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Employee Profiles – Meet Our Specialists

Watchmaker, Son Le

Years at Bachendorf’s: 6 years, 20 years as a watchmaker

 What led to you pursue a career in watchmaking?

I was 15 years old in Vietnam and would help my uncle when he worked on watches. I was interested in the micromechanics of a watch. I felt that a watch was a piece of art and while I was learning about what it took to make it run, I fell in love.

I went to school for horology in Paris, Texas, then I became certified CW21 which is Certified Watchmaking of the 21st Century. To be able to work on Rolex, Omega, Breitling, or any other luxury watch, you must have this certification.

 What is your favorite watch to work on?

My favorite watch to work on is a Rolex. The inside of the watch is a totally different system. The cool thing with the Rolex is they are the only ones with red wheels for the automatic system in the inside.

 Brands advise consumers to have their watches serviced every 3 years, some say 5 years other say 10 years. What is your opinion?

I would say 5-7 years for both mechanical and automatic. Inside of the watch must stay lubricated. If you lose the lubrication, there is more friction inside of the watch making it less accurate. Your watch and the servicing are like your car needing oil every 3 months.

 Can you explain what a service consists of?

I will test the watch and check all the components. Even if all the components are good, there are parts we will still replace. I will also do a water resistance test depending on which kind of watch you have. I myself will never say a watch is completely waterproof, but I will say it is water resistant. We have different machines to test at different levels. Last, I will clean the watch with an ultrasonic machine to make it fresh as if it is new again. 

 What are your top 3 tips for keeping a watch in good condition for years to come?

This really depends on which kind of watch you own: jewelry watch, sport watch or casual watch, but in a general sense I would say: 

  1. Make sure and take it off when you’re going to bed at night. Be sure to wind the watch by hand if you don’t own a watch winder.
  2. Clean the watch every three months to keep dust and everything else off the crown. That is where everything gets inside of the watch.
  3. Handle your watch like a baby! Your watch is more than jewelry, it is a piece of art.