Hublot spare parts policy

I’ve talked about spare parts before, but since it was a big part of my day today, I’ll talk about it some more.

Hublot WristwatchI started out my day with a customer who had a ladies Hublot wristwatch which needed a new power cell. I recommended a water test as I usually do with water resistant watches and they agreed that it was a good idea. Upon removing the case back I noticed that the unusually shaped gasket was deformed. I was going to have to replace it. I looked up Hublot’s phone number on the internet and gave them a call. I got the usual reception that I get from a higher end brand. I’m sorry we do not sell parts unless you are an authorized retailer who has received our training. I explained my credentials but they wouldn’t budge, the watch would need to go to their service center.

The nearest authorized retailer is 400 miles away and their service center is in Florida. The customer needs a battery and a gasket and they have to send their watch insured hundreds (or thousands) of miles away so they can get it a new battery and a gasket. What kind of customer service is that? I called back and asked for more details. If it needed a complete service it would probably cost over $300. They may do less but without a guarantee and their current turn around time is about 6 to 8 weeks. All I can say is I’m glad it’s not my watch.

Before buying your next watch you might consider the companies spare parts and service policies. If you don’t know if your watchmaker would be able to service it, give him/her a call.

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5 Responses to “Hublot spare parts policy”


  1. 1 Prem Chainani March 27, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Hi JP,
    Seems like the proverbial quandary about spare parts and genuine watchmakers. I agree to the companies supplying the parts, how else are they going to know if a watch a certain watchmaker serviced is good or not? Believe you me, there are watchmakers out there who think they know watchmaking. During the last 5-7 years a lot has changed with movement manufacturing and all what a watchmaker knew- now is out the door. Take for instance oiling techniques, gear and pinion tolerances, the list of changes and subtleties in just one movement is indeed enormous! Hence, if non-accreditated watchmakers undertake jobs that are not supposed to be undertaken, obviously they are deteriorating the quality and longevity of the movement in a customer’s expensive time piece. The result is chaotic.

    The Swiss companies then decided, ok, enough is enough, and introduced periodical tests for their agents and watchmakers. Thereby keeping them abreast of all the latest developments in the watchmaking industry, and with their movements and watches. Certain companies go to such lengths as even promoting tools and machinery, required by the servicing agency , if they do not have the gear- they do not get the accreditations.

    It is difficult trying to explain to get a part to a customer service rep. over the phone! Best way, try to get accreditated. I know it is hard to understand this, especially as one is a proud member of the watchmaking community. But, seeing it from the Swiss watch companies’ point of view, there is no other way to maintain discipline.

    Prem Chainani
    Victoria BC Canada

  2. 2 J.Peter March 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I don’t have a problem with the watch companies setting conditions for an individual to get parts. The problem is I am a qualified watchmaker. I am an AWCI Certified Watchmaker for the 21st Century, a WOSTEP graduate, an LWT Diploma recipient and Rolex trained. My issue is the fact that the only people Hublot (and many other companies) will train are individuals who work for a store that sells their product. In this case it means the nearest person who could become qualified to service this watch is 400 miles away. I asked if there was a way I could receive training and the answer was no. I think they need to at least give me (and other watchmakers) a chance to prove ourselves as competent and qualified watchmakers.

  3. 3 J.Peter March 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Oh yeah, and to add. It’s not like this was one of their new complicated movements. It was an ETA quartz movement. If I needed movement parts I would order them from Swatch Group or any supply house.

  4. 4 Prem Chainani March 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Hi JP,
    I appreciate your response. I understand the frustrations at your end! I have an answer from the sales director of Hublot America- and will e-mail you personally with his comments. I understand that he had a look at your comments and post, and has sent me a comment. Some positive news in there for you mate…..
    I will e-mail this copy to you asap. Cheers,
    Prem

  5. 5 J.Peter March 28, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Here is an official response from Hublot of America: (take special note of the paragraph starting “Only graduate watchmakers . . .”

    Thank you for your comments. As the Sales Director of Hublot of America, which covers USA and Canada, please allow me to clarify and explain our position regarding selling parts to independent watchmakers.

    Hublot of America’s policy is that we only sell parts to a watchmaker who has been invited to, and has come to one of our service training facilities in Nyon, Switzerland or Ft. Lauderdale, FL to become certified by us to work on Hublot watches. Many of our watches require special tooling, holders, jigs and screwdrivers in order to be properly opened, worked on, and then closed and leak tested.

    In order to maintain the very high standards with which our watches are designed and constructed, we can not allow a non-certified watchmaker to work on an Hublot watch. While we can never prevent an owner from taking his or her watch to a non-certified repairer, we can prevent that repairer from purchasing parts from us.

    Only graduate watchmakers who are employees of (and not independent contractors for) our Authorized Agents are invited to participate in one of our training class. Again, this helps us keep the quality of the repair and the integrity of the watch at the highest level possible.

    Hublot watches are sold in a very small distribution channel in the USA and Canada. Currently, we have only two Authorized Dealers in all of Canada, none west of Toronto. So, someone in Calgary or Vancouver who has purchased an Hublot watch will have to return that watch back to either his AD, or to directly to Hublot of America for repair.

    Since that owner has traveled more than four hundred miles (as you say) to purchase that watch from an Authorized Dealer, they should not be surprised to find that the authorized repair center is also some distance away.

    While you as an independent watchmaker may be frustrated by our policy, we believe that our policy will preserve the high quality and integrity of our watches.

    Best Regards,

    Mike Margolis

    Sales Director
    Hublot of America


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