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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A few weeks ago I took a Panerai wrist watch into Mallory

Customer Question

A few weeks ago I took a Panerai wrist watch into Mallory jewellers in Bath to obtain an extra link for the bracelet and to have it fitted by them as they are the Panerai authorised dealer in my area. The watch is quite valuable, roughly £5,000 and difficult to come by as only a thousand were produced in 2007-2008. I obtained the watch from a dealer in Germany in 2010.
I'd had it serviced by Panerai a couple of years ago at which time the brushed titanium case and bracelet had been refinished. Since then it hadn't seen the light of day as the bracelet was a bit too tight, it was in absolutely pristine condition without a single mark on it.
Mallory requested that I leave the watch with them. They would order the bracelet link from Panerai and call me when it was fitted and ready to be collected. A week later they called me and asked me to come in. The moment I saw it I knew there was something very wrong. It was covered in dozens of scratches, not just in one place but everywhere, the case, the lugs, all around the bracelet on the outside and even the inside and case back. I've literally no idea how they managed to do this and they offered no explanation.
I was quite distressed at this point and let the premises with their assurance that the manager would be in touch by phone to resolve the issue. He called later, said he'd reviewed the pictures they took of the watch when I dropped it off, agreed there was significant damage to the watch now that wasn't present then and suggested they send the watch back to Panerai and have it refinished at their expense. I agreed reluctantly as excessive refinishing ages the watch significantly as it involves removing the surface layer of metal making the lines of the case softer, the bracelet looser to the detriment its resale value. Incidentally the cost of the link and having it fitted was £105.
Since then I have heard nothing, when I left the premises I was in such a state I didn't even get a receipt back for the watch and have had no indication of how long it is expected to take. I'm going to call them in a couple of days and try to find out.
In the mean time what can I reasonably expect from them as far as an explanation of what happened to the watch as I'm worried that whatever rough treatment it received could have affected the accuracy of the mechanical movement or even caused permanent damage to it. As I said I'm utterly clueless as to how it could have been caused but titanium is harder than steel and whatever has happened to it needed significant force over a sustained period, maybe 5 minutes bouncing around in a tumble dryer, but I've really no idea. Refinishing the case is only cosmetic but now I've agreed to it is it reasonable to expect them to do anything else to assuage my fears?
What is my path of recourse if I'm not happy when I get the watch back?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

What is it you want to achieve please?

Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'd like to know what to do if the situation becomes contentious and if or what recourse I'm afforded by the legal system for the damage to my property.

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