There is no greater way to end the week than on a high note. This morning I got a letter from a Seiko owner. The bracelet on his trustworthy Seiko Cal. 7A28, finally gave up the ghost. And who can blame the poor thing - it had lasted over 35 years! The owner had contacted the Seiko service centre in Sydney and they replied with the following:
"The calibre is 7A28-703B and unfortunately we are no longer able to assist with that watch due to the exhaustion of our original spare parts.
You may however find that a watchmaker who can be sourced through the WCA (Watch & Clockmakers of Australia Inc.) website can assist. The WCA website is http://www.wca.org.au. Once in the website you may need to click on the small circle on the top right hand corner to gain access to the Repairer Locator where you can find Seiko Service Specialists https://wca.tidyhq.com/public/pages/wca-member-seiko-specialists or watch and clock repairers https://wca.tidyhq.com/public/pages/member-locator
These businesses often have residual stock of original parts or generic parts which enables them to undertake work where we cannot. We have in the past referred people to the Watch and Clockmakers of Australia Inc and they were able to get their watch repaired.
Disclaimer note: The WCA is not associated in any technical or commercial way with the Seiko Australia P/L and we accept no responsibility of any kind whatsoever for the outcome of work carried out by their members.
The WCA website is http://www.wca.org.au
Customer Service – Client Contact"
How uplifting an example of great customer service this is. Whilst Seiko can't help this time, they are still able to provide hope. The appreciation of WCA (a professional body for independent Australian watchmakers) was more than just respectful but a logical possible solution. Even the suggestion that repairing a bracelet with generic parts should be an acceptable outcome is encouraging. While we personally have no stock of Seiko parts, there is a possibility that our colleagues might have, and might be able to help.
If I were the recipient of Seiko's letter and owner of a Seiko watch I would be so pleased with the way my query was handled and, without a doubt, would consider buying a new Seiko watch. There is something gratifying about being a part of a great brand who which still stands at the very forefront of horology.
And I hear what you’re saying: why do Swiss brands still arrogantly refuse to offer you the same level of service? Why do they not see independent watchmakers as an important link in the horological chain; and why are they preventing us watchmakers from doing what we are trained for by restricting the supply of spare parts?
We are expecting a delivery of our Freedom to Make, Right to Repair mugs on Monday, and the first mug will be sent to the Seiko service people as a recognition of mutual respect.
Well done comrade Hattori!