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All you need to know about Steven Hale and the world of watches

What’s included in a watch service?

Expert watch servicing – what is involved?

Every wondered what happens during a watch service?

Whether you wear your luxury watch only on special occasions or whether it’s your essential everyday timepiece, just like your car, your watch needs regular servicing to keep it in top condition.

Regular servicing for your watch will prevent damage, extend its lifespan and potentially protect your investment. However, many people ignore this essential task. After all, luxury watches keep working for years!

The trouble is that you can’t see what is happening inside your watch. You may think it’s completely sealed, but over time these seals degrade and corrode. Minute particles of dirt and dust can make their way into your watch movement. And what happens next?

What’s involved in watch servicing?

Dust and dirt cause friction. Friction causes wear and tear. This reduces the accuracy of timekeeping and long-term can cause extensive damage.

On top of all this, all moving parts need lubrication. Delicate oils are used to protect moving parts and over time these oils dry up. Regular servicing ultrasonically cleans your watch inside and out. Seals and gaskets are replaced. Oils are topped up. And where relevant (we don’t do it for all watches) your watch will be polished back to a showroom finish, making it look and perform as good as on the day you first bought it.

When do I need to service my watch?

Many people leave servicing their watch almost until it’s too late. They wait until it stops keeping accurate time, running too fast or too slow. They might have dropped it and a rattling noise appears. They wear it in the shower and condensation appears on the glass.

Watch repair & glass replacement

All these are serious issues, which bar dropping your watch, could easily be avoided. Waiting until a fault appears is like driving your car until black smoke comes from the exhaust. By then any repair will be extensive and arguably far more than regular servicing combined!

The manufacturer of your watch will recommend regular service intervals. Most recommend servicing your watch every 3-5 years.

What’s included in a watch service?

Firstly, our expert watchmakers will disassemble your watch. Mechanical watches contain over 100 separate components, many of them barely visible to the naked eye. Each component is checked for damage to identify what may need replacing.

What’s included in a watch service?

We then carefully clean each part using ultrasonic wash baths. This gently cleans each component without causing additional wear.

Specialised oils are then applied as we reassemble your watch, carefully aligning the gears and springs to ensure accurate performance within the manufacturer’s tolerances.

Each watch will then undergo up to 5 days of testing to ensure performance before being ready to return to you. And the final stage is to polish the case and bracelet.

Polishing luxury watches

We employ one of the very best polishers in the UK. He is skilled at laser welding techniques where, rather than polish out scratches, we infill with the appropriate metal. This builds back up the metal rather than wearing more away and leaves your watch looking almost better than new.

You can watch our polisher in action here >

Servicing & Polishing a luxury watch by SHWR

Polishing isn’t appropriate on all watches, and we will happily advise if we think the value and integrity of your watch will be diminished by polishing.

What difference does it make to use an Accredited Service Centre?

As an Accredited Service Centre, we have access to genuine spare parts from the leading premium watch brands. This maintains the value of your watch and ensures its continued performance.

Servicing & Restoration of Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Tag,  Arnold & Son watches

Non-authentic spare parts may look the same but may be made of inferior materials. They may have defects that in the long run will simply not work as effectively in your watch.

What’s the difference that Steven Hale Watch Restoration can offer?

Repairing and restoring luxury watches is our passion. We care deeply about bringing beautiful luxury watches back to life and to maintaining their character. And that guides our philosophy towards repairs.

Signs your watch needs servicing by SHWR

Unlike some of the major manufacturers, we work to maintain the authenticity of your watch. We will only replace parts and movements when strictly necessary and they have no more useful life left in them.

We do everything your watch needs to last a lifetime (with regular servicing).

Is it time you had your watch serviced?

Call our expert watchmakers at Steven Hale and we will be glad to help.

Contact us now on 0208 088 6439 or email us at


What our customers had to say

I cannot rate Steven Hale highly enough. From my initial emails, right through to collecting my watch, they were extremely helpful and answered all of my many questions."

"I had my watch serviced and a significant part replaced. I had previously been told by others that the replacement part was no longer available which for a vintage and very sentimental watch was more than a little disappointing. Steven Hale very quickly informed me that this was not correct and they located the part. My watch looks absolutely incredible. It has been serviced before but never come back looking and feeling as good as it does this time. I will always use them from now on and have referred others to them as well."

Rolex datejust - katie r

What our customers had to say

"What a simple, satisfying and reassuring experience!"
A clear outline of the process to begin with, helpful communication along the way and an excellent outcome.The professional approach by the business was enhanced by the individual arrangements made for the transfer of my watch.In all, a really professional experience."

Rolex Oysterdate - Howard W

What our customers had to say

"Incredible restoration of my vintage watch - highly recommend!"
I picked up my 64 year old watch today from Steven Hale after Rolex themselves referred me. I've waited 6 months to be reunited with it (due to it being a vintage), and I am beyond chuffed! I have previously taken the watch to a specialist but was turned away due to its age. But for the first time in years, the experts at Steven Hale have made it work like new. I applaud the excellent team of knowledgeable staff both in the workshop, but also in the showroom, who explained all my options in meticulous detail. This watch has been passed down three generations and I'm so pleased to have it back in full working order. I couldn't recommend Steven Hale enough for anyone with a special vintage watch, unsure of the best place to get it restored."

Vintage Rolex - Oscar S

What our customers had to say

"For years I had been told by a succession of watch repairers that my watch was obsolete, irreparable or both. Finally I was recommended to Steven Hale. Five months later my watch is back on my wrist, as good as it ever was. I can't recommend Steven Hale highly enough."

Vintage Rolex Oyster - Nigel F

What our customers had to say

"Very happy with the communication and service received. Would recommend this company with confidence."

Dr Bakaya

What our customers had to say

"Just to confirm my Rolex has been delivered & looks absolutely spot on. I’d like to express my thanks to yourself & to all at SHWR for the excellent all round professional service - it’s been much appreciated. With your workload backlog I doubt that your Company needs any further recommendations or endorsements, but should you ever want one please don’t hesitate to contact me. With my thanks once again & my best regards."


What our customers had to say

"My great grand-father's Breguet was given to me by my father for my 21st birthday. 30 years later, post restoration by SHWR, it is in far better shape than I have ever seen it. SHWR's craftsmanship is immaculate. The firm is polite, professional and honest. Outstanding - I cannot recall another occasion when I have been so favourably impressed."


What our customers had to say

"I have just had my 1934 Rolex Oyster repaired. From start to finish I had full confidence in every one I had contact with at Steven Hale. They have been very efficient in identifying the problems at the initial examination and dealing with them as promised. There were no nasty surprises and unexpected complications along the way. Because of the age of my watch, spares are not available, and new parts have had to be made - all very expertly done. They even polished the gold case and my 86yr old watch now looks as good as new. You can certainly trust these people with your precious timepieces."


What our customers had to say

"I had bought a 1970s Pepsi GMT at auction and it needed some work. The lume on the hands was breaking up. Rolex UK wanted some hilarious price and threatened to replace the hands with new ones if their work failed - all at my expense of course. Steven Hale and co managed to repair the hands and maintain the original patina of the 40 plus year old watch which was of course crucial! Highly recommended."


What our customers had to say

"These are watch lovers and it shows. Their meticulous craftsmanship and expertise make them unique in London and I suspect that only in Switzerland may their equivalents be found. The experience of Steven Hale Watch Restoration begins with the talented and charming individuals who are client facing in South Molton Street and who instil a confidence that is consequently fully fulfilled. This firm represents unequalled talent in its field as well as exceptional client service. I have seldom recommended anyone with greater conviction."