Getting a TAG Heuer repaired - H Stanley, Horologist in Dorking

20 years ago I bought my wife a TAG Heuer direct from TAG themselves. This was before the internet or TAG being everywhere, and it was so simple buying from them as anywhere else. It was a splashy present for me, as I normally buy her a DVD or such. Anyway, stirling service in all this time, just the one battery. A few months ago the battery started to die so she took it into a high street jewellers in Reigate for a new one. I'll not mention their name as they are rip-off gits; allegedly fitted a new battery for £60, but "oh dear, the watch doesn't work but we can get it fixed for £660" came the reply.

Yes, £660. For a 20 year old TAG that's led a life. New ones aren't much more. Apparently it needed new internals, a new face, a new bezel and a new strap...... one wonders what would be left of the original.

So wife got a bit moody about this. It'd be daft to spend that kind of money on a watch valued at perhaps £200, so we left it.

Well the other day we were having lunch in Dorking when I spotted a sign for an horologist on the High Street. Popped in, can you fix a TAG? "Sure" came the happy reply.

How much?

£75 for a new battery, seal, a re-painted hand and strap clean. We pointed out that it had already got a new battery fitted, so shouldn't need one.

"New battery? No, sorry, that one's flat." Hmmmm.

Anyway, we've not got the watch back yet so can't comment on the work but so far all seems good for H Stanley, Horologist The Chine, Dorking RH4 1QT. Closed Wednesdays.

And yes, I do feel a stroppy letter coming on. Really if I'd known this all before the jewellers in Reigate would have got far, far more than a stroppy letter from me.

My top tip: if you live in Reigate and need your watch repaired by a reputable jewellers, avoid the "good" one in town. They're crap. Go to Dorking instead. Whilst their have a light lunch at one of the many fine restaurants, or do a bit of shopping.