Do you own a watch for which you lost or never had the papers? Did you know that a lot of brands actually provide a service where you can request information about your watch using a so called “Archive Extract”? And some of them love their heritage so much that they even provide this for free, yes really.
The first time I did this myself was with Longines. After providing the serial number of the watch movement and case they provided me with all kind of details about the watch (materials, movement etc.) and the exact year and date that it was delivered to a specific dealer and country where it was eventually sold. I was quite amazed that they provided this service for free, and have become quite a fan of the brand because of it.
Below is a table for all the brands that I know that offer this service, the method how to acquire it, the cost associated with it and additional comments. Please let me know if you have any additions to this list, I will try to update it as often as I can.
|Audemars Piguet||Contact form on website||250 CHF|
|Breitling||Request through dealer||Unknown||>1980|
|Cartier||Contact form on website||Free|
|Certina||Contact form on website||Free|
|Glycine||E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org||Free||>1950 due to a flood that destroyed part of the archive|
|International Watch Co (IWC)||Request through dealer||350 Euro|
|Jaeger LeCoultre||https://secure.www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/us/en/secure/my-jaeger-lecoultre/extract-archives.html||260 CHF|
|Montblanc||Request through dealer||Not free, but cost unknown|
|Patek Philippe||https://www.patek.com/en/retail-service/extract-from-the-archives||150 CHF|
|Piaget||https://www.piaget.com/services/vintage-watch||Not free, but cost unknown||Insurance certificate|
|TAG Heuer / Heuer||Request through dealer||Only combined with maintenance|
|Tissot||Request through dealer||Not free, but cost unknown|
|Ulysse Nardin||Contact form on website||Free|
|Vacheron Constantin||http://www.vacheron-constantin.com/en2/services/obtaining-documents/service-archives.html||Paid but price unknown|