Random Rant

Case Back Opener - Do you want to look at the nicely chamfered parts behind the solid case back of your watch? For the screw-on type, just get the cheap ScrewBall. If the ball is properly inflated but you still can't open the back, you should stop as it is beyond you. There are too many specialized tools for screw-on backs, and the good ones, like the Bergeon 5700-Z, are not cheap. For snap back type you can use a properly hardened knife, assuming you know what you are doing. If you don't want to accidentally scratch your watch, get the Horotec MSA 07.115. Now I am not really telling you to do any of these, but if you go to a repair shop and don't see ALL the tools that I mentioned, think twice before you leave your expensive watch with them.

Factory Service - A lot of car owners have horror stories on bad mechanics, where they got charged for service and/or parts that they didn't actually need. I remember after cleaning one of the watches that I owned, I decided to get a new dial as the existing one was oxidized. Knowing that I could not get parts, I took it to the factory service center and asked to have a new dial installed. They quoted me the price of the dial, but also said the watch needed full service before they would put the dial in. Obviously they know something that I don't.

Parts - You can go to your car dealer and buy any parts that you want, doesn't matter if you own a Honda, Volkswagen, or a Porsche. Heck you don't even need to be a car owner to buy genuine auto parts. However you cannot buy parts for any of your high-end watches, you have to send it back to the factory service centers, or even back to Switzerland. A 2% shipping insurance alone on your $20K watch is $400, one way. But then again it is just chump change to send your little toy to a spa.

Regular Service - I still remember the recommend service interval of my previous cars: 5,000 km or 3 months, whichever comes first. So you mean if I have 20 cars and only drove 9 of them in the last 3 months, I still have to send them all for oil change? I know mineral based engine oil will degrade easily over time, but I thought the shop will put good synthetic oil in my expensive cars, right? There are other (bad) reasons why you need to send you watch in for service every 5 years, I'll try to mention some of them. If a person tells you that the oil in your watch will dry up in a few years just by sitting in a drawer, you should under no circumstances let him touch your watch, as he will suck you dry.

Watch Winder - Why do you need a watch winder? Actually I don't know, but I have heard something like making the oil inside the watch evenly distributed. I remember when I first started with Shane, one basic skill to learn was to put just a little bit of oil in the jewels. He would double check my work with his loupe, smack my head (just kidding) and make me redo everything if he finds too much oil. Capillary effect will keep the small amount of oil between the jewels and pivots, too much the oil will flow out. So may be you should buy one just for the sloppy watchmaker.