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Interview With a Watch Expert: Jeff Grieff

May 22, 2017

Jeff Grieff, our watch repair manager, was happy to share his thoughts on his profession, the watch industry, and what makes us masters in the field. Have you always been interested in watch repair?  I discovered watch repair when I started working for Ben Bridge Jeweler in 1980 and was given the job of the […]

Ben Bridge Jeweler

Jeff Grieff, our watch repair manager, was happy to share his thoughts on his profession, the watch industry, and what makes us masters in the field.

Have you always been interested in watch repair? 

I discovered watch repair when I started working for Ben Bridge Jeweler in 1980 and was given the job of the watch repair take-in person.

vintage shot of ben bridge jeweler

At that time, I didn’t even wear a watch, let alone know anything about them. I worked alongside a watchmaker in the store and was fascinated by the work that he was doing. I took time off from work to go to the North Seattle College watch repair program (now North Seattle College’s Watch Technology Institute). I graduated from that program in 1983.

How does the company’s watch repair service align with Ben Bridge Jeweler’s goal of exemplary service? 

Providing good service means that we do all the repairs properly — using the proper techniques, equipment, and genuine watch parts. We don’t cut corners to speed up repairs. Every watch is tested fully before it leaves the shop, and watches are not permitted to leave until they pass all of the quality-control tests with quality results. Doing the job correctly is the primary goal.

What levels of support are given to the watch repair departments in our stores? 

We provide as much training as we can — it is essential these days to stay as current as possible within the industry. We meet as a group once a year to discuss anything new in the industry and deal with any company-wide watch repair issues. We also take advantage of any training offered by manufacturers and will provide training to our own people here at the corporate office as needed.

watchmaker at ben bridge jeweler

Please share your criteria for hiring a watch repair person. 

Obviously, I look for someone with good manual dexterity and an ability to think analytically. But most importantly, I look for someone with passion for the work we do and the objects that we work with.

In what ways has your profession changed over recent history? 

As the quality of the watches has grown over the years, the need for higher levels of service has increased as well. Our repair techniques have become more exacting, and our testing and quality control practices have become much more stringent. We deal more closely with the manufacturers than we used to, following their standards and criteria as closely as possible.

What’s in the future for watch repair? 

Every year, we try to improve our procedures, our equipment, our training, and any of those factors that make us better watchmakers.

For more information about our watchmaking services, read on!

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