Fabergé Fabergé’s new 10-year warranty
The brand behind a number of award-winning watches increases its warranty to 10 years.
If you visit the websites of some of the major watch brands as a customer, you might be surprised to find that warranty information is at best well hidden and at worst non-existent. Some of the biggest brands in the industry offer helpful advice on how to look after your watch, yet do not mention what their own guarantee periods are. Notable exceptions are Rolex, which clearly mentions the fact that is has offered a five-year guarantee on all watches sold after July 2015. Smaller brands like Ulysse Nardin and Montandon & Co also offer five-year warranties. The current record is held by Panerai, which offered a 50-year guarantee for the Luminor 1950 Carbotech™ model launched two years ago at the SIHH.
The benchmark has just doubled, however, as Fabergé has announced a new 10-year guarantee. This headline figure is impressive in itself, but the way that Fabergé is implementing this guarantee is even more interesting. The brand is basically offering a five-year warranty for all its timepieces. But it also offers a free service after five years. Any watch owner who takes advantage of this free service automatically has their warranty extended for an additional five years.
This solves one of the major headaches in customer service: both reminding the owners that they need to service their watch and at the same time giving them a double incentive to do so. As an owner of several watches, I know how easy it can be to just let them run as long as they are working, knowing all too well that this could lead to a much higher invoice for repairs further down the line. I know that I of all people should know better, but with so much paperwork, recurring invoices and maintenance related to more important things like my house and car, the poor watches can easily be forgotten. Having the carrot of a free service and an extra five years on the warranty dangled in front of me would probably be enough to get me to service my watch.
Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ © Fabergé
Since I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ in yellow gold for the weekend, I asked the brand’s watchmakers about this extended warranty when I dropped the watch back at their workshops in Meyrin, near Geneva. The people best placed to talk about servicing stressed the huge advances that have been made with synthetic lubricants, which they believe could easily last for the ten years. They caution, however, that these lubricants are coating parts that are moving hundreds of thousands of times a day on metal components that are in contact with each other. How often, and where, you wear your watch can also have an effect on the ageing of lubricants. The recommended service interval of five years therefore seems a good compromise.
The watchmakers were also keen to stress the difference between servicing and repair. The guarantee covers servicing work required under normal wear and tear. If you drop your watch, break it or mistreat it in any other way, these experienced watchmakers can usually tell quite easily. In this case you will still be charged.