Steps of Servicing

Authentication in the historical archives

Steps of Servicing

Every watch entrusted to Patek Philippe for servicing or repair is first checked against the manufacture’s historical archives. These “archive books” are part of the legacy of Patek Philippe in which every watch crafted since 1839 is recorded. The serial number of each watch submitted is noted so that its life cycle can be traced.

Cost estimate

The price for having a watch serviced depends on its complexity and overall condition. A detailed cost estimate for a watch in the current collection can generally be issued within five working days after the receipt of the watch.

Full maintenance involves many steps and requires the entire expertise of our specialists. Accordingly, the full process can take 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of movement. Restoring a watch can take considerably longer.


Steps of Servicing

As a rule, a watchmaker requires one to two hours to disassemble a simple watch with approx. 150 or more components (without complications). Problems, if any, must be identified during this phase.

As soon as the individual parts have been disassembled, they are cleaned to remove microscopically small particles and lubricant residues.

Case and bracelet

The cleaning cycle applied to cases and metal bracelets is systematic. It assures the removal of all residues. And it is necessary in preparation for polishing and to prevent particle-induced scratching.

Cases and bracelets are only polished on request by the customer. Polishing may involve gentle retouching or several interventions that require differentiated techniques:

Traditional polishing is performed manually and requires a “free-hand” technique, relying on extensive experience, virtuosity, and quick reflexes.

Alternative techniques include satin finishing, lasering, and diamond polishing that results in a mirror gloss.

It is important to note that there is a limit to the number of polishing sequences that can be applied during the lifetime of a watch.


A final inspection is performed when the case-related interventions are completed. The integrity of water resistant watches is checked.

The watchmaker assembles the movement in a clean, dust-free environment. The assembly of the parts must be performed in a sequence that is precisely defined for each model and includes many separate steps such as lubricating specific components. Adjustments are made during and after assembly to assure flawless functionality as well as rate accuracy according to specifications.

Steps of Servicing

Then, the dial and the hands are mounted and finally, the movement is cased up. After the last traces of moisture have been removed, the case is sealed. This is followed by a rate test and an overall inspection.

Final inspection

In this phase, the watch is subject to an inspection that focuses on both technical benchmarks and aesthetic aspects. The final inspection can last up to 14 days.

Types of maintenance:

Essential Maintenance

A Quick intervention can be provided by an authorized Service Center or a retailer accredited to provide Essential Maintenance. It mainly involves battery replacements, water-resistance tests, strap replacements, bracelet length adjustments, and timesetting for simple and complicated watches.

Partial maintenance

- Partial maintenance covers all interventions that do not require the disassembly of the movement.

Full maintenance includes:

- for the movement: complete disassembly, inspection of all parts, replacement of worn parts, cleaning, assembly, lubrication, calibration, adjustment of dial and hands, complete test procedure.

- for the case (and bracelet): cleaning, replacement of all case seals, water-resistance test in air and under water (where applicable). Repairs if necessary and polishing if requested by the customer.

The maintenance and repair procedures are subject to the same quality control benchmarks that apply to the watch manufacturing process.

Patek Philippe’s maintenance services are covered by a two-year warranty within the entire network of authorized Service Centers. The Patek Philippe warranty expires if interventions are performed by unauthorized third parties.

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