I had the opportunity to stop in and visit John Sokol, Director - Richemont Service, this week at the NY
facility. For those that don't know yet, they are relocating the center to the Dallas area; Richemont
is looking to consolidate everything into 1 location. And moving to Texas is much more cost-effective,
as anyone who knows NY real estate, they can get a much bigger center for the same $$. Also, now
ALL of Richemont's offerings will be taken care of here - including pens and other nick-nacks ~
I was there to pick up a watch that was recently serviced (a special favor, since John and I got to
know each other too well over the months from a watch he was working on for me), and we had some time
to chat a bit. Some interesting tidbits:
1) I asked about available stock of tritium parts for older watches. Essentially, they are running
out and once they're out - that's it. In their computer system, they have already ear-marked luminova
replacement parts for all "A" series stock, once out.
2) When asking John how WE can help his team get our watches processed and thru the system better,
he had a few suggestions:
* Be specific
... Instead of saying "my watch is running too fast", say "my watch is running 2 mins fast PER DAY"
* Be accurate
... some folks say "Oh, my watch is clean and doesn't have any scratches...", when
in fact it looked like it was dropped in a blender. Hey, polishing is INCLUDED in a general service - so
why stretch things?
* Include your contact info... there are still those sending in watches without
any phone or e-mail
contact info. Yes, really.
3) He just hired 2 watchmakers that will be working on Panerai solely. A big point, since he originally
had 5. Then it was down to 4 for a few months, because not everyone was looking to relocate to
Texas. Well, he has those 2 starting next week, and will have 6 total (for Panerai only) going forward...
a big boost for them!
4) 2 of the 6 will be working on the in-house P.200x movements only
; others will be eventually trained with
those, as they work their way 'up the ladder'. John said the newer guys had to 'earn their way' up, to be
allowed to work on those puppies - thought that was cool
5) A seperate group will be resposible for diagnostics - reviewing/confirming what actually IS wrong with
the item - starting once they're in Texas. Currently, the watchmakers are taken away from their usual
duties to handle that also. With this change, that will let the team get back to focusing on getting watches
6) Some interesting numbers: About 275 Panerai's make it in each month; comparable numbers from JLC and IWC.
VC - about half. Cartier? 2 1/2 times as much! Simply because of sheer volume of Cartier pieces out in the wild.
Also keep in mind, there's a good amount of pieces sent in for polishing only. Overall, they are taking in about
50-55 pieces per day... ooof!
7) Goal is to get 90% of the watches sent in, returned back to customers within 3 weeks. Currently, it's not
too good (he was embarrassed to admit it, but also PO'd at the same time - he understands our frustrations
of long service times), but the loss of one watchmaker, and the move, has hampered their turnaround capabilities.
Figure, in a very short time (end of February?) - once they settle in and have all 6 cranking - they'll be on track
to reach that goal.
Lastly, the new location:
Effective Jan 01, 2008 - watches are now to be shipped to the new Texas location for service. The new address
for Panerai repairs will be:
15100 Trinity Blvd, Suite 300
Fort Worth, TX 76155
The toll free number for Panerai is: 866-374-4430
This number is currently connected to New York, and will be in full use starting this Friday (2/1/08)
at the Texas Location. Yee-haww!
Also, as an "fyi" - Tony G. will still be with the Richemont family, however he will not be joining John
in Ft. Worth. There will be a service manager assigned over the next week or 2, but that's up in the air for
*** PS. Would a moderator please revise my prior service posting in the archives? Thanks
What would Bruce do?
Screaming In An Elevator!