What is the most important part of a watchservice?
Aside from thorough cleaning, the most important part is to apply the correct amount of the right oil for lubrication. Unfortunately this is the most common thing that is done wrong.
What was the oldest watch you worked on?
Well, I am not sure if this is the oldest watch I ever worked on, but I just completed a total overhaul of a gorgeous Rolex Oyster in Yellow Gold from 1920.
What was the most expensive watch you worked on?
For me, a watch is equally valuable for its owner: If its $250 or $400,000 – as a reputable watchmaker I take every job very seriously. One day I clean a simple hand-wound movement, and the next day I work on a complicated tourbillion.
How often should a mechanical watch be serviced, and why?
A mechanical watch should be cleaned and lubricated every 5 to 10 years. But it is very important to check the gaskets more frequently to ensure water resistance.
What are the major steps of a complete overhaul?
In short: Visual inspection of the case, bracelet and movement. Dismantling and cleaning of the movement. Repair or replacement of any faulty movement parts. Assembling and lubricating of the movement. Tuning of the precision and checking of the water-resistance.
These steps require skills, experience and importantly, time. In addition, the surroundings need to be very clean and completely dust free.
You are CW21 certified by the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) – what does this mean for a client?
It distinguishes from other watchmakers – the CW21 certification is an un-biased, industry-wide recognition: You have to prove to a board of professionals that you have the skills to perform quality repairs to the highest standards, and it involves a stringent 4-day examination on the technical aspects of watchmaking. Also, your work area is reviewed by a peer mentor. Every couple of years, we certified watchmakers are required to take continuing education courses.
Could you recommend a career in watchmaking for young people coming out of school?
From my perspective this is a fulfilling career – you work on precious timepieces in a clean environment, and are able to make people happy when their watch has any issues. And if you work hard and are willing to learn, you can make a living!
What is your favorite watch you personally wear?
Wherever I go, I always wear my Rolex Oyster.
Thank you very much Ignacio – we appreciate your time!