I am new to this whole forum thing and new to watch ownership too.
Recently I bought my business partners AP RO 15400ST.OO.1220ST.01.
(Just for some more context so this whole story makes sense. I live in South Africa and my partner in California, and he was holding the watch for me until I was able to come collect it in the US seeing as I didn't want to ship it across the world and pay 50% importation tax.)
So 1 week ago a family member of mine went to New York for a business trip and said they would bring the watch back with me, this meant I had to get everything done which I wanted to get done and had about a week to do so.
First thing I had done was I got my partner to take it to a jeweler to get an appraisal for the insurance so we can ship it safely, he took it to the jeweler and they checked it out and made sure it was 100% good, then from there I had it shipped to Miami via UPS overnight so that it can get polished by a buddy of mine who owns a luxury sneaker/watch/goods store, they got it polished and checked it out for me just to make triple sure everything is good to go, no service is required etc.
Then finally came the time that we get to ship it to my family member in New York. My buddy who owns the store gets us an overnight $22K insured Fedex label to New York, they pick it up and it's on it's way.
Next day it arrives at the hotel in New York, someone at reception signs for it, my person picks it up and puts it in the safe for 2 days.
They fly back from NY to South Africa, I pick them up at the airport, they give me the watch, everything looks good at first glance and the polish looks amazing, I wear it at home for a few hours and just fiddle with it, set the time and then when I woke up the next morning it was completely wrong, I didn't think much of it and thought maybe it wasn't winded or something. Then I go get it sized at South Africa's most reputable jeweler, and finally after owning but not having the watch for 2 months it's on my arm and I get to wear it.
… Then it happened, I realized something was very very wrong because I set the time again after winding it, and then not even 2 minutes later it was out by 30 mins. I for some reason thought to give it a little shake, and when I did the minute hand freely moved, I alerted my partner and my buddy who polished it right away and they told me it must have happened during shipping from Miami to NYC because it would have been noticed if it was like this in Miami. Partner says the same thing. Then I unscrewed the crown again and pulled it out into the time setting position, then gave it a slight shake just to see if it would also be loose, at first it wasn't moving but then it also moved when shaking (by shake I mean flicking my wrist in the same way it does it you were to run)
At this point I was bummed out and starting doing research and can't find anything or anyone with a problem like mine on an AP, I did however see a lot of people with similar issues on different watches and they all say the pinion needs to be tightened.
From there I went onto AP's website and tried to see if there were any service centers or boutiques in South Africa that I'm not aware of, the site said there are 2 in the entire African continent, and one happens to be an hour from my house. I gave them a call and was transferred to a very helpful and friendly guy named Steven, I gave him the full story and he told me that it was Fedex and that I would have to bring it in, so that they can then send it away overseas to an actual AP service center (as the one in South Africa isn't allowed to open up the watches/don't have the required equipment), where they would then open it up, service it, fix, tighten or replace the pinion then send it back to the South African center. He refused to give me a timeline of this , and from what I've read online it could take 2-3 months, and also told me that it's going to cost between $1100-1500 for it, and that is if it doesn't require any parts… YIKES, I only paid $15K for it now they want me to fork over 10% of what I paid at the minimum.
Steven did however tell me that I need to file a claim with Fedex right away wand notify them within 14 days of the event on paper, as I could hold them liable for the repair cost, he even said AP will help with the claiming process.
(He also mentioned that it's not good at all that the box was thrown away at the hotel and that they could use it as an out, but then when I told him it was a label and they were the ones who packed, he said we can then use that against them)
Now I'm stuck in a situation where I don't know what to do.
I finally got my first “nice watch” and no longer have to wear a casio, but now it can't do the one thing it's supposed to do, which is keep time and honestly it doesn't feel good to wear a watch that doesn't even work.
And I'm faced with the choice of sending it away for 2-3 months (maybe more) and then have to fork over a MINIMUM of $1100-1500 to then MAYBE get the cost paid for by Fedex.
Or I can find a local watch maker, and just pay out of pocket for them to fix it but also risk them completely ruining it. I've already started asking for one around for but the best person I could find so far is via a reputable dealer that said the watchmaker is “used to working on cheaper watches like Tag, Omega, Rolex etc.” Next I'm going to try the reputable jeweler I mentioned earlier who sized it for me, they may have a really good watch maker.
Stuff that could be important:
No more warranty.
Have box and papers and everything else, was shipped in it.
The last name of the family member who brought it for me is the same as mine and they live very close to me so that's no problem
Everyone in the chain of people it's been with is 100% reputable and have all been people I've worked with and trust fully so I don't think it's likely that someone in the chain is lying or being dishonest.
The second hand still works and does the 4hz or 4 ticks or whatever it's called per second.
Well that's about it…
I hope my future watch ownership experience isn't like this.
Let me know what you think I should do.
Thanks a lot in advance.