Watch replacement parts sometimes a sensitive topic. In one of the last posts, I introduced you to the very affordable Glashütte Spezichron and showed that buying and subsequently repairing/revising a vintage watch does not have to be expensive. It was also relatively easy to find a watchmaker who could revise this watch and had enough spare parts including a matching glass.
But what if you have a much rarer vintage watch and the spare part you are looking for is not even found in the warehouse? What if not even eBay & Co. can help you? Then maybe you should look for a so-called furniture. The chances increase massively that you (or your watchmaker) will find him. Furniturists, that’s what we call spare parts dealers for watches . Many are no longer in Germany. But those who still exist can make a lot of things possible. Often they are also networked with each other and worldwide. In Germany, for example, there are the furniturists Flume, Boley and Ernst Westphal. Let’s check the review of new icon Certina DS PH200M.
Watch replacement parts – visiting a furniturist
On the latter – and the whole topic – I became aware at the beginning of the year when an e-mail with the reference to a TV report from the NDR landed. I found the topic quite exciting. And the curiosity was so great that I answered Thomas Krim, the owner of the company Ernst Westphal, to the mail and in a sense invited myself 🙂
So we made an appointment. I drove to Harburg, just outside Hamburg. Arrived at Thomas Krim, it started with a lot of “Watch-Talk”. The watch fans among you know this. One topic is the other, you talk and talk shop – and you just do not stop. While we were doing that, Thomas let me take a look at various (and sometimes very old) drawers with (sometimes very rare) spare parts. And that’s what it looked like locally:
Exactly as you imagine, right? Of course, this is just a mini-cutout of what Thomas has on shelves and drawers full of spare parts. We are talking about around six to seven million parts, which he and his five employees have neatly cataloged and sorted into the many shelves and compartments. During my visit, a larger stock had arrived, which he had just bought. Zig yellow post boxes full of watch parts were waiting to be sorted and cataloged. What a job, I thought to myself…
Talking watches – talking money
But this work is necessary and important. Especially for watch fans who do not want to pay any nonsensical price for a repair / revision at the manufacturer. Because they go rather to a free and much cheaper watchmaker. – For those who have not noticed: In the search for additional revenue opportunities, for example, cuts the Swatch Group (which includes brands such as Omega, Longines, Tissot) free watchmakers and furniturists sometimes from the spare parts supply. Officially, the reason is: guaranteethe of quality. Unofficially and a little more credibly: “We want to make more revenue with spare parts, repairs and revisions.”
So it is all the more important for furniturists like Thomas (and free watchmakers) to build a bulging warehouse with spare parts. And indeed you can find almost every spare part from famous brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Junghans & Co. From A like Alpina to Z like Zenith. – And what if he does not have a spare part? If it is an extremely rare watch? Then his worldwide network built up over years will help him. Here Thomas could probably solve one or the other serious and exotic case (see TV feature).
Old business goes new business
No less interesting was the fact that Thomas is not just continuing the “old business” – which he joined in 2008 as an enthusiastic IT enthusiast – but is always considering something new. And with a lot of vigor. Almost a bit restless 🙂 Be it that he developed a time scale and a free app to measure the gait accuracy of watches or toiletries for watches (partner link) or an invisible nano-based scratch protection (partner link). And he is, of course, be found on the online hub for watches Parts par – on ebay with the account Watchparts24 (Partner links). You will find here various mechanical spare parts, glasses, dials, bracelets, tools, care products and accessories. Not all the spare parts and products he has in his assortment – but the most important and popular. And if you are looking for something very rare or special, you should contact him directly.
To summarize and conclude
I got to know Thomas as a true watch enthusiast and collector. That’s why I’m pretty sure that the company founded in 1898. And taken over by it 10 years ago is in the right hands. Thank you for allowing me to stop by. It certainly will not be the last. I have one or the other vintage clock in my collection … and there I will certainly need a new spare part one day.
So far as the topic of Watch replacement parts and where to find them.