Watch shopping in Kuala Lumpur (Citron Watch)

DSC00621_DCE (WinCE)

Pertama Complex is one of the oldest shopping malls in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Strategically located at the intersection of the famous Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (previously known as Batu Road) and Jalan Dang Wangi (formerly called Campbell Road). It was first built in 1976 and was the hive of activity amongst local shoppers and tourists alike in its heydays.

Today, Pertama Complex (literal translation: (the) First Complex) has been overshadowed and outclassed by the ultra modern shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur and in the outskirts of the capital of Malaysia. Tourists, from overseas or out-of-town tend to flock to the newer and bigger shopping destinations, such as the Suria KLCC, Sungei Wang Plaza, Mid Valley Mega Mall and the likes.

If you’re expecting first class rest rooms, creature comforts, photogenic interiors, modern bistros and Starbucks – forget it. Pertama Complex is a basic, no frills retail center for bargain hunters who know what they want.

Despite its ageing architecture and outdated interior design (the interior is practically the same since the 1970s), Pertama Complex remains popular with office workers in its immediate vicinity and savvy shoppers who are on a mission: to buy something rather than window shop.

While not exactly a family-friendly shopping mall (cellphone vendors often puff away in a supposedly no-smoking premises) nor one that you would take your better half on a date, Pertama Complex still thrives due to its attractive, no-frills shopping experience. Low price and variety is the key attraction here.



Building exterior of Pertama Complex Interior photo of Pertama Complex

View of Pertama Complex' lobby View of Pertama Complex' lobby

Above: Exterior and interior shots of the Pertama Complex. Exterior photo courtesy of the UDA website.


The 33 year-old retail center is renowned for its numerous cellphone kiosk vendors (they’re packed on almost every floor), shoe stores, sporting goods stores, leather goods, cheap jeans and apparel, photographic stores and of course, watch stores. There’s even an old bowling alley located on the uppermost floor although most daytime patrons don’t come here to bowl.

Due to Pertama Complex’ relatively low shop lot rental (some stores actually own their premises thereby operating on much lower overheads) prices of goods are generally lower than those of more modern shopping malls.

For those wondering how to get to Pertama Complex when you’re in Kuala Lumpur, check out this interactive Google Map! The red balloon marked “A" designates the exact location of this antiquated-but-still popular commercial center.



View Larger Map


I thought I’d mention in passing that my favorite entrance into this retail center is through a side door shortcut going through Foto Selangor, the largest photography store in Pertama Complex. The folks manning this camera shop still remember me as I had bought a Canon PowerShot S2is and a PowerShot S3is ultrazoom cameras, plus plenty of camera accessories and rechargeable NiMH AA batteries in the past. 🙂

Foto Selangor enjoys  very brisk daily sales due to its well placed location on the ground floor of this shopping center. It also stocks on a wide range of cameras, lenses, strobe units and accessories, attracting first time camera buyers and seasoned photographers alike.


Interior shot of Foto Selangor May waits for customers

Mr Wong takes charge of the Nikon section This is the Canon section

Above: Interior shots of the well stocked Foto Selangor camera store.


Actually I haven’t visited Pertama Complex in over a year and my mission was to purchase either a digital SLR or the latest PowerShot SX1is or SX10is. I brought along two cameras for this trip – my “vintage" PowerShot S3is and a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 ultra-compact, which I used to take photos for this blog.

I spent more than half an hour comparing Canon’s latest 10 Megapixel ultra-zoom digicams, the PowerShot SX10is and SX1is to my present S3is. Both were physically much larger and heavier than the S3is (as you can see in the photos above) and notably heavier. I didn’t find the new higher resolution electronic viewfinders (EVFs) a quantum leap above the lower pixel count (115K dots) in my S3is’ EVF. Although they both sported higher resolutions for their EVFs, present electronic viewfinder technology has yet to approach the clarity of  true optical viewfinders found in rangefinder and SLR cameras.

OK, I noted the new SX10is and SX1is’ wider 20x zoom (28-560mm) as the most significant change since Canon’s previous S2is/S3is/S5is (the three shared the same 12x zoom lens). The catch is that with four nickel metal hydride AA batteries loaded, both the PowerShot SX10is and SX1is felt as heavy as a consumer digital SLR with a kit zoom lens and rechargeable battery fitted.



PowerShot SX10is next to my S3is PowerShot SX1is compared to my S3is

Top: My old Canon PowerShot S3is visually compared to the new PowerShot SX10is (left) and the PowerShot SX1is (right).



Disappointed by the incremental improvements offered by the latest ultra-zoom PowerShots, I made up my mind to look into digital Single Lens Reflex (dSLR) cameras  instead. Digital SLRs have larger image sensors than your everyday compact Point & Shoot or ultra-zoom camera, have better optical lenses (even by the standards of the cheap kit lenses that come with budget dSLRs) and thus take much better photos. The downside is that dSLRs are much bulkier and heavier than ultra-zoom digicams and high quality lenses often cost a small fortune.

All film and digital SLRs have a true optical viewfinders with a flip-up mirror instead of an electronic one. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, which is a compact  Four Thirds digital SLR allows you to interchange lenses, it is by strict definition not a true dSLR  as it employs an electronic viewfinder and thus lacks a viewfinder mirror.

I discovered that the full-HD video capable PowerShot SX1is was also priced very closely to Canon’s entry level digital SLR – the EOS 1000D (also called the Rebel XS in the USA) and slightly more expensive than Nikon’s budget model dSLR – the very popular Nikon D60.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t end up buying my first digital SLR from this store as the sales assistant didn’t give me an attractive packaged bundle. I also didn’t like the fact that the salesman attending to me was rather pushy in getting me to buy a camera. Obviously he was more interested in getting the sale done rather than to educate me.

When it comes to buying something that I’m not very familiar with (in this case, a digital SLR), I prefer to chat with a seller who’s willing to talk about photography and has the patience to discuss the merits and demerits of a particular model. There’s nothing more that puts me off than strong arm pressure sales approaches.

OK, with the subject out of the way, let’s move on to the focus of this post – watch stores! 🙂



Citron Watch Store

The first store in this virtual tour is none other than Citron Watch Trading Co, which is one of the earliest tenants of Pertama Complex. Strategically located at a corner on the 2nd floor (or 3rd floor, if in American terminology) of the complex, Citron Watch offers a wide range of watch brands including Rado, Tissot and Enicar, a lesser known but value-for-money Swiss marque.

Citron Watch is managed by Ms Emily, who is a pleasant woman who gave me kind permission to take interior photos of her store, which you’ll be seeing in the series of pictures below. 🙂

While I’m not a regular customer of Citron Watch, I did purchase a NOS Seiko SKXM19K 7s26 automatic and a Seiko alarm clock sometime in 2004. What I liked about Emily is that she’s not pushy in getting a sale. She didn’t mind talking about watches and her business whenever I dropped by, even though I wasn’t planning to buy anything from her store.



Citron Watch exterior Citron Watch exterior

Citron Watch exterior Citron Watch exterior

Top: Exterior shots of the Citron Watch store. Emily was rather camera shy, but you can see her in the photo on the right. She’s the one standing dressed in pink.


Citron Watch mainly specializes in low end Seiko, Alba, Timex, Casio and Citizen watches while keeping abreast of the latest models from Seiko. Emily doesn’t bring in high priced Seikos as she said that most of her customers prefer to look for bargain priced watches. Orient watches are unfortunately not sold here.

What I found interesting about Citron Watch is that it’s the only store in the Pertama Complex that carries the “J" versions of Seiko 7s-caliber automatics, which are parallel imported. Malaysia’s official distributor of Seiko watches only brings in the China-assembled, “K" counterparts, not the Japan made ones.



Photoset 1


Seiko & Alba displays Seiko & Alba displays

Citron Watch interior Citron Watch interior

Seiko watches Another angle of the Seiko display rack

Titoni and Rado timepieces Seiko watches

Above: Citron Watch’s Seiko display racks. Alba watches are also placed on the right, as the Alba brand is a subsidiary of the Seiko Holdings Group. Also on display are Rado, Titoni, Tissot and Enicar (the latter two not shown) timepieces.


Photoset 2 below shows more watches for sale, including discontinued and NOS models. Once I came across a white dialed Seiko SDWD19P 7T32 quartz alarm chronograph, similar to the one that I have which I purchased back in 1998 (not from Citron Watch). I was impressed as ever since then I had not seen another watch similar to mine. I told Emily that if I ever lost my watch, I’d promptly replace it with the one from her store. 🙂

The SDWD19P sat in her shop for around three years until a customer spotted it and bought it. I hope the watch went to a good home. 🙂 I once considered buying that Seiko but since my SDWD19P is still alive and well, the purchase would be somewhat redundant.



SDWD19P alarm chronograph

Above: My second longest owned Seiko: Model SDWD19P with its original solid link bracelet



Photoset 2


Pic 1: NOS Seiko 5 Superiors Pic 2: Contemporary Seiko watches

Pic 3: NOS Seiko Kinetics Pic 4: Quartz Seikos

Pic 5: Alba watches for sale Pic 6: Seiko 5s get their own display rack

Newer Seiko watches, with an SNA225P in the middle Various Seiko and Citizen travel clocks

Above: More photos of Seiko products at Citron Watch 


Of notable interest is the fact that Citron Watches also happen to have several discontinued Seiko models. According to Emily, her employer maintains another retail outlet (also called Citron Watch) in another part of the city. Watches that have been lying unsold in the other outlet are often transferred to her store. In Pic 1 of Photoset 2, you can see a trio of discontinued 7s36 Seiko 5 Superiors (models SNZ437K, SNZ433K and SNZ438K) and in in Pic 3 you can see a few late 90s Kinetics on display.




Photoset 3

Photoset 3 shows the various Citizen watches in the store. These are discontinued and NOS Citizen models. I asked Emily why she didn’t bring in the latest Eco Drive and Promaster models from Citizen. Her reply was simple.

She explained that very few of her customers are interested in Citizens and the current authorized distributor for Citizen watches, Citizen Malaysia imposes a rather steep prerequisite – she would have to take up one piece of the entire latest Citizen range across the board. The new Citizen Eco Drives distributed by Citizen Malaysia include their high end titanium Promasters, which are not really easy to sell.



NOS Citizen Promasters NOS Citizen Promasters

Old stock Citizen Oxy watches Pic 4: Low end Citizen automatics

Above: Arrays of Citizen watches, mostly discontinued models


Picture 4 shows a rack displaying the cheapest Citizen automatics. Most of Citron Watch’s customers are locals from the lower income group and foreign workers from Indonesia, Myanmar and Bangladesh. For some reason the latter group prefers gold toned watches so Citron Watch stocks a good supply of affordable gold plated watches.

I saw a few Citizen Oxy models although they are not as plentiful compared to a few years ago. I remember seeing a nice military styled Citizen automatic, with a hand-windable movement and regretted not buying it. It’s gone since then. 🙁




Wrapping it up, while the Citron Watch store has an interesting mix of old and late model watches although it doesn’t carry a very wide range of Seikos and Citizens, in addition to Swiss brands like Tissot, Rado, Enicar and Titoni. Emily’s store carries some latest Seiko models but not that many or varied.

If you’re looking for NOS Seikos, Citron Watch is a good place to start. Prices are reasonable and if you’re good at negotiating Emily might agree to let go of a NOS watch at an irresistible price. 🙂

Citron Watch’s address is at Unit No 2.88, 2nd Floor, Pertama Shopping Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahmah, Kuala Lumpur.

By the way, the Citron Watch store has no relation to the Citron Watch company, a manufacturer of mass cheap timepieces in China.

Lastly but not least, here’s a big thank you to Ms Emily for giving me kind permission to take some pictures of her store. 🙂



Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


Long Live Pertama Complex!!!

I agree! Unfortunately only seasoned locals know that Pertama Complex is one of the places to get the best deals from! Good to hear from you again! 🙂


never came across this shop before…will try to have a look this coming weekend….

Hey there Quartzimodo,

I enjoyed reading the article & maybe some day in the future when I have the good fortune to visit Kuala Lumpur, you’ll take me out hunting down some of those vintage NOS Dive watches, that are still hidden within those vast extensive treasure chest’s of the watch merchants there in Malaysia.

Good article and well written my friend!


Hi Jimmy.

Thanks for dropping by to say hello and thanks for the compliments! Yes, there may be other shops with vintage NOS divers in Kuala Lumpur that I’ve not been to, lest heard about. You’ll literally have to travel a lot to find watch stores that might have that sweet 7548-7000 that’s begging for a new home! 😉

semper fi!


Thanks a lot for your info. I am looking for a place to buy a dad a b’day present and your info on Citron is of great use!

Hi Andy,

There are other watch stores in the shopping complex besides Citron Watch, but I haven’t gotten down to review them. I took pics of the other stores on the same day too. Citron Watch may not have a very wide range of choices, but it’s the only one with NOS and discontinued models that might appeal to some. 🙂


Hi there,

Good stuff! will definitely be making my way here to lockdown a watch.

Thanks heaps!

Good review Q!

Now I know where to get my SKX00 diver watch. Hopefully the price is competitive to those at (with free shipping).

You think its worthy of getting the SKX007/9 from there?

Hi kdrocks,, like the other non-eBay online watch merchants from Singapore and Malaysia cater for overseas customers. They’re offering a service to those living in other countries like Europe, Australia/NZ and North America, where Seiko watches are often priced much higher. It still beats having to travel all the way to Singapore to buy a watch!

Of course, buying from brick-and-mortar stores in Malaysia (and Singapore) is always cheaper. Discounts are always expected and some local stores can give as much as 40% discount.

Q Admin.

TIMEX watch…what do you think?
im interested to get two..for my little bro and i..

Hi Macho,

I’m not a fan of TIMEX watches although recently they have some interesting looking watches, especially their automatic models. TIMEX products are made by several factories around the world like in Brazil and Philippines. Most likely you’ll find the ones sold in KL are made in the Philippines but the local stores may not carry all the models that you see here.

However, TIMEX is famous for their Ironman digital watches and their Indiglo electro-luminescent backlighting technology. My previous experience with a TIMEX analog digital bought in 2003 wasn’t a good one – it had its hands installed backwards with the luminous side facing the dial instead of the crystal.

Happy buying!

Has any one seen or have a Citron de luxe pendant watch if you have please post pic or description.

I have a citron de luxe pendant watch

Hi purple97,

The watch store featured in my post is simply named “Citron Watch”. It has nothing to do with the Citron brand, pendant watch that you have. 🙂


I thought all seiko are from Japan. Where can i get original seiko kinetic made in Japan in Malaysia?

Hi Abdzak,

Seiko has overseas factories outside of Japan, namely in Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Malaysia. All Seiko components are sourced from Japan but the assembly of their movements are done in Singapore and Malaysia. Since 2006 onwards, the 7s caliber automatic movements are made in Malaysia. The final watch assembly and encasement are performed by the Seiko factory in Singapore or China, depending on the model. 100% Japan made Kinetics are hard to find in Malaysia and the stores that carry them actually parallel import them from Japan. They’re often quite expensive because production costs in Japan are higher than in Singapore or China.

If you insist on a 100% Japan model Kinetic, have a look at the Seiko Japan website. There are Kinetics that are marketed under the Ignition, Brightz and Prospex lines. The Seiko Kinetics that fall under the Velatura, Premier, Sportura and Arctura lines are international models and are assembled in Singapore. You need to identify which models that you’re interested in first and look for the sellers later. For example, back in 2004 the flagship City Chain outlet at Suria KLCC was selling a Seiko Prospex Landmaster Kinetic (model SBDX005) with a price tag of RM15,000 (USD4,913). Two years later, the watch was still unsold as nobody is willing to pay that much for a Seiko watch.


hhhmmm guess one day must drop by this shop and have a look… been searching for some good bargain in KL few years dy…

Thank you buddy….eventhough I hv been to pertama complex …I miss this place you have mentioned…will be visiting next week see if I can get a nice watch for RM 200….he he he
small budget

Hi Raja,

Realistically speaking you can only get a basic Seiko 5 for RM200 but there are a couple of nice Seiko 5’s to choose from! 🙂


Any suggestion where to buy a low end casio tough solar watch in KL?

Hi Pamoda,

You can try the various watch stores located at the Pertama Complex, Jalan Tunku Abd Rahman in KL. I would recommend Pusat Jam Pertama on the 1st floor. Take the escalator at the concourse lobby up one floor and turn right. You’ll see a small watch store packed with all kinds of watches to your right.

Happy hunting!

Hi your blog is very informative since i got my first Seiko 5 (i think) as a gift. He bought it from Amazon US.Are all the watches sold at pertama komplex genuine? Also, do u recommend to bring my seiko for service at seiko store or at these watch shops in pertama komplex?

Hi Lex,

I’ve been buying watches from ALL the stores at the Pertama Complex since 2003 and have yet to find any that’s NOT a genuine one. Be careful of buying Seiko watches in the vicinity of the famous KL Chinatown though, because I have actually seen a fake SKX007K which was sold for the same price as an original SKX007K diver. It wasn’t a roadside vendor but an actual small watch store that sold both fakes and genuine Seiko watches.

Most of the retailers at the Pertama Complex have know-how that are limited to changing quartz watch batteries and sizing bracelets. They do not provide watch repair services. Most likely they will accept your watch, forward it to the Seiko repair center and charge extra for their “forwarding services”.

If you need to have your watch serviced, either take it directly to the Thong Sia headquarters (Seiko Malaysia’s distributor) or to a watch retailer that also provides repair services. There are also specialized watch service/repair facilities (they mostly cater for Swiss brands) that might be able to tackle Seiko movements.

hope this helps,


Would you happen to know where I can get those vintage Casio watches (i.e Casio A178W, Casio DB360G) in KL area?


Hi Christina,

Sorry I’m unable to help you. There are dozens of watch stores scattered around Kuala Lumpur; some sited inside shopping malls while others are stand-alone retail stores. Try to scout the older watch stores located along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, beginning from the Jalan Ipoh intersection.

It’s highly unlikely you’ll find the Casio watches that you’re looking for as they would have been sold many decades ago. It might help if you carry with you photos of the two Casio watches and show them because sellers don’t memorize or know about model numbers.

good luck!

Hi Quartzimodo, I am currently in KL and am looking for a Seiko SKX781, could you recommend where is the best place to pick one up.


Hi Gordon,

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur! There are many watch stores in the city, especially those sited in shopping malls. For the best prices, I would recommend that you look up “Syarikat Jam Pertama”, located on the 1st floor (that’s one level up) of the Pertama Shopping Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman road. This is not a large retailer and may not always have the SKX781K “Orange Monster” in stock, i.e., on occasions very popular models may happen to be not available and are being back-ordered at the time you visit the store.

If you’re staying in the vicinity of the Bukit Bintang district, I’d suggest “Chun Cheong Watch & Pen Store”, which is located at the Ground Level of the Sungei Wang Plaza (SWP), not far from the entrance of the Parkson Grand department store. Other watch stores may not give you the best discounts and some are tourist traps. Honest dealers should have an official “SEIKO” price tag on the watch on display; beware of those who write the list price in handwriting as they can artificially elevate its price and then give you the impression of offering you a good deal by lowering it back to its recommended retail price. Depending on the watch store, expect discount rates of 20% up to 30% off the sticker price.

Happy shopping! 🙂

Hi there Quartzimodo,

I am new to the watch world.
Been looking at 2 entry levels watches.
Timex Weekender T2N651KW
(url :

Casio MDV 106
(url :

Was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to get these in KL or Selangor?

Hi. I got a Citizen watch from my uncle. He bought it in Johor and I’m staying in KL. Not even 2 weeks and the watch is not working except the stop timer. Is it due to battery? The guarantee card mentioned I could send to any Citizen Member. Could you suggest where I can send the watch for check? Pertama Complex? Or any Lembah Kelang area?

Hi Taufiq,

I suppose your Citizen quartz has an analog chronograph function. If it does, the battery’s voltage may be too low and needs replacing. For some reason, certain quartz chronographs with a drained battery can still operate its analog stopwatch but the main second hand won’t move. You didn’t mention whether it’s an Eco-Drive or a regular quartz watch so I’m assuming the latter. Try changing the battery to a new one; if it still doesn’t work take it to the Citizen service center located in Subang Jaya.

The Citizen Malaysia’s head office address is as follows:

Citizen Watches (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Suite A605, West Wing, 6th Floor, Wisma Consplant 2, No 7 Jalan SS 16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya Selangor D.E., Malaysia
Tel: (603) 5637 9811
Email: [email protected]

hope this helps,

Hi! I was looking for some info on a 7F18-9A00 that’s for sale and I found your website. Fantastic. Didn’t have a pic of the watch I am looking into but, wow – very good library of pics and useful information. I do own a Seiko 7N43-8309 (8D2502)- runs great but is a little beat up. I need new lugs for it, even a new band would be good as a packing crate fell tore it off my wrist and it wound up under the crate in the Saudi sand. So I learned from your site it was made in December 1998 (I had it before 2003). I’ll post a pic of it when I get it cleaned up so others can see what one looks like. As you say, there are so many models and no pics for many unless users bother to post.
Thanks for your hard work in maintaining a great source of info!


possible dup msg.

you dated 2 Seiko watches for me. I have lost that data and would like to get it from you again.
1st. watch is a 6105-8009 with SN 950329
2nd watch is a 6105-8119 with SN 141895

there was some discussion about the wording on the back reference “water resist” on the 6105-8009 and the “water resistant” on the 6105-8119.

also u had mentioned that the stem would have the Seiko mark on them. but not in all cases ?

Bob Thayer had retired and he recommend Jack Alexyon at

Hi Larry,

I can’t recall what I’ve replied to you either, so I’ll just start from scratch.

The Seiko 6105-8009 predates the cushion cased, 6105-8119. I don’t know if there was a brief overlapping period when both models were simultaneously sold before the K. Hattori Watch Company (Seiko), but records from Seiko watch collectors show that the slim cased, 6105-800x model came first.

Therefore, your 6105-8009 with the S/N 950329 would have been made on May 1969 with the “old” Water-Proof markings. For your 6105-8009 diver (S/N 141895), its production date would be April 1971. Now, this particular month and year is a significant time in the history of vintage Seiko watches because it was when the company switched from marking their watches from “Water Proof” to “Water Resistant”.

In other words, vintage Seiko watches that predate April 1971 almost always be marked as “Water Proof”. If your 6105-8009 has “Water Proof” written on the dial but its caseback reads “Water Resistant”, assume that its caseback is not original to the watch because both markings should match one another.

I happen to own a “Water Resist” marked Seiko 6105-8110 that’s dated Sept 1974; but I’m not 100% sure if that is the actual manufacturing date of my Seiko 6105. It was purchased used on eBay and even the seller cannot guarantee if its caseback is original to the watch. Unless you have acquired a vintage Seiko timepiece from the original owner who can attest that his watch has never been tampered with at some point in time, always take the actual date of manufacture with a grain of salt.

I have at least one or two vintage Seiko watches with casebacks that aren’t original to them, because the original casebacks were badly pitted or in extremely poor condition. The seller was more than happy to replace them with better looking ones – so long as the caseback was made for that specific model.

Regarding the “SEIKO” mark on the crown, most of the photos of 6105-800x that I’ve collected show the “SEIKO” stamping on the stem, while the 6105-811x series have a curved arrow to denote the direction to lock down the crown. However I once came across an Indonesian language, Seiko watch blog whose author mentioned that the number of grooves on the crown can tell whether the crown itself is a genuine Seiko part or a generic, replacement crown.

Thanks for the heads up, regarding Bob Thayer’s retirement. I’ll remove the links to his site to update my blog roll. 🙂


hii sir…model citizen diver ade jual x

Hi Faisal,

Saya dah lama tak pergi ke Pertama Complex, jadi tak tahu samada kedai Citron Watch masih menjual jam diver Citizen model lama. Cubalah mengunjungi kedai jam “Pusat Jam Pertama” di Tingkat Satu – setahu saya kedai ini juga menjadi agen menjual jenama Citizen, termasuk jam jenis diver. Selamat mencuba! 🙂

Harap maklum,

Hi Quartzimodo, apart from the official Thong Sia Service Centre, can you suggest any other KL watch repairer who can easily service Seiko mechanicals? Just clean and overhaul of 7S26 movements etc.

I’m visiting KL on my 3rd trip but 1st time for servicing. I am familiar with Pertama Complex and that area. Thx

Hi Chris,

That’s a very good question, really.

When it comes to the low end Seiko (and Citizen) mechanical watches, you’ll be facing a dilemma when it comes to repairs. Here’s what I know so far:

The Thong Sia Service Center’s ability to repair and/or service automatic watches largely depends on their current technicians’ skill and know-how. Back in the 1980s when quartz watches started to become popular, the service center still employed skilled technicians who started their career repairing mechanical movements. By today, the employees who used to fix mechanical watches would have long retired from the company.
I don’t know if their current watch repairmen are skillful at servicing automatic Seiko watches because the fine art of mechanical watch repair is largely dying – except for a niche market for Swiss brands (more about this later).

You can think of it like car mechanics who are trained to diagnose and service carburetted engines – especially cars that are fitted with twin carburetors. It takes a lot of experience for a car mechanic to carefully tune a dual-carb setup as each carburetor needs to be carefully tuned with the other. Today, the younger generation of mechanics mostly grew up in the 90s when electronic fuel injected engines became the norm; and modern engines are diagnosed via dedicated computer software. So if you happen to send in an old Mercedes Benz from the 70s with a faulty carburetor to the Cycle & Carriage service center for Mercedes vehicles, chances are they can only recommend replacing the entire carburetor – and that is, if the exact parts could still be sourced from Germany. 🙂

Back to watches, the 7s26 is considered a disposable movement as it’s made inexpensively. If you have a problematic main spring or worn gears and send the watch to Thong Sia, they would rather have the entire movement replaced rather than perform the meticulous task of diagnosing the problem. Even if they have the expertise, it’s probably a lot cheaper to have the 7s movement replaced than repaired.

There are of course, certain exceptions. If you own a Grand Seiko, Brightz or Credor mechanical watch, Thong Sia will forward it to Seiko Japan. This is because when it comes to these high end sub-brands, Seiko Japan doesn’t allow such timepieces to be serviced outside of Japan. Even the 8L35 automatic movement found in the Prospex line of watches will not be serviced by Thong Sia. I think the reason behind this that the 8L35 caliber is too complicated to be repaired by overseas Seiko service center technicians. Furthermore, Seiko prefers to safeguard its reputation and if you have a mechanical Grand Seiko, Seiko Japan has their team of skilled technicians who are trained to undertake repairs and overhaul of Seiko’s high end mechanical movements like the 8L35.

That said, upper mid-range automatic calibers like the 6R15 and those like it are also better off shipped to Seiko Japan for repairs. While it is possible to have them replaced by Thong Sia, the cost of the replacement may be prohibitive.

This leaves you with two remaining options:

1. Having your watch repaired/serviced by independent mechanical watch repairers, e.g. The House of Switzerland. Note that these are professional watch repairers who have undergone training in Switzerland and are certified to repair and service popular Swiss watches like Omega, Rolex, Breitling, IWC, Tissot, etc. They might be equally adept at repairing Seiko movements but don’t be surprised if they present you with a rather high estimate for a simple movement cleaning job. Furthermore, if there are parts that need replacing these watch repairers will eventually have to get in touch with Thong Sia.
The issue at hand is that Thong Sia may refuse to supply replacement parts to watch repair houses who are NOT authorized Seiko watch dealers in the first place.

2. Sending your Seiko watch to an authorized Seiko dealer. Here’s the problem: AFAIK, none of the watch stores in Pertama Complex that are authorized Seiko resellers have the expertise to service Seiko watches. At best, they only know how to resize metal bracelets and replace quartz watch batteries. Worse comes to worst, one of them may agree to take in your watch – but they’ll end up sending it to Thong Sia or outsource the repairs elsewhere. Either way, you’ll get your watch back within a week – if you’re lucky. 🙂

This is not to say that you can’t find a Seiko dealer that provides in-house repair services but I don’t know any that are in KL. Off hand, I know two long established Seiko dealers that offer such services but none of them are in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a long shot, but you may come across one of those “old” Seiko watch dealers that have been operating since the 1970s along the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Chow Kit.
I’m sure some of them provided in-house mechanical watch repair services many decades ago but the repairmen who once performed such jobs are likely to have retired or have since died. In those days, watch repairing and servicing services was profitable. Today they’d rather make money from selling new watches.

Nevertheless, there ARE also small scale hobbyist Seiko watch repairers, like a few vintage watch sellers who congregate at the Amcorp Mall flea market in Petaling Jaya every Sunday. They won’t repair your watch on the spot but will take it back home and return it to you on the following Sunday (if possible). While they charge very reasonable fees, I cannot vouch for the quality of their services.

Third party watch repair services suffered the same fate as television repair shops. In the 1980s you could easily find TV repair specialists because TV sets were very expensive back then. There was always money to be made from repairing CRT television sets. Since the Millennium, independent TV repair services have gradually disappeared as brand new TV sets became cheaper – to the point that it’s cheaper to buy a brand new TV than it is to have it repaired. 🙁

Today, if your flat screen TV has problems with the display – don’t be surprised if the manufacturer’s after sales service center quotes an insane cost of replacing the LCD screen. Whether it’s a Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic or Sharp – their respective service centers would rather replace (than repair) an LCD screen at great cost to you. With only a 6 month warranty on the repair job, you’re better off buying a new flat screen TV that comes with a 2-year warranty.

The reason that independent Swiss/German brand mechanical watch repairers can be found in Kuala Lumpur is because they specialize in repairing luxury Swiss brands and there is demand for such services. Some Omega and Rolex owners prefer to send their watches to such establishments as they charge lower fees than the official Omega or Rolex repair centers. Will these Swiss watch repairers undertake repair/servicing jobs for a Seiko? Probably, but their fees are likely to be on the high side.

hope this helps,

[…] Watch shopping in Kuala Lumpur (Citron Watch) – Pertama Complex is one of the oldest shopping malls in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Strategically located at the intersection of the famous Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman … […]

hi Quartzimodo!Is Citron Watch Store in Pertama complex still open? Thanks

Hi Molly,

I haven’t visited Pertama Complex in many years, actually. The last time I checked, Citron Watch was still open as usual and the store manager, Ms Emily was still minding the shop. I don’t know if she is still working there. 🙂


Where can I get a genuine Seiko SRPB01K1 (green turtle) and what is the fair price?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Chiranth,

The SRPB01K is one of the limited edition “Turtle” divers. A fair price for this piece would be between MYR1,500-1,600 given its limited edition status, plus the fact that the Malaysian currency exchange rate has slipped against the US Dollar since 2015, and not to forget the mandatory 6% Goods & Services Tax.

You’ll have to shop around to find the SRPB01K in the first place because I don’t think all authorized Seiko dealers will get one to sell. I happen to have bought the SRP789K “Coke Turtle” last year and it cost me MYR1,500, inclusive of GST. This isn’t a limited edition model but it was also scarce compared to say, the SRP777K on rubber strap.

In fact, I was told by the seller that she had a hard time trying to procure more pieces of the SRP789K and the watch that I bought was her only one she had. For best prices, don’t shop at any watch store inside a modern, luxury shopping mall or tourist trap areas in Kuala Lumpur. Their monthly rentals are very high to begin with and they can’t give much discount in order to remain profitable.

Good luck,
Quartzimodo Admin.

Leave a comment



Additional Info