Our assistance laboratory has always been one of the strong points of the House Hausmann & Co. Skilled professionals combine the skill of craftsmen and the deep knowledge of technicians into their activity, providing our Customers with an excellent and high-quality service, always up to the high standard of the parent companies that we distribute. Countless institutions have been relying on the Hausmann assistance for years, and have continued to trust the abilities of our technicians who are always up-to-date with state of the art haute horlogerie.

Repair stages of a wristwatch

  • 1. The revision of a watch


    1. The revision of a watch

    Once a watch arrives at the lab for a review, a watchmaker takes care of it during the entire procedure, just like in the workshops in Switzerland where intricate patterns are made. First, an estimate is made according to the work that needs to be done and, once approved, the watch goes to the next stage. The time-frame is short for simple and routine check-ups, but becomes longer (even thirty or ninety days) for complex ones or with special pieces that must be obtained from the parent company.

    First the entire “clothing” of our Rolex is taken off (case, bracelet, bottom plate, lunette) and sent to be polished, followed by a first washing and possible replacements of worn parts. During a normal revision all seal gaskets are replaced (bottom plate, crown, glass), which are highly important in a sports model. Then we move on to the dial: using two special tweezers the two hands are removed, protecting the bottom with a transparent film so not to ruin it; afterwards the lateral screws and date disk are removed. It is a delicate operation, because the dial is prone to scratches. Each part is then placed in a special container with walls.

  • 2. The movement


    2. The movement

    During calibre disassembly, special attention is given to extracting the automatic group, as the mainspring must first be fully discharged. The movement of the automatic group is placed in a metal basket divided into compartments to be put in the machine for pre-wash. A mechanical arm dips the basket from time to time in four glass tanks, the first tank contains a cleaning solution and three very refined benzines and the other three tanks are for rinsing. The machine then performs the complete drying of the parts. This takes about fifteen minutes. After the pre-wash we move on to the total dismantling of the movement, during which the watchmaker verifies all the components in order to check consumption, especially of those parts that are subject to a lack of lubricant (such as the bearings), or particular wear (such as the axes of the wheels). Continuing the disassembly, we move to the mainspring which is removed from the barrel, balance spring, bridge anchor, and so on. The technician checks the state of each component, especially the pivots of wheels which in our Rolex are in place and prepares the movement for the second wash.

    In particular, the spiral, which must be flat and concentric, and the rotor bushing (within which the axis rotates), which must be aligned with the automatic bridge, are checked. Since in our case the latter is put back in place, we proceed with the operation by using special tools provided by the House and our trusty hammer. The technician must also check the 24-hour bridge before checking the dial train. In our case, due to wear, it was necessary to change the minute wheel. Once all the necessary repairs and replacements were done, we proceed to the second washing of the movement (this time completely disassembled), which occurs in another machine similar to the previous one, but with a different washing programme.

    The parts, in fact, are housed in a metal bin, divided into compartments and put together according to material (brass with brass, stainless steel with stainless steel…) to avoid damaging them in case they bump against each other. The smaller pieces, such as screws, are placed into finer mesh baskets.

  • 3. Reassembling the movement


    3. Reassembling the movement

    After the second washing, the watchmaker can proceed to assembling the automatic group, during which the correct operation plays between the parts are restored, proceeding first with lubricating all the parts: from the central pinion to the stones, to the escape wheel, lubrication is essential for minimizing friction which causes the moving parts to wear out. First the watchmaker mounts the crown pipe. He starts from the dial side, from the wheels of the 24 hour gear train, making sure that the pins enter perfectly.

    Then he turns the movement to mount the barrel and the crown wheel. At this stage the last part to be mounted is the anchor, whose levers are lubricated with special grease, used only for this part. The watchmaker puts a drop of lubricant on the output lever turning the escape wheel and repeating the operation three times for a full spin of the wheel. This is enough to distribute the lubricant to the teeth of the wheel.

    During this operation he must be very careful that the lubricant does not slide away to the anchor pin or one it, because it has to be dry while spinning. Finally we proceed with reinserting the balance spring, which was lubricated on a stone and against a stone with a special tool which drops the same amount of lubricant, so that everything remains perfectly clean and without any leaks. A special treatment (recommended by Rolex) is performed on the inverters which are lubricated with a specific product in which they soak for a couple of minutes before being dried with hot air. Then the lubricated rotor is put back together with its pin.

    Once assembled, the movement is subjected to the final adjustment which lasts for 24 hours. Fully charged, the watch is placed on the chronocomparator in six positions (crown up, crown down, crown on the left, crown on the right, dial upwards, dial downwards) to detect the daily average deviation. The same operation is performed after 24 hours of operation. The adjustment is made for a daily deviation between 0 and +5 seconds per day.

  • 4. Reassembling the watch


    4. Reassembling the watch

    After establishing that all the parameters are in a good state and the balance spring is well balanced, we proceed to reassembling the watch and starting the movement. One important thing that the watchmaker must do in assembling the dial is to set the time before the calendar clicks midnight, making sure the click takes place smoothly and precisely. In assembling the hands, he starts with the hand that has the largest hole in diameter then moves to the hand with the smallest hole in diameter (order: hours, GMT, minutes and seconds). Then he proceed to the case, previously polished by a polishing expert who works on all the watches sent by the Hausmann service (the polishing department is in a room separated from of the laboratory). In order to lubricate the joints of the case the technician uses special silicone grease. A very delicate operation is inserting the sapphire crystal, performed with a special tool similar to a press.

    By using size appropriate dowels, designed to centre the glass on the calibre and put it flat on the case, manually (via a lever) the watchmaker applies the needed pressure to fix the crystal in its joint. He can now pass to inserting the movement into the case, by removing all traces of dust from the crystal with a vacuum cleaner.

    As a rule, the winding crown, when a watch is subjected to full review, is always replaced.

  • 5. Final verification tests


    5. Final verification tests

    At the end of the assembly we pass to the impermeability test, measuring the change in pressure inside a sealed chamber.

    The function test is very important too, during which the automatic watch is placed on a simulator for five days. This is how the technician checks the efficiency of the charging device, moving the watch which, in practice, should be on the owner’s wrist. Once proper operation is set, we proceed to assembling the bracelet which was previously polished, like the case, on a wheel with different types of brushes and abrasives depending on the type of scratched, which were more or less deep.

    Now our Rolex is finally ready, fully functional and all the parts are in place, accompanied by a one-year guarantee from Hausmann & Co. Inside, on the bottom plate, the technician engraves a sequence number (visible only with a magnifying glass), which is recorded in appropriate registers, in order to identify the watch if it returns to service.

  • 6. Quality and expertise


    6. Quality and expertise

    Of the eight watchmakers working in the Hausmann & Co assistance laboratory, a technician deals exclusively with polishing and cleaning cases and bracelets in one of the departments for clocks. All are specialised and licensed by the parent company, where they are periodically updated with specific courses. Trademarks, in fact, for the repair of some complicated watches require a qualification from the factory. This is to prove how important good assistance service is in the overall assessment of a brand. Hausmann & Co Assistance is considered to be of the highest level, with qualifications provided by A. Lange&Söhne, Pater Philippe and Rolex, after difficult training and updates.

Hausmann performs service for the following brands