When is a Big Brand Name Watch Too Old?


A phone call from the customer service people at the Tissot Swiss watch company recently had me reaching for the tissues to mop up the tears. The Tissot T-touch watch, my pride and joy for which I had finally scraped together enough to buy 11 years ago to mark my retirement, could not be repaired. Why? “It’s too old”, customer service said. That couldn’t be, I protested, 11 years is not old, particularly for an expensive, big-name watch with what I thought was an unlimited warranty. Yes, insisted customer service, 11 years is old. In fact, said Tissot, it’s so old that it’s one year beyond the time Tissot keeps spare parts for its watches. So, I was told, there were no parts ‘anywhere in the world’ to repair my once-loved Tissot that had simply stopped working six months ago. I’m old at 77, I pleaded, but surely not my Tissot, barely at a pre-teen 11 years? I lament what seems to be the passing of ‘customer service’. I must just be too old to expect it any more.

Graham Pike
Jamberoo, NSW


Welcome @Gofishoz to the Community.

Perhaps a good watch repairer could be a better avenue to get the watch going again. Never know what the problem is until it is opened up and looked at.


That is a pathetic corporate reply, but as @Gregr noted independents almost assuredly can repair swiss mechanical as well as most swiss quartz watches - as well as better Asian brands. The swiss names mostly use ETA movements, sometimes with branded ‘embellishments’ or tweaks that do not matter excepting to a potential watch collector.

I had a long discontinued Concord quartz where the movement died. A local in Melbourne had a look and actually had the ‘ETA base’ in his drawer - replaced at a very reasonable cost. There are good watchmakers in the capital city metro areas and major secondary metros. Many offer mail-in service options.

FWIW Tissot is not the only one that stops supporting their watches after a few years or a decade. It is generally only very high end products that attract ongoing manufacturer support. I have a 1949 Omega Chronograph that Omega is happy to provide its history, (2,500 pieces made, movement, case and so on) but otherwise wishes me well and replies with the current product offerings. Obviously more than 10 years old now but my initial enquirey was decades ago.

For more modern watches that is not a given.

All that being written, there is not an unlimited cache of parts for watches. There are specialist parts dealers that stock parts long after the manufacturer has stepped back, but even they do not have everything for every watch they try to support.


Hi @Gofishoz, welcome to the community.

While Tissot might no longer keep new spare parts for your watch model, I wouldn’t give up getting it repaired. Often movements and/or parts in watches are common across many generations of watches, with things like cases, faces and bands unique to a particular model.

There are a number of watch repairers in Sydney (and interstate) I would be contacting to see if they work on Tissot watches. Try Googling’watch repairer Sydney’. They may be able to repair the watch either using new or second hand spare parts. Second hand parts from a watch where the movement was unrepairable and they have kept the movement.

We had a good watch maker in Brisbane where we took our old Seiko watches, and they always managed to repair even though the oldest watch was from the 1970s. Unfortunately they closed a few years ago.

It is also worth noting Tissot wouldn’t throw out spares after 10 years. The 10 years is likely the date they no longer manufacturer new spares for a particular model. This means it is likely a good watch repairer will be able to track down spares from somewhere through their spare part channels.

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