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Why Guarantee A Watch For A Year?

From American Horologist magazine, May, 1939

Why Guarantee A Watch For A Year?
By H. W. Pettengill

Why guarantee a watch for a year? Of course, we all know that the only reason we have for doing so is just because our great-grandfathers warranted the big, heavy, key-wind watches of their days for a year. They were reasonably sure that those large watches would run three or four years before the wheels and jewels were so gummed up that the powerful mainspring would be unable to drive the wheels through the mud another minute.

Today, every watchmaker in the world says that the present day wrist watches they make must be cleaned and adjusted at least once in six months to one year. Even the larger wrist watches must be cleaned at least once a year. This means that a fair percentage of them are not expected to run that long.

Several watch companies have printed guarantees and instructions, which they send with a new watch, explaining that the watch should be overhauled at certain intervals. This information would help the horologist to some extent if the new owner could read it, but most of them are printed in such fine type that only persons with very good eyesight will attempt to read 'it.

I believe that all watches and watch repairs should be guaranteed for 90 days, the same as automobiles. This does not mean that we should not do our very best at repairing all timepieces, but it does mean that when a customer's watch keeps good time for nine months or a year he would realize that he was getting service far beyond the guaranteed period.

For several generations, alarm clocks have been guaranteed for one year. A few years ago one of the best known higher priced alarm clocks was guaranteed for two years by the manufacturer (not by most jewelers). Today that same clock is guaranteed for 90-days.

Let us all use the term "90 days" and not an expression that should have been outlawed before most of us were born. 

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