Lets close-out this year with a new years resolution and two vintage Seiko high beat (36000 bph) watches, one a Seiko Lord Marvel 5740-8000 and the other a King Seiko 45-7001 (cal 4500a), both recently serviced for the same ClockSavant customer. Both now running nicely, the King Seiko is achieving near COSC accuracy. Highlights include the King Seiko having a cracked mainspring that hadn't yet failed but was preparing to do so. You would not spot this looming issue from wearing the watch, you only find it with proper servicing and careful inspection. This mainspring isn't available any more; however, through calculations and testing, I have identified an excellent replacement with some modification of the inner coil. The Lord Marvel's cap jewels had problems. (1) a broken cap jewel spring and (2) incorrect replacement cap jewels were installed. Let's take these cap jewels as a reminder that we get what we pay for and less when our focus is primarily on price and how fast complex work can be done. Servicing vintage watches well is not fast, easy, or particularly profitable. Building-in time for pre-inspection, obtaining parts, sticking with a difficult problem, completeness/knowledge/skill/full disassembly, communication/documentation, and going at a safe pace, not your fastest, to avoid errors, damage, and scratches consumes resources.
Here's to a new years resolution of focusing on the quality and authenticity of our work. Provide the customer what is best for them in the long-run and educate them as-required. Appealing only to the primal basics of cheap, fast, and good looks-- like nice new paint on a poorly running used car-- is a false bridge. Sooner or later, the truth comes home.