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Watch services: At Wempe, excellence makes the difference.

Outstanding expertise, an eye for the smallest details, and precision — these are the distinguishing characteristics of our master watchmakers and of Wempe watch services. Here you can trace a process that normally remains hidden from outsiders: the path of a watch that is brought to a Wempe branch, repaired in the workshop, and returned to its owner.

Freeze Frame Clockwork Play Watch service video
Discover the largest independent watchmaker’s workshop in Europe - operated by Wempe.

We can adjust a crown or change a battery in the workshops attached to our showrooms, but partial repairs and general overhauls are carried out at our Hamburg headquarters or at our branch in Glashütte in Saxony. In these two locations we operate the largest independent watchmaker’s workshop in Europe and combine our outstanding expertise under one roof.

The new types of watches are not nearly as sensitive as older models. They are protected from harmful environmental effects, and many of them are water-resistant as well. Today watches with mechanical movements can also withstand a strong shock without any damage. And in most cases modern lubricants allow them to work for years with a high degree of reliability.


atelier tools
All the same, there are some things that have a damaging effect on watches. Many watches should not be worn in a sauna or during sports activities. It’s also very important to have the water-resistance of a watch checked. Water-resistance is a key factor for the longevity of a watch, and it should be regularly checked in order to prevent any unpleasant surprises. A shock or blow can reduce the water-resistance of a watch, but the wearer might not notice that immediately. That’s why every watch should be checked by a watchmaker at regular intervals. We recommend that you bring your watch in for servicing at one of our branches every six months.

Here you can find out more about our unique watch services — step by step. Trace the path of a watch as it receives a general overhaul and goes through the various steps of our comprehensive servicing process.
watchmaker with clock work
watchmaker with clock work, magnifier
Movement composition. tweezer

Step 1: The watch is brought into a local Wempe branch

Our watchmakers provide individual consultation on the spot. Even if they’ve only been asked to clean the watchband, our experts will be happy to put the watch on an electric timing machine and take a look at the current performance of the watch movement together with you. This is a good way to find out whether it’s time for the watch to be inspected at the Wempe workshop. In most cases, the owner is told immediately how long this will take and what it will cost. Incidentally, at the service workbench the owner can take a look at the watch movement and have our experts explain what work steps are needed. And the owner does not need to go watchless while his or her watch is being overhauled. For the customers who entrust their watches to our care, we provide service watches for use during the waiting period.

Step 2: Transport to the central workshop

Before the watch is sent to the central workshop, the service watchmaker records all the details of the order and all of the customer’s special wishes into our database. Safe delivery to Hamburg is guaranteed by a cash-in-transit company whose employees are trained for this job and serve all of our branches on a daily basis. In most cases, the watch will arrive in Hamburg the next day. There we decide every morning which orders will be dealt with in our workshops and which ones we will send on to the manufacturers. Timepieces that remain in our watchmaker’s workshop, which is the biggest independent watchmaker’s workshop in Europe, are assigned to a watchmaker who is especially familiar with the products of the respective manufacturer. The watchmakers in our workshop have the highest qualifications for all of the watch brands we sell. It can take as long as ten years of special training before a Wempe watchmaker is certified by a manufacture for this demanding work. We make very sure that every watch that requires a general overhaul is entrusted to the hands of a single expert.


Bracelet grinding
watch cases and bracelets

Step 3: Cleaning and polishing

The watchmaker takes the timepiece apart and carefully cleans every individual component, down to the tiniest screw. The case and the metal watchband are polished by experienced polishers until they look as good as new. For this process, our experts are instructed by the manufacturers on how to correctly maintain the characteristic surfaces of the different brands and models.

Step 4: Assembly

As the watchmaker painstakingly reassembles the watch, he or she pays attention to maintaining the correct distances between the components and the right torque value of all the screws. New lubricants are also applied. Seals that have become brittle, as well as any damaged components, are replaced. Most components — gear wheels, tension springs, and crystals, for example — are available in our comprehensive replacement-parts warehouse, which is managed by two watchmakers and continuously replenished. Our watchmakers can repair and service one or two watches per day. Overhauling certain models may sometimes require as much as two days.

Step 5: Functional testing

After the watch has been completely assembled, all of its functions are thoroughly tested. The water-resistance of the watch must be checked, and the continuous perfect accuracy of the movement must be tested on an electronic timing machine. All of the switching procedures must function with total precision as well. It takes about one week to check whether the automatic winding mechanism works perfectly, test all the lubricated points, and make sure the date indicators are accurate. If the watch does not function perfectly, the watchmaker adjusts and regulates it once again. Finally, he or she writes a detailed log of the work that has been done and sends it to the local Wempe branch. This will serve as a good basis of information for all the servicing done on the watch in the future.

watch, red cleaning cloth

Step 6: The final check

Before the watch is sent back to the local Wempe branch, it must undergo a stringent final check in the central workshop. Four of our employees check to see whether the assembly has been correct. They make sure that there is not a single speck of dust between the dial and the crystal and that the hands are in exactly the right positions. The watch is placed on the electronic timing machine one last time, and the date jumps are monitored. Only then is the watch brought back to the local Wempe branch by the cash-in-transit company.

Step 7: The return to the customer

Only after the watch has arrived at the local branch in top condition do we contact the owner via the desired channel: by phone, e-mail or text message. If the customer wishes to know exactly what steps were taken to completely overhaul the watch, our service watchmakers are always happy to answer any questions. For every watch, we provide a two-year warranty for all of our repairs and general overhauls. This is yet another feature that makes our service special.

Our promise

You can find a comprehensive overview of our services and warranties, as well as tips concerning the care of watches, in our watch guide.

Learn more about Watches

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