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Monday, June 4, 2018

#FashionAlert #CentralWatch @CentralWatch #WhomYouKnow Central Watch by Steve Kivel and the Kivel Family Since 1952 in Manhattan's Grand Central Station is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know! Oh Mickey Now He Ticks So Fine. Oh Mickey is So Glad He Met Steve and Central Watch!

Master of Watches, Steve Kivel, owner of Central Watch
Meet the Kivels!  Grandfather, Father, Grandson!
Even better, the next generation is female.
Meet Central Watch, started in 1952 by Max Kivel, Steve's grandfather.
The Grand is silent, says Peachy Deegan, as it is indeed Grand by adjective.
It's Centrally located.
Watch this brand, and make sure all your watches vacation for their regular tune-up with Steve Kivel, third-generation owner after his father and grandfather. 
Located in the depths of Historic Landmark Grand Central Station, Central Watch represents the best of New York and the world and has for decades upon decades.  Their Mission Statement is to provide their customers with master watch repair and exemplary customer service.  They are absolutely living up to this goal based on our review experience.
Steve tells us:
"My grandfather always knew that being in Grand Central was important. Where else is it more important to be on time than at a train station? He started here in 1952 and we’ve been here ever since. My father joined him full-time in 1958. I came on board in 1990. I was born into this business and have spent more time here than anywhere else in my life. My daughters have started working here during the summer. It’s surreal and fitting to see them standing in the same spot, doing the same thing I did as a teenager. Central Watch is more than just what we do, it’s who we are as a family. It is how we make a living, but we take it personally. We work hard to treat every one the way that we would want to be treated and that has translated into a large and loyal customer base. 

Our customers have included New Yorkers from every walk of life. We have politicians, actors, musicians, professional athletes, CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers, you name it. They have all come up to our counter. Everyone gets the same first class treatment, but I must admit to being star struck a few times over the years. I’m a huge Honeymooners fan and having Brian Carney, Art Carney’s son, bring me the watch Jackie Gleason gave his dad was a great moment. In addition to our retail customers, we work with a number of the leading watch retailers and auction houses on their luxury watches."
So how did we start ticking on this idea?  As you know, we search high and low for the best businesses and many of them are multi-generational family success stories of excellence like Hallak Cleaners 
the Couture Cleaner and Official Dry Cleaner of Whom You Know 
by Brilliant Businessperson John-Claude Hallak and Patsy's Italian Restaurant by Culinary King Sal Scognamillo; they are also including the third and fourth generations respectively.  We found out about Steve Kivel because we were eating dinner, surprise surprise.
Normally it is one bad idea to interrupt a Peachy Deegan when she is carefully concentrating on her dinner.  She takes it incredibly seriously.  Thank you to everyone that reads them and works with us- but we will say it is a very good idea to interrupt when you are a business owner that wants to work with her and you have more good ideas and better yet great work to share.
Mickey is thrilled the dinner was interrupted as he thinks watches are more important than food.  Meet Mickey:
Meet Mickey!
Oh Mickey has not been so fine.
Poor Mickey had lost his mind.
Poor Mickey. Poor Mickey...he's not so ticky. Or tocky. In fact he was so out of practice he had stopped for many, many years. The last person that tried over ten years ago, who was a supposed watch expert who came highly recommended by a jeweler we love and trust, fixed Mickey "properly." Mickey was not really fixed and there are both scammy and poor businesses in Manhattan so there is a need for Whom You Know. Our Mickey is most excited about this review because he's the biggest watch problem Peachy has ever had. We decided he would visit Central Watch, along with Peachy's Boston College watch that needed a new battery and her elliptical machine's counter battery change. But clearly Mickey was the star of the show.

Mickey has always been with Peachy, except for about the first nine weeks of her life. Mickey holds a lot of sentimental value and does not go meet with just anyone, and this is only the second time he's left home but Central Watch came highly recommended and their history is further testament to their dedication to excellence.  Mickey is an authentic Disney World gold collectible winding watch that did not keep time or even tick as he once did. He was thrilled to visit Central Watch and be repaired properly.  Every watch that comes in is cared for in a spectacularly spotless environment by professionals that exude the maxim that details matter in every movement.
Steve takes an immense amount of pride in his incredible business which he continues to make better and better, building on the success of past generations.
We were thrilled to receive the grand tour, and their expertise goes far beyond what you see at train station level.  Dedicated professionals are highly-trained masters of their craft and great care is taken.  This is cleaner than some hospitals and some restaurants we have seen.  You could eat off the floor but you wouldn't because this is all about the watches, no food.
Here's what we learned and saw, explained to you by Central Watch:
Leica Microscope: the company is based in Germany. This microscope allows the watchmakers to work at a level of precision not possible with the naked eye. For instance, a speck of dust or other imperfection on a tiny gear is something that you would not be able to see unless it was magnified significantly. Additionally, this is helpful in manufacturing custom parts for vintage watches for which parts are no longer available.
Meet the Elma winding machine!  The company headquarters is in Switzerland. This is important because it simulates the motion created when a person wears a watch. Automatic watches derive power from the motion of your wrist. This is what allows them to keep time. Once a watch is serviced, it is necessary to test it on a winding machine to make sure it will respond properly to normal wear.
Meet a 
watchmaker in front of the Greiner Vibrograf ACS 900 cleaning machine. Greiner is also in Switzerland. This is used to clean individual watch parts once the watch has been disassembled. This is an important machine because we want to return the inside of the watch to pristine condition. That means no dirt or residual oils. All of that comes off in that machine.
Steven is standing next to several waterproof testing machines. 
This picture is a close-up of the Witschi Proofmaster S. Witschi is also in Switzerland. Switzerland is the mecca of fine watchmaking so it is no surprise that majority of high-level watch service technology comes from there. This particular machine applies air pressure and is able to ascertain the water resistance of a watch. 
Finally, meet the Roxer water-proofing machine.  The Roxer 2300 La Chaux de Fond is also Swiss. This is also a water-resistance testing machine that also uses pressure to measure the ability of the case to stay water tight.
These machines are important for several reasons. First, the microscope allows us an level of precision that we simply could never achieve without it. The waterproof testing machines are essential because there is absolutely no way to tell if a watch is water resistant without them. Even if a watch is sealed properly after a service or even a battery change, without testing it, there is no way to be sure it is water tight and exposure to moisture causes extensive and costly damage. Seals wear out after a few years and are broken when the watch is opened for any reason. Lots of places can change your watch battery, but if they do not follow that service with a pressure test in one of these machines, the customer cannot be sure it is water resistant. Finally, most luxury watch manufacturers require a workshop to meet strict criteria in order to purchase parts directly from the company. Those requirements include training for watchmakers as well as specific equipment necessary to service fine watches properly. If a shop does not have a direct parts account, a customer should question where the parts are coming from and whether or not they are genuine. 

All of these things combined are essential to our business because they allow us to offer the highest level of watch service and stand behind it unequivocally. We know our parts are genuine, our expertise is master level and our quality control is optimal. You need all three elements to deliver optimal service to our customers.

Peachy says pictures speak louder than words:
They are highly industrious and you can have every confidence your prized possession will be well-taken care of.  And, it is finished in a custom Central Watch case made just for you with your watch picture on it:
Then Steve sat down with us to enthusiastically answer all of the questions that we had for him.

Peachy Deegan: 
What has changed in the watch industry over the 65 years your brand has practiced expertise in watches at Grand Central?
Steve Kivel: 
The explosion of fine vintage watches among the general population. It used to be that everyone wore a watch, but only a small group cultivated a passion for complicated, high end watches. That interest has spread continuously over the years to what is now a huge following of watch enthusiasts.

Have you ever worked on the clock in the middle of the main floor of Grand Central? 
No we don’t do clocks, just watches.

What watch issues have you been most proud to solve? And your dad, and your grandfather?
While I am extremely proud of the level of watch service we provide, I am most proud of the loyal customer base we have earned with our customer service. My grandfather and my father always instilled in me the value of treating other people the way you want to be treated. This is a family business and I think that extends to our customers. That is the reason our business has survived and grown to where it is today. That is why the grandchildren of my grandfather’s customers are my customers today.

What should one do to maintain their watch?
Regular maintenance is a good practice. Change the battery every year to avoid corrosion. Have the seals tested to make sure it is still watertight. Be aware of what your watch was designed to withstand. Don’t shower or exercise in a vintage watch!

What are the biggest mistakes people make in watch care and maintenance?
Definitely not fully understanding the limits of a water resistant watch. All water resistant watches are made so by a series of seals and gaskets that protect the movement from moisture. Those seals age and become ineffective over time. They need to be changed in order to keep the watch water tight. Moisture damage is a common, costly service issue that can be avoided if you have your watch pressure tested and the seals updated every couple of years.

Are there watch problems that you have found impossible to fix or address?
Very few. We have an unrivaled inventory of discontinued vintage parts and a worldwide network of suppliers. Our technicians can also hand make parts that are no longer available. 

How were you able to fix Peachy’s Mickey Mouse watch and what were the main issues? 
This is one of the better grade Mickey Mouse watches, but it is essentially a novelty item with a lower grade movement. That type of movement has fewer jewels which endure more wear and tear. We did an extensive overhaul, closed the bridges and plates and polished the pivots. Now Mickey is ready for a trip to Disney.

Are you able to replace all watch batteries? How do they vary? Was the one you replaced in Peachy’s Boston College Watch typical?
There are many different types of batteries necessary for today’s quartz watches. We do them all. Peachy’s BC watch was a typical battery. 

How long should one expect a watch to “live”?
The first battery lasts the longest as the movement is brand new and functioning optimally. It typically lasts several years. In a healthy watch, a battery should last about one year. If the battery is dying more frequently than that, it is an indication that the movement needs to be serviced. 

In the digital age, why do you believe timepieces are most important?
Watches are not just about telling time. They make a statement. Fine watches are mechanical art. If you truly understand the complexity and beauty of the engineering and design of a luxury watch, nothing else will do.

Are you able to address digital timepiece issues as well as traditional watch issues and how did you solve the problem of Peachy’s Hammacher Schlemmer elliptical timekeeper/mile counter dying?
With digital watches, we are fairly limited in terms of repairing them to changing batteries. The entire mechanism is contained in a circuit that is unique to each manufacturer. We just changed the battery in Peachy’s watch. 

What do you enjoy most about your occupation?
I enjoy the interaction with our customers. It’s rewarding to see the expression on their face when they see how we have completely restored a precious family heirloom. I’ve been doing this my whole life, restored thousands and thousands of watches, but that moment overwhelms me every time.

Which watches are most popular today for women?
There has been a huge fashion trend of oversized watches for women. Most watches today are unisex where historically women wore smaller watches.

Which watches are most popular today for men?
Rolex. It’s an iconic brand that has never lost it’s place at the top of the market. 

How has watch popularity varied over time?
Watches have always been a necessary item and a fashion accessory. What I see most now is a surge in the appreciation and popularity of vintage watches. 

What do most people not know about watches that they should know?
Watches are beautiful, but they are essentially machines. There are hundreds of pieces inside a mechanical watch, all of which have to work perfectly in sync together to function properly. Often people are surprised by the fact that they have to be maintained and serviced regularly like any other machine.

What makes your watch shop superior?
Our shop is superior because we have been servicing every brand of watch for 65 years. No one has more experience than we do. We also have the expertise and equipment necessary to complete even the most complicated repairs. We offer a 2 year warranty on all of our complete service repairs. That is longer than most watch companies offer on their new watches. We can do that because our watch service is that good. Aside from that, we are as committed to our customer service as we are to our watch making. We believe your experience servicing your watch should be as good as the one you had buying it. We are 100% committed to satisfying every single customer.

What should top watch brands do to stay competitive and remain superior to digital watches, fitbits and phone time devices?
It’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Those digital devices are great, but that’s all they are. They don’t have meaning the way a real watch does. They all get outdated and upgraded frequently. No one is going to pass down their fitbit to their grandchildren. Owning one does not preclude you from appreciating the other. 

What is your favorite time piece innovation?
I have to go with the Apple watch. I don’t need or wear one, but to have that degree of functionality in a watch is impressive. 

Can one do business with your shop online or do you need to visit in person?
Our customers can shop online. They can also mail their watches to us. Our website allows them to track their repairs and view their entire watch collection. 

What is the full scope of services you offer?
Anything and everything watch related. We service all brands of watches from batteries to the most complicated mechanical repairs. We work on modern watches as well as vintage heirloom pieces. We have a huge inventory of straps. We also have a unique selection of fine vintage watches for sale.

What is the full scope of brands and watches you offer for sale?
Most of our inventory is vintage – Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Omega, Heuer, Jaeger Lecoultre, etc.

When you are done working what are your favorite things to eat and drink at Ammos?
What don’t I love at Ammos is the better question! It’s my family’s favorite restaurant in the city. I’m especially fond of the giant prawns and the octopus. The sangria is great too.
A happy customer models his watch that visits Central Watch regularly!
Oh Mickey he's so fine,
He ticks and tocks and really winds
Glad Mickey, because he visited Central Watch
Happy Mickey...and he will go to his scheduled tune-up when it is time.
Now maybe we should start collecting more watches...


212-685-1689 x0.

45th Street Passageway (Next to track 38)

Grand Central Terminal New York, NY 10017

Central Watch

52 Vanderbilt Avenue, Suite 1010

New York, NY 10017 

To track your repair at any time after approval you can log in to your account at 

Hours of Operation: 

Monday: 8:00AM -- 5:20PM

Tuesday: 8:00 AM -- 6:00 PM 

Wednesday: 8:00 AM -- 5:20 PM

Thursday: 8:00 AM -- 6:00 PM

Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM

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