Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Helpful Tips Before You Visit Your Local Jewellery Store or Watch Repair Shop

(Yes, I spelled that "Jewellery"; I bounce between American English and Australian English; judge me all you want.)
My guy made this - how good is he??
For the last five-ish years, I have been working at my guy's shop.  Quick rundown: My guy is a manufacturing jeweller and watchmaker; his dad is a watchmaker; they are business partners.  My guy primarily makes, repairs, restores, and redesigns jewellery.  His dad repairs and restores watches.  I pretty much do everything else.  We have one part-time employee.  We are a small family business.  We pride ourselves on that.  Between the three of us, we have over 75+ years in the jewellery trade and customer service industries.

Working in a retail shop, we get all kinds of customers walking through the doors from the sweetest and kindest to the rudest and dumbest...and everything in between.  Admittedly, there were some things that I was ignorant about or just hadn't been in the market myself to research or know about watches and jewellery.  So, I've listed some things that might help you be a more informed customer and get better service from your local jeweller and/or watchmaker.


  • When your watch battery dies, get it changed at a proper shop preferably with a tradesman on site.  Do not believe the marketing machine of branded watches that tell you that you must take it back to them; they only want more of your money and usually charge you more than a local shop does.  Also, if they have to send it off site for repair, usually you are charged more (due to courier and processing fees).  
  • When your watch battery dies, get it changed right away.  Some people leave their watches in a drawer or on a shelf for months before taking it in for a battery change.  (I used to do this myself.)  Old/dead batteries can leak and corrode if left too long in the watch.  
  • If your watch is 50m, 100m, 200m (5atm, 10atm, 20atm) water resistant, pay the small extra fee for a water resistance test.  (We charge $18 for a water resistance test; we've heard of businesses charging $60 for the test itself. My personal opinion, that is over-charging, but I'd rather pay for good service that is done correctly, than not have it done well.) If the test is performed, they should be responsible against any water entry for a set period of time.
  •  Most watch batteries last approximately two to two and a half years.  Yes, some are designed  to last longer, but if you are getting two and half years battery life, you're good.
  • Do not go into a small local store and spend a lot of time with the sales associate asking product knowledge questions and trying on a lot of watches if you intend to go straight to the internet to search for the watch at a cheaper price.  It's rude.
  • Many old watches that you may inherit have the possibility to be repaired or restored.  You may have to pay a little bit of extra money, but if it is a sentimental piece, it may be worth it (depending on the brand and/or movement or spare parts that are needed, a full service on an older/vintage watch may cost somewhere in the $120 - $750 range).


  •  If something is priced too good to be true, it probably is.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • Quality jewellery pieces and labor are going to cost money.  
  • When working within a budget, find a jeweller that you can talk to and trust.  They can and will give you options to achieve what you want at a sensible budget (based on what you want and can afford).  
  • Time and personal contact is valuable.  If you want personal time and personal attention to your jewellery item, be willing to know there is value in that. 
  • Do not go into a small local store and spend a lot of time with the sales associate asking product knowledge questions, trying on a lot of jewellery items, and taking pictures of items if you intend to go straight to the internet to search for that item at a cheaper price.  It's rude.  It IS a part of this business for people to look at different items, try on different styles, and consider their purchase.  But, don't be discourteous and use a person that is providing quality customer service, if your intention is to buy it from the cheapest online store.
  • Remember the six above rules for jewellery purchases, and you will be ahead of the game.
Jewellery is a little more difficult to write in just 5 or 6 bullet points, because there are a lot of variables to consider depending on why you need a jeweller.  I could list things to know if you're buying a diamond; things to consider if you're buying a gift for someone; things to prepare yourself for during a redesign or custom made piece, things to know when getting something repaired, the importance of sincerity, integrity, and communication between client and jeweller...and the list goes on.

All jewellery pieces in pictures were designed and created by POLA Jewellers.

If anyone in my blogosphere has any questions about this topic, don't hesitate to ask.


  1. I 100% agree! My Michele watch what the manufacture wanted to replace the battery was frightening!!! I took it to a local place and they charged me a fraction and did such a great job!

  2. I totally agree about doing the research and THEN going online. I am not a big jewellery (australian spelling for the win!) wearer but for most everything, i do all my research online, or if i go into a store, i don't deal with the sales associates at all. if i had to deal with a person, like you do in a jewelry (just switching it up) store, i would feel like a shit head if i then went online. so rude!

  3. I always do my serious jewelry business at my local jeweler. I don't trust an online source for the real stuff.

  4. Always research jewellery (I like that)! Happy Humpday

  5. This is a really interesting post. I know I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do about repairing jewelry, so this was helpful!

  6. While I don't wear watches and am at the age where I'm just starting to accumulate nicer jewelry (sorry American spelling it is for me) I will always go to the small family owned shops because in my mind you get much better personalized service (more honest usually too) instead of being just a number. To me that is worth the small price increase you may experience. I work next door to a massive jewelry company and the sales people always give me a hard time about my beliefs which right there proves my point again.

  7. Your job sounds so fascinating! I love the fact that you run a family business. And I agree, it is so rude to go to a store and get all the help there and then try to find it online for cheap.

  8. I agree with you and have learnt over a period of time that you should do all the research before finalizing on purchase. Diamonds are very precious stone and its not bought daily. Research and then buy from genuine online company.


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