Reply to Silbert's Letter
By HERMAN R. PEDRICK
The watchmaker is the only one who knows if the watch was done properly, the jeweler and customer assumes that it has been done. The jeweler is not always the best judge of proper watch work if he does not do the job. Therefore it is a matter of believing and not knowing. Under our present methods of today a watch can be cleaned and made to go for whatever price the jeweler demands that it be done for, and not according to what it needs or how it should be done. It is always a matter of price.
The jeweler does keep the trade watchmaker in business., His purpose for this is for a lower cost to have his watches cleaned. Usually it is a lower cost, which is today considered good business, but in watch work it is only a lower cost in proportion of what or how it is done.
It is unusual to hear of or know very many repair departments where the work is done first and the charge based on this for the price to the customer, although you state there is a flat rate charge for labor this is not consistent. The general jewelry trade charge the customer less for a watch repair than the maker of the watch. This certainly is a mystery with the majority of us until the jobs are compared and then we find the difference in cost is the difference in work not done.
Consumer and jeweler alike want the watchmaker to do things that would only be possible to a magician, yet the majority of watchmakers promised to the customer things that he would have to be a magician to do.