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Sending expensive watch back to the UK (and back again)


Batty
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My Omega needs repairing and I dont trust the service centre in Thailand to do a great job, they service it once before and it stopped working after a month. I want to send it back to the UK for a couple months, then send it back here to Thailand. Am I opening up a can of drama in doing that? Im presuming I can pay for courier with insurance to cover the watch, but will I have problems with customs or something? I have images of them hitting me for like 30,000 baht customs duty or something. I mean as far as they are concerned, I am importaing a $6000 watch to Thailand?

Even with the insurance is it a risky move? Not to sound paranoid but whats stopping some dodgy customs bloke from opening the package and swapping the watch for a replica or something? I know that sounds mental but you can get a carbon copy of this watch for like 2500 baht in bangkok!

Is it generaly just a risky move does anyone know?

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I had an Omega serviced at Omega Bkk with no problems, although it was quite some time ago, the watch stills works perfectly.

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1 minute ago, MJCM said:

Where did you buy it? Here in Thailand or in the UK?

 

VERY good point!

 

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Good watchmakers' authorized service points issue guarantees on larger services and repairs. For some repairs, watches are sent to the factory (may take several months). I don't know if this applies to authorized service points in Thailand as well, but I imagine watchmakers do not purchasers of THB 300k watches let stranded in countries with authorized sales points.

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14 hours ago, ezzra said:

Talk to DHL they are the best in these kind od of shipping and ask them what are the regulations in sendinding such an expensive item and getting it back...

Thanks Ezzra. Its a fair suggestion, but I have such a sour taste in my mouth with DHL. I have had a couple of absolute nightmares with them over the years. One time they made me drive 160km (round trip) from Hua Hin to Prechuab Kirikahn customs office, to apply for an importer certificate (I forget the term). This was for a pair of trainers (sneakers to Americans) worth 5000 baht.

 

Another time they neglected to tell me a package had arived from UK. It was with them for months. Meanwhile I was emailing/phoning them to see where my paackage was. Out of the blue one day they emailed and said "sorry, we had it after all, didnt realize. Because we had it for so many months we destroyed it."

 

Just an absolute nightmare company everytime I deal with them!

 

I see your point though, I could reach out to other couriers I guess.

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13 hours ago, 2baht said:

I had an Omega serviced at Omega Bkk with no problems, although it was quite some time ago, the watch stills works perfectly.

Thanks. I actually had this one serviced at swatch bangkok (the Omega center) a few years ago. They are probably fine, but I just know im going to get a far superior job done in the UK. I have a much better feeling about sending it to the UK.

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13 hours ago, Crossy said:

 

Agree.

 

From my (ongoing) experience with getting a warranty unit through customs the paperwork has to be absolutely spot on or a customs officer's head explodes.

I feel for you mate. I know exactly what those kind of dramas are like, been through it a few times and it absolutley drains you. 

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13 hours ago, a3tsw said:

would it not be more economical to take a flight down to Singapore and hand it in to the service centre there and then go back when the watch has received the work required..just a suggestion. 

 

Thats actually not a bad idea. I would feel more comfortable having it serviced in Singapore, actually. Thats a bloody brilliant idea. 

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13 hours ago, MJCM said:

Where did you buy it? Here in Thailand or in the UK?

 

If in the UK, did you have to pay Duty when you took it to Thailand?

Do you have the original sale slip?

 

As @Crossy said you have to be spot on with your paperwork and he knows what he is talking about as he is trying to get a replacement device from the manufacturer and he is running into all kinds of obstacles

 

 

I borught it at Heathrow airport duty free when I was passing through, 2013. I have the original reciept, papers, etc.

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14 hours ago, Crossy said:

 

Agree.

 

From my (ongoing) experience with getting a warranty unit through customs the paperwork has to be absolutely spot on or a customs officer's head explodes.

I just read the solar thread lol. I mean everything was going fine untill one person at customs decided everyone else was wrong/lying and decided to make things extra hard. Its infuriating isnt it?

So what was the eventual outcome Crossy? It looked like they revised the value, but didnt state what that value was - or indeed if you would need to pay duty? Last post was on 23rd, you were hopeful of getting it on the Saturday, assuming the driver had a boat 🙂

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So why did you not take it back to them? It is under warranty if repaired by the official Swatch service center in All Seasons Place. I've had several Omegas and Blancpains, both vintage and modern, serviced and repaired through them. There was an issue with one until I got in touch with Omega Geneva and it was promptly taken care of.

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41 minutes ago, malathione said:

So why did you not take it back to them? It is under warranty if repaired by the official Swatch service center in All Seasons Place. I've had several Omegas and Blancpains, both vintage and modern, serviced and repaired through them. There was an issue with one until I got in touch with Omega Geneva and it was promptly taken care of.

Ita no longer under warranty - the watch is nine years old.

 

I mean if you have had 'several' watches repaired by all seasons place and never had an issue, that gives me confidence actually.

 

The fact is, look I didn't want to say this in the post because it sounds a bit ignorant and 'thai bashy' but I just don't trust Thais when it comes to standards. I have lived here a very long time and had so many bad experiences with quality of work, it's left me anti-thai in that respect, and that respect only.

 

I've had a few really nice classic Lambretta scooters in Thailand, spent fortunes restoring them sourcing decent parts from around the world, but even the best Lambretta mechanics take ten times as long to sort it, and always end up doing a bodge job. After years of stress with Thai mechanics I eventually flew a Lambretta mechanic over from the UK and stuck them in a hotel. It cost me bloody fortunes. 

 

Mind you, he lost the plot half way into the job after nine days of drinking Samsung day and night, and took off with a lady boy never to be seen again, leaving my scooters half complete. So there is that, also lol.

 

Either way I have a (flawed, probably) view of Thai work standards. I don't make a fuss about it, or sit in bars moaning about them, or bash them on forums. It's an opinion I usually keep to myself. Thais are, for the most part, pretty great. But in that one area - standards and general conscientiousness - my confidence is flawed. 

 

I know I'm wrong for thinking that, but there it is. I just figured someone like STS in England, or another service center of repute, would be safer bet.

 

I did use them once before by the way (Swatch, all seasons place). It took 4 months to service and then 2 years 3 months later, it stopped working again. Unfair to blame them, it could have been a problem unralted, but still... You know. Tainted.

 

But if you have genuinely had several repairs with them and are satisfied, that gives me reason to reconsider. Thanks.

 

Cheers.

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21 hours ago, a3tsw said:

would it not be more economical to take a flight down to Singapore and hand it in to the service centre there and then go back when the watch has received the work required..just a suggestion. 

 

Good idea, but I'd secure-ship it to SIN then collect it and wear it back. Saves the expense of a return flight pair, unless they can do it in a few hours, rather unlikely. 

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40 minutes ago, chalawaan said:

Good idea, but I'd secure-ship it to SIN then collect it and wear it back. Saves the expense of a return flight pair, unless they can do it in a few hours, rather unlikely. 

I agree. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. That said, another chap on this thread mentioned he had several Omegas serviced at Swatch (Omega) BKK never with an issue, which had me reconsidering that option now. Maybe I was being unfair towards them. 

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9 hours ago, Batty said:

Thats actually not a bad idea. I would feel more comfortable having it serviced in Singapore, actually. Thats a bloody brilliant idea. 

I just read that you bought the Watch Duty Free in the UK, so you could be easily, when you come back from Singapore with your repaired watch, be stopped at the border and then have to pay the customs duty.

 

I am not saying it will happen but it could, IMHO if you want to mitigate the risk just come back via a Land Border with the watch!

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Just looking at Swatch Singapore and I pulled up a thread saying how bad they are lol. https://www.watchprosite.com/omega/my-terrible-experience-with-the-swatch-group-servicing-centre-in-singapore/677.1173511.9309591/

 

What worries me is that most omegas, as far as I am aware (and I could be wrong, I'm not an expert/enthusiast) are mostly built with ETA movements. Nothing wrong with that, many luxury watch makers use ETA. But swatch service center's are set up and mostly used to dealing with standard ETA movements.

 

My movement (the 9300) is in-house, co-axial movement, meaning it was designed and manufactured inside the Omega factory. It's by no means rare, they have made tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of this calibre. But the fact is they are outside the norm.

 

Independent service center's in the UK are better equipped and we'll practiced with in-house movements, as far as I am aware.

 

That's made my mind up. I'm going to send it to STS in UK a few months before I next fly to UK, hopefully late next year (we are moving back to UK after 20 years in Thailand). 

 

I'll send it back, then when we move I'll just head to STS and pick it up.

 

Yup, job done, decided. 

 

Thanks everyone for your help and again, just to stress, I don't have it in for Thais. They are a lovely bunch of folks for the most part and I thank them for allowing me to call this place home for so long. I just don't trust the buggers when it comes to dilligent, professional work ethic. Every experience I have had from building, medical, mechanical, has always been substandard and questionable. I take no pleasure in saying that, but there it is.

 

Jesus, I went to six different cardiologists three years ago insisting I had a problem with my heart, begging them to take my concerns seriously. Each one ran basic tests and then told me it's fine, I drink too much coffee. With one trip to a UK doctor I was diagnosed as having heart disease (a moderate case of) it took them 45 minutes to diagnose and they were completely baffled that the previous six doctors couldn't see it. 

 

I love'em, but I truly believe they are terrible at anything other than making som tam. There. I said it. Sorry. 

 

Thanks again, Batty out 🙂

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, MJCM said:

I just read that you bought the Watch Duty Free in the UK, so you could be easily, when you come back from Singapore with your repaired watch, be stopped at the border and then have to pay the customs duty.

 

I am not saying it will happen but it could, IMHO if you want to mitigate the risk just come back via a Land Border with the watch!

Thanks for the warning mate but I doubt that would happen to be honest. I mean I would just wear the watch, as normal. I have flown through customs at swampy maybe 20 times since I have owned the watch, each time just wearing it as normal. Not once had anyone ever pulled me and drilled me about it.

 

Change of plan anyway. I'm going to send it to UK a few months before flying there late next year 

 

Cheers

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you are heading for a whole world of problems.

dont do it

you will pay duty on it, and the paperwork is a nightmare to get right

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1 hour ago, Batty said:

 

 

But if you have genuinely had several repairs with them and are satisfied, that gives me reason to reconsider. Thanks.

 

Cheers.

I do understand what you're saying. And yes, I am reasonably satisfied with their work. Actually they give you a warranty of one or two years when they fix your watch and that's what I was referring to. Omega Geneva is very responsive to complaints, by the way. Just such a hassle receiving it from overseas.

 

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Got my omega serviced at service centre in Bkk and no problems.

It came back looking like new after I basically abused it for years wearing it doing all kinds of outside jobs around the house as well as daily wear .

They sent me all the old parts they had replaced also and think it gave a further year guarantee from service date.
Cost £560 service.

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