When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » April 22nd 2019, 12:19pm

A good friend of mine, a watchmaker, has bought a Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Skin some time ago. In theory, it's a swell wee watch. Vintage aesthetic, modern reliability and performance... Yeah, right. The so highly praised STP 1-11 inside it has one design defect, and that defect has decided to make itself known, for the second time now. The keyless works in it are unbelievably fragile, and if something can go wrong (and, in this case, it did) in that movement, that's it.
So, what could a watchmaker do? Obviously, he wrote to Zodiac, as there are no apparent sources of STP parts. Venture a guess as to what answer will a watchmaker get when he needs to source parts either to fix a watch for himself, or for a client. Well, it' this:
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We are sorry to hear that your watch is in need of repairs

No, you're not.

Due to the nature of your repair, a technician will need to examine your watch for a repair quote

Goodness me, you've sent this to a watchmaker, you idiots... Why would he need a technician, if he KNOWS what went wrong, and can fix it himself?

We are very sorry we don't sell any parts for our watches

Bazinga!-style grammar's at work here... Sorry? Sorry, my arse!

When you need repairs done on a watch it will have to be sent in

How about no? Who the fuck are you, you Fossil muppets, to act the king of the hill? Patek, VC, AP - these guys are known for being obnoxious, and they have never supplied independents, unless said independents are certified by the brand. They're arseholes, but high-end and established arseholes. And there goes some zombie brand, simply trying to fleece their clients. Fuck you, Zodiac.

We hope this information is helpful.

It certainly is helpful in letting the world know you're a bunch of fleecer twats. Fuck you, Zodiac.

So, there you go. That's what'll happen when your Zodiac will act up. They make pretty watches, but their policy chokes on Ron Jeremy's cock, balls-deep.

Fuck you, Zodiac, threescore.

For what it's worth, my friend's getting rid of the watch. If I were to face the same situation, that's what I'd do as well. After all, this is no better than owning a vintage piece with an in-house movement, the parts for which have been listed as obsolete at every parts shop.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby Hawk » April 22nd 2019, 4:50pm

Well, that's what you get when you've got Andy Granatelli making watch movements.
And the fact I'm still living rent free in his head makes me grin and giggle.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby biglove » April 22nd 2019, 5:15pm

Yeah, no chance of me ever buying a Zodiac with that kind of BS.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby Hawk » April 22nd 2019, 5:43pm

Up until now my only beef with Zodiac is that I got them confused with Zenith. But I'm unlikely to do that again.
And the fact I'm still living rent free in his head makes me grin and giggle.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby conjurer » April 22nd 2019, 10:08pm

That was a nice rant, Mr. Bloke, you dizzy fuck.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » April 23rd 2019, 2:38pm

Hawk wrote:Up until now my only beef with Zodiac is that I got them confused with Zenith. But I'm unlikely to do that again.

I have only ever confused ZentRa and Zenith, never Zodiac and any of the two.

biglove wrote:Yeah, no chance of me ever buying a Zodiac with that kind of BS.

Hear, hear. I would buy a vintage Zodiac alright, but no chance I'd ever go for a new one. The keyless works issue in the STP 1-11 is widespread, and Zodiac's approach makes it impossible to attend to it without getting fleeced by them. So, for the fourth time, fuck Zodiac.

conjurer wrote:That was a nice rant, Mr. Bloke, you dizzy fuck.

Thanks, Mr. Conjurer. Always pleased to be of service to the community. When I hear of BS that needs exposing, I expose it. And Zodiac, for their policy, was badly in need of the Watchlords Pineapple.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby foghorn » April 25th 2019, 6:30pm

Curious as to which watch manufacturers will sell proprietary "parts" to an individual so that they might do their own repairs. Not Oris, not a Swatch Brand, certainly not the higher end brands. All will direct you to an authorized Service Center. Zodiac (and Fossil for that matter, are hardly "upstarts") and have every right to direct this stuff to their SC. Looks fair enough to me. I have 5 watches with STP movements (3 Zodiacs, 1 Fossil, and a Magrette) running between -5 to plus 12 ( with one being nearly spot on}I've not seen any more examples of poor performance on them than stuff about ETA and Selitta, This is based on my experience but the expectation that they will simply send a "part for repair" to any purported watchmaker seems a bit unrealistic, Their policy looks like Standard operating procedure
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » April 26th 2019, 7:08am

foghorn wrote:Curious as to which watch manufacturers will sell proprietary "parts" to an individual so that they might do their own repairs.

Omega. Independents with a "parts account", accredited by Omega (Al Archer, for example), do have an access. And there's more - every now and then, a brand does have an independent certified, and with these, things are easier than with an ASC.

foghorn wrote:Their policy looks like Standard operating procedure

It looks like shit, mostly because it doesn't look like you do get something like an accredited independent with Zodiac, which means that the brand's nastier than Rolex in that respect. Yes, even Rolex does tolerate accredited independents to a certain extent, because - after all - there has to be someone to cater to the collectors, and the ASC's service procedures are known to be invasive, thus eliminating a part of the clientele.
His deepest need was that people should like him. An admirable trait, that... In a spaniel, or a whore.
Francis Urquhart

I'd send them all an animated gif of Ron Jeremy sucking his own cock.
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Re: When the upstart thinks too highly of themselves

Postby Hawk » April 26th 2019, 8:01am

I would suppose that old, cantankerous, traditional sorts (and I might - might - even be older than the rewster) would view the absence of ADs or accredited independents with a jaundiced eye when combined with a movement that features widespread reports of issues with the keyless works (perhaps on par with Seiko chapter ring mis-alignment but well below leaking Grand Divers).

Never mind I had to google "keyless works" when early reports were noticed. They seriously need a better name for that issue but I haven't come up with one. "winding-setting transmission coordination system" fails to satisfy.

Wanting the offending product sent back is understandable but I would translate the communication thus: "Yup, we're aware of that issue but despite pictures of your storefront and watchmaking creds we'd prefer not to advertise the fact that we'll merely replace the movement with another from our bin of STPs which may or may not have the same problem. Don't forget to pay for a reliable courier and do insure the shipment and make sure to require a signature."

With a Rolex, Ball or Grand Seiko I make a 20 minute drive to the AD with the watch in a sandwich bag and he takes care of it from there. But who the hell buys from ADs anymore? I might be the last and I only do it because of the free booze (and "free" is dubious if it results in a GS purchase and an Uber ride home). Absent free booze a stateside authorized service center would be appreciated.

Oddly enough Mr. Bloke seems to have developed an advanced form of old-guy curmudgeon despite his tender years. And I kind of think that's a good thing. It required decades for me to acquire mine.
And the fact I'm still living rent free in his head makes me grin and giggle.
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