If you own a fine Swiss or German watch, such as Rolex, you don’t want to risk damaging it or decreasing its value in any way by taking it to just any repair shop to be serviced. As the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, a Rolex requires nothing less than the skill and precision of a certified watchmaker.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of San Diego Rolex repair service providers who claim to be ‘’Certified Rolex Watchmakers‘’ or claim that their company is an ‘’Authorized Rolex Repair Center’’, while none of it is actually true.
Click here to contact Leo’s about San Diego watch repair services.
Here we will clarify the terminology concerning Authorized Rolex Service Centers and Certified Rolex Watchmakers, and also provide an overview of an important guarantee of quality and reliability in the watchmaking industry – CW21 Certification.
What Are Authorized Rolex Service Centers?
Some watch repair places or jewelry stores will claim to be an “Authorized Rolex Repair Center” or a “Certified Rolex Watchmaker”. They are not! The few actual Authorized (or “Official”) Rolex Service Centers in the US, where Rolex technicians repair watches, are fully owned by Rolex.
By the same token, the only watchmakers who can claim to be “Certified Rolex Watchmakers” are those that work at these Rolex-owned Service Centers. What’s more, once they stop working for Rolex, they can no longer claim to be a “Certified Rolex Watchmaker”.
Jewelry stores that are authorized Rolex watch dealers are sanctioned to take in watches for repair and forward them to the Rolex-owned repair facilities, but they themselves are not Authorized Rolex Service Centers nor do they employ Certified Rolex Watchmakers.
Therefore, if any independent jeweler or watchmaker (on the Internet or elsewhere) tells you that they are a “Certified Rolex Watchmaker” or that their company is an “Authorized Rolex Service Center,” they are not being honest.
Nevertheless, there are other certifications in the watch repair industry that are VERY meaningful when it comes to demonstrating expertise in watch repair, such as the CW21 Certification.
CW21 Certification Explained
CW21 Certification is awarded by the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI), the organization that has been setting standards for quality in the industry for 50 years.
Moreover, AWCI is the only institution that provides industry-recognized certification for watchmakers and clockmakers in the United States.
With the update of AWCI’s certification process came the implementation of CW21 Certification in 2005. Instead of having the title of a ‘’Certified Watchmaker’’, all watchmakers who earned this title had the suffix ‘’21’’ (meaning ‘’of the 21st century’’) added to it. Therefore, the full title is ‘’Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century’’.
What Does It Mean to Be a CW21?
A Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century (CW21) services primarily watches of modern and recent production according to service procedures specified by the manufacturer and using authentic spare parts, where available. What’s more, a CW21 is able to make basic components and also to modify replacement parts so that they can fit the watch movement properly.
In other words, a CW21 is fully qualified to offer outstanding repair or parts replacement services according to technical specifications. Moreover, they are fully competent to use and maintain all tools necessary to service quartz watches.
It’s imperative that a CW21 complies with the AWCI’s code of ethics in all their dealings.
CW21 Certified Watchmaker at Leo Hamel’s
Here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, our master watchmaker has CW21 Certification and can expertly repair Rolex watches and nearly any brand of fine Swiss or German watch. He also has a parts account with Rolex Watch, USA, and is authorized by them to buy and use genuine Rolex parts in the repair of Rolex watches.
Mind you, any watchmaker who does not have a Rolex parts account may be repairing your watch with generic parts.
We can also send your watch back to the factory if it’s determined that the work would be covered under their warranty. We’ve been repairing fine watches for over 36 years, so you can trust that your timepiece is in good hands!
Leo Hamel repairs Rolex watches in San Diego County. To visit our Rolex repair shop, please visit this location below, or contact us at (619) 299-1500.