Now, I've had pins replaced in watch straps before, usually this costs a couple of pounds and takes a couple of minutes to repair. How hard could this be??
Well, I was about to find out...
I took my watch to a reputable jewellers, Tarratt in Rugby. They took one look at the watch and stated that they couldn't repair it, it had to be sent to Tissot. Fine. They tell me that Tissot will let me know what needs to be done and how much it will cost before any work is started.
A couple of weeks pass by and then I get a letter from the jewellers. The watch has been inspected by Tissot, it needs a new clasp and it will cost £80. It had a broken pin!! It's gonna cost £80?! You're shitting me!?
I give them the go ahead to proceed with the repair, through gritted teeth. Well, if you want things doing properly you've gotta pay for it, right?
What a journey of surprise I was on... A £2, 2 minute repair had turned into a 3 week £80 repair and my journey was no where near over yet!
On the 10th May my watch was back at the jewellers in Rugby ready for collection.
When I went to collect my watch it wasn't presented to me on the breast of a naked lady, nor was it delivered by golden carriage or any other means that may have made me feel slightly better about the amount of money I had to pay for such a trivial breakage! The watch was sized in the shop and I left rather bemused at how I had parted with my money for something that was already mine. Still, a quality job it what is important.
How surprised I was when the true quality of the repair revealed itself a couple of days later when a different pin broke between the bracelet and new clasp drawing my attention to the god awful fit of the new clasp! What were they thinking!!! This is clearly the wrong clasp!!!!
I returned the watch to the jewellers, they also noted the poor fit of the clasp... They would return it to Tissot straight away.
When I got my watch back for the second time on 20th August (still no naked ladies involved in the delivery - I really think they are missing an opportunity there). The broken pin had been repaired but the bodged clasp was still there in all its glory.
The watch was returned to Tissot again. This time I got to exchange some emails with the Tissot representative Cyril Jenkins who works for the shower of shit in the Oldham no-Repair Centre. He couldn't see the problem until I sent him pictures of a good clasp versus the crap clasp. He then agreed to send the watch to Switzerland... May I take this opportunity to remind you that this saga began with a broken pin!!! WTF!! Here, in GREAT Britain, we do not have the skill to repair a Tissot watch pin!! Is this for real?!
No problem, send the watch to Switzerland. Now I'm thinking what will the Swiss think of their repair centre in Oldham? Surely, they will fit the correct clasp and rebuke their incompetent staff for their inability to perform a simple repair.
Well I thought the shower in Oldham were shit, how surprised I therefore was to find the incompetence of the Oldham staff completely trumped by the total ineptitude of the muppets in Switzerland. I can express this best with an extract of an email I received from Mike Webb (Customer Care Manager), he works for the Swatch group in Southampton and had the unenviable task of wording an email in such a way that it stated that the wrong clasp had been fitted but in the absence of the correct part the wrong part was now the correct part:
"Our Factory has advised that, when originally purchased, your PR100 would have used clasp reference P760.152 which included a plated end link. The clasp currently fitted bears reference P760.150 and is all steel. The Tissot brand guarantees availability of parts for 10 years from date of production and, as your particular model was produced in 1997 stocks of the original 152 clasps are now depleted, as are complete bracelets. Subsequently, as an alternative replacement the 150 all steel clasp has been fitted.
Switzerland have therefore confirmed that, as this is now the only clasp which is suitable for and can be fitted to your PR100 model, it is indeed correct."
Now, seriously! No this is not fine.
Perhaps Tissot will be happy to accept payment for their products using the same logic and the money I have in my pocket defines the price of the watch rather than the price tag on the shelf!
I eagerly await Tissot's next attempt to fob me off...