms why watches really are such an investment and why it’s so important that they remain in optimal condition. We consider it our duty to make sure you’re getting the most out of your model by offering a host of repairs and restoration services.

Time is of the essence

Clockwork requires investment of skill, passion, and, above all, time. Tens if not hundreds of components make up a watch and that level of technical rigour demands that processes are given the time they need.

So, no matter how seemingly small or big the task of repairing or restoration may seem, our trusty team of experts will evaluate your watch and will do their utmost best to return it to its full working condition again. That’s why you can rest assured knowing that when your timepiece comes to us, it's in the safest of hands.

Masters of our craft

Our accreditation from prestigious watch brands, including Breitling, Longines, OMEGA, Rado, TAG Heuer, Zenith and many more enables us to be a part of an exclusive group of companies in the UK to use genuine manufacturer supplied parts to replace worn or broken pieces, so that your timepiece continues to perform as precisely and accurately as the day you got it.

All our watchmakers are WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program) and the BHI (British Horological Institute) trained so we can undertake a variety of watch repair services – from a simple battery replacement through to a full service on a mechanical or automatic timepiece – with the care and expertise you expect. Plus, all our UK-based workshops are fully equipped with all the necessary machinery and tools, so no matter the age or condition, we can restore or service your model with proficiency.

We pride ourselves on our tailored approach to repairs and servicing; with one dedicated technician working on one piece throughout its journey with us – from the initial diagnostic through to the technical intervention and final testing process – ensuring accountability and the upmost care.

Furthermore, as a founding sponsor of the British School of Watchmaking, Ernest Jones has a strong focus on developing the next generation of skilled watchmakers, so that we can continue to deliver the highest of industry standards for years to come.

Out with the new, in with the old

Rather than looking to a shiny new purchase, take comfort in knowing that you can hold onto both your money and the precious memories that your cherished old watch delivers in abundance, thanks to the host of repair and restoration services we offer as specified below:

Watch servicing

We recommend that you get your watch professionally serviced every three years. Our accredited team of watchmakers have a combined experience of over 400 years in the art of watch servicing and are dedicated to ensuring your timepiece is serviced correctly and continues to work as it should, year after year. We service automatic, mechanical and quartz watches across many prestige brands that involves a highly complex and skilled process that can take a qualified watchmaker up to three hours for a simple quartz model through to a full day for an automatic chronograph. ​

A full service will require a watchmaker to work from the inside out completely stripping and cleaning all components and replacing any worn parts. To this end, we offer an all-encompassing suite of watch servicing & repairs to ensure your watch's needs are fully catered for.


The art of restoring and refurbishing fine watches is a rare and delicate practice, which our dedicated team of watchmakers can no doubt perform. The technician starts by carefully detaching each component. Using highly specialised equipment and pastes, every element is delicately re-finished to its near factory condition. The case, bezel, and bracelet are then submerged in an ultrasonic cleaner filled with a cleaning solvent.

As the watchmaker meticulously reassembles your timepiece, the crystal and case back gaskets are replaced to ensure that the watch has a proper seal. The expert will then verify your timepiece’s water resistance by using our on-site water pressure tester and then give it a high-shine polish and thorough quality check before returning it to you.

Adjustments, replacements and repairs

To ensure your watch fits perfectly, we can adjust the bracelet so it takes pride of place on your wrist. If you have found that the bracelet has become damaged from day-to-day wear, our experts will be ready to spring into action to restore it back to fully working condition.

Probably one of the most common customer requests is battery replacements, but you can rest assured knowing that our watchmakers know exactly what to do to ensure that the marking of each passing minute resumes once again.

How you can keep your watch ticking

Finally, here are some tips from our experts on what you can do to at home to ensure your model stays in pristine condition.

Avoiding magnetic items when possible

We also recommend keeping watches away from everyday objects such as iPads, fridges and mobile phones as they contain strong magnets or solenoids, which create a magnetic field that can have a detrimental effect on the performance of your watch, when in close proximity.

This magnetism can cause quartz watches to stop briefly or slow down due to the effect on its stepping motor. In the case of mechanical watches, this magnetism will affect the hairspring (the small spring that regulates timekeeping) causing the coils of the spring to stick together and effectively shorten the active length of the spring, causing the watch to then gain time, often dramatically.

To prevent any issues with magnetism and safe, generally, we recommend storing your watch in the case it came in and away from any electrical items.

Keeping your watch clean

It’s very important to keep watch components clean, especially if you want to ensure the lifespan, condition and value of your piece.

One area to pay special attention to when cleaning is the bracelet, so as to avoid any build-up of dirt that can then act as an abrasive between moving parts such as bracelet links. The subsequent everyday wear and tear and build of dirt can cause the bracelet to fail, the holes to wear larger and the bracelet to become stretched.

To prevent this from happening, we recommend hand cleaning with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Work the brush head gently into each link of the bracelet, while being careful not to submerge the watch head. With the rest of the watch, a soft polishing cloth can be used to dry, brighten any surface and remove any dirt. Attention should be paid to glass with external anti-reflective coating as any abrasion can remove this coating.

Maintaining water resistance

Most watches are supplied from the factory with a level of water resistance, and this is renewed at time of service or battery change, but it's important to know that they don’t remain water resistant for an unlimited period, but there are things you can do to maintain your watch's water resistance between services.

Everyday activities, chemical and environmental impacts can degrade the seals that are in place to provide water resistance. That's why we recommend taking off your timepiece when washing up or applying cosmetics such as hairspray, aftershave or even sunscreen.

If you’re using a watch in or around water regularly, irrespective of its level of water resistance, you should have it checked and tested on an annual basis to ensure the seals remain intact and watertight.

Expertise in excellence at Ernest Jones

The passage of time really is precious, so ensure that your watch is able to keep track of every second, minute and hour by making sure that it works without fault.

Now that you know what we can do to make sure that your timepiece continues to mark every special moment in your life, go out and make the memories you’ll cherish forever.

To find out more about the range of repairs and services we offer, including jewellery restorations, visit Ernest Jones in store and online today.