Parts for back catalogue watches

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
Soporsche
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Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Soporsche » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:58 pm

Before i start, im keen to say this is not going to be a CW customer service bashing post..
I just wandered what the general consensus was on this as over the past week Ive had 2 responses of its not a current model so we no longer stock spares. I appreciate that neither was movement or core chassis related; a strap (fully understand, its a disposable item) and a bezel, mines heavily scratched up so wanted a new one fitted (at my cost obviously) as part of a CW service..
My experience of some other luxury brands is that they generally carry stock of 'most' parts and often straps for a significant period after a specific model changes, allowing service and renovation/restoration where appropriate. I was therefore a little surprised, not complaining, just surprised.
My assumption is that its down to scale, if you are a Tag/Omega et al.. your volumes are far greater (and your prices) which translates to it being economically viable to stock an inventory of parts for older models. I had presumed (incorrectly) that as CW are building a luxury brand where value of old affects value of new, it would have made some commercial sense to offer similar service albeit with a much reduced capacity and more limited availability.
I also wandered if its part or model specific i.e. If my C9s needed say a new crystal or pushers that these could/would be more than likely available.
As i said at the start, I'm not bashing and it likely wont affect my CW buying at the level i do, but would welcome thoughts or observations from others with more knowledge/experience.
CW's: C30, C60 Orange bezel, C9 Harrison Chrono (big blue) LE, Harrison C9 date, C70 MC, C7 Chrono.
Gone: c7, c3.
Various other brands 😊

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Mikkei4 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:52 pm

The strap I can understand but I'm surprised about a bezel not having some stock. What year is your watch from? Most of us probably own an "older" model from CW so it'd be interesting to know whether this is model specific.

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Soporsche » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:53 pm

Model is C7 Monte Carlo so an older model.
That said I was only using these as loose examples to understand the wider position and members experience on older models.
Im not complaining as its a relatively minor cosmetic only issue and just me being bit OCD 😊 Fully understand the strap and its not a brand/model specific fitment or difficult to replace.. those curved end original straps did look good though 😉
If I had a real issue or something that rendered the watch inoperable I would of course raise it with CW CS in the correct way.
CW's: C30, C60 Orange bezel, C9 Harrison Chrono (big blue) LE, Harrison C9 date, C70 MC, C7 Chrono.
Gone: c7, c3.
Various other brands 😊

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Paul Drawmer » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:54 pm

ISTR that the bezel on that model was particularly susceptible to getting nicks, partly due to the colour finish going right up the the edge. Later models were slightly different design to get over this 'early aging' problem. That may be part of the reason there no spares for the early models.
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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Kip » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:59 pm

What you have experienced is actually somewhat normal in most industries. Companies do not keep an endless supply of parts or forever. They make a guess, when production ends, as to what is a reasonable amount to keep for a reasonable amount of time.

Having spent many years in the watch business, this is also very normal for the major brands and watch groups as well. When parts are gone, they do not make them. They just tell you they can no longer repair your watch and return it. While the major brands may longer supply times due to their size/volumes, the process is pretty much the same.

You are left with the option of finding a donor watch for parts and/or someone to do a restoration.
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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:43 am

In essence what I believe Kip is suggesting is that, regardless of brand, a lot depends on the age and model involved.

@Soporsche - as Paul Drawmer has mentioned the bezels on the early C7/C70 models were ding magnets and, particularly with the GP series that had LE production runs, replacement bezels were very quickly in short supply.

As an example, some years ago, I owned a C7 MkI BRG which should have had a green bezel to match the green dial. Except it had been damaged at some stage prior to me owning it, and had a replacement black bezel.

Some further examples;-

Last year I bought a tatty C5A that had a crown issue. CW were able to rectify this with a new case.

Late last year I bought a very tatty C600 IPK Tri-Tech, again with a crown issue, and a well worn bezel. CW do not have any new C600 IPK cases, but fortunately had a nearly new case to rectify the crown issue but had to refit my existing well worn bezel.

Second half of last year I was looking for a C11 Makaira Extreme and, to cover my options, I asked CW whether they had any spare titanium cases. I was told their stock was 'very limited'. As it happened, I was able to get one in excellent condition.

I have also in the past enquired about the bead blasted case for a C8 MkI or MKII; plenty available.



From my experience, as above, I think it would be fair to say, some you win, some you lose.

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Soporsche » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:45 am

Yes, the design is susceptible to nicks and i knew this when I purchased the watch as pre owned. No complaints. Hoped as much as expected that I may be able to restore.
Kip, many thanks for your input and experience. Fully understand the commercials, having not been a CW customer for as long as many here I was interested as to general expectations/experience re availability on CW legacy models. Probably similar to most I have mixed experience with other brands; glass / pushers / seals / other bits were available on a 35+yo Omega but crown not available on a 4yo Tissot 😊.
As an aside, I have had good quality service from CW over past few years.
Bahnstormer, quite agree - As they say, you pays your money and takes your chances, I have learned the hard way with some Franken old Heuers 🙄
CW's: C30, C60 Orange bezel, C9 Harrison Chrono (big blue) LE, Harrison C9 date, C70 MC, C7 Chrono.
Gone: c7, c3.
Various other brands 😊

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Chris375 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:19 am

I managed to recently purchase a C7 Apex (not the one on eBay) and contacted CW CS about purchasing a spare strap as per the original. Even though the watch was only released last August they had no spare original straps. I was surprised due to the watch only being a few months old but, in reality, how many spare parts should they be expected to carry and for how long. It's not good business sense tying money up in stock that might just sit on the shelves gathering dust.
For me, I bought a NATO strap and fitted that so I can wear the watch regularly without marking or damaging the original strap. One thing about CW watches with the sliding pin straps, they are easy to fit.

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by smegwina » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:43 pm

Kip wrote:What you have experienced is actually somewhat normal in most industries. Companies do not keep an endless supply of parts or forever. They make a guess, when production ends, as to what is a reasonable amount to keep for a reasonable amount of time.

Having spent many years in the watch business, this is also very normal for the major brands and watch groups as well. When parts are gone, they do not make them. They just tell you they can no longer repair your watch and return it. While the major brands may longer supply times due to their size/volumes, the process is pretty much the same.

You are left with the option of finding a donor watch for parts and/or someone to do a restoration.
Sorry Kip, that is simply ridiculous. Most manufacturer parts are available well after the model is retired, some even going back to the 60s. When was this model retired??? Can only be a few years.

I said at the time when they started churming out all these colours and editions like there as no tomorrow that there were going to be problems of this nature, but even I didn't think it would occur so quickly. This is the problem with a small manufacturer overstretching themselves on the sheer number of releases.

Anyone who has bought one of these needs to take into account that they had better not damage it due to the lack of cosmetic parts.

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Kip » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:41 pm

I don't think what I have said is ridiculous at all. I might think the situations are ridiculous, but not what I said.

The status of spare parts availability will vary widely by industry, product and company. I have a 3 year old vacuum that that I can no longer get some parts for. Yet I can get some parts for a 50 year old watch and I can't get parts for a 5 year old watch or maybe a 30 year old watch.
I said at the time when they started churming out all these colours and editions like there as no tomorrow that there were going to be problems of this nature, but even I didn't think it would occur so quickly. This is the problem with a small manufacturer overstretching themselves on the sheer number of releases.
I think you are correct here in that it is more of a problem for smaller makers to maintain a sufficient inventory of parts.

Not that we can compare the auto industry directly with the watch business, but I recall someone telling me that US automakers were required at one time, not sure if this was ever true or not, to maintain, what they believed, was a 10 year supply of parts for a vehicle when it went out of production. If that supply only lasted 5 years then so be it. They believed they had enough at the time production ended. The point being that makers can only make an educated guess...good or bad.
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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by richtea » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:06 pm

Interesting post this one regarding old model support

I've just returned a C4 Peregrine (the re-issue one :D ) for a battery change and re-seal .... the bezel was slightly misaligned from new so i asked for CW to take a quick look whilst the watch was with them
They mailed me a few days later to say the watch would actually require a full case change to resolve the bezel ...... i did ask if they had cases and was told yes its no problem so i assume C4 cases must be readily in stock still
But even allowing for the re-issue of the famous Phoenix a few years back its still quite an old model
Guess its purely a chance on retained case stocks

As an aside note the re-case and battery work was to be £186 :shock: .... so its battery only and my OCD on the bezel will have to be put away (was only a slight misalignment to be fair)
First time i've not gone with a CW costing though !

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by albionphoto » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:08 pm

Automakers in the US and EU were certainly required to have a ten year supply of parts for a vehicle once it finished production. Definitions of ten years vary and, as Kip said, if a part turns out to be in demand then a ten year supply can become a five year supply really quickly. A good example would be the air suspension for certain Audi Allroad models in the UK. A lot of otherwise viable vehicles are being scrapped because the replacement air bags for the rear suspension are either not available or so costly that a repair isn't viable.
Not many, if any, industries are regulated in this way.
For my C7 I didn't like the original strap and replaced it with a CW strap with red stitching. The original strap is stored away just in case I ever need it or feel like selling the C7. I'm keeping mine for a long while though.
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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by smegwina » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:13 pm

Kip wrote:I don't think what I have said is ridiculous at all. I might think the situations are ridiculous, but not what I said.

The status of spare parts availability will vary widely by industry, product and company. I have a 3 year old vacuum that that I can no longer get some parts for. Yet I can get some parts for a 50 year old watch and I can't get parts for a 5 year old watch or maybe a 30 year old watch.
I said at the time when they started churming out all these colours and editions like there as no tomorrow that there were going to be problems of this nature, but even I didn't think it would occur so quickly. This is the problem with a small manufacturer overstretching themselves on the sheer number of releases.
I think you are correct here in that it is more of a problem for smaller makers to maintain a sufficient inventory of parts.

Not that we can compare the auto industry directly with the watch business, but I recall someone telling me that US automakers were required at one time, not sure if this was ever true or not, to maintain, what they believed, was a 10 year supply of parts for a vehicle when it went out of production. If that supply only lasted 5 years then so be it. They believed they had enough at the time production ended. The point being that makers can only make an educated guess...good or bad.
Apologies, was not meaning to imply that what you had said was ridiculous, but that the situation was ridiculous!

Strangely I also do have sympathy as it must be a fiscal nightmare to decide on the levels of stock to keep on hand for future requirements, but they should also think of people purchasing said watches who may be able to get the movement serviced, but nothing else. I am reluctant to buy a non mainstream colour etc CW for that very reason.

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by kiter65 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure I’ve seen adverts from CW in the past about buying their watches for life/passing down to the next generation....how can you if they are no parts to repair a couple of year old watch :?

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Re: Parts for back catalogue watches

Post by Thegreyman » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:44 pm

kiter65 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:35 pm
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure I’ve seen adverts from CW in the past about buying their watches for life/passing down to the next generation....
Are you not getting confused with Patek Philippe :wink:
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