Visit to Matheu's Fine Watches
June 19, 2011
I recently had a chance to sit down and interview a very interesting watchmaker, the owner of Matheu's Fine Watches, Scott Matheu. Matheu's was originally founded by Scott's father, Dan Matheu, as a watch repair business in 1951. Dan quickly made a reputation for himself by working for local watch retailers as well as repairing pocket watches for the railroads, and all the plane instruments for Denver Avionics (until electronics replaced mechanical instruments). After building up an excellent reputation for watch repair, Dan opened the first Matheu's retail store in 1973 (in Aurora, CO).
Dan's son, Scott, was always in his father's workshop since a very early age. After working in the car business for a number of years, Scott decided he wanted to change careers. Being both mechanically inclined and the son of a master watchmaker, he naturally gravitated to watchmaking. At the age 27, he went to watch school at the AWCI (American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute) in Harrison, Ohio. Upon completion of his training, he then went on to take the CW21 certification test, a comprehensive test that includes repairing a sabotaged ETA 2834 movement, as well as being required to service a Valjoux 7750 and then a 100 question written test. According to Scott, "most people fail the test the first time" but he actually passed the first time, something he is very proud of. In fact, he says "he is one of few CW21 certified master watchmakers in the state of Colorado."
After working as watchmaker for a number of years alongside his father, in 1992 Scott took over the ownership of Matheu's. Following much success in the nineties, Matheu's eventually needed more space, and in 2005 they moved to a new 1,500 square foot store in Highlands Ranch, CO in the upscale Highlands Ranch Towncenter.
When I asked Scott the importance of service to his business, he said "service built this house." And that is a fitting quote as Matheu's is as much dedicated to after sales watch repair service as it is to selling a new timepieces at retail. Scott says "every watch that comes in to be repaired goes through my hands, this ensures that all timepieces are serviced to the highest standards of quality."
According to Scott, Matheu's is continuously growing, and accordingly, they've grown out of their current space. To accommodate their current needs, later this year, Matheu's will undergo an expansion that will double the store's retail and service floorspace. They facility is currently 1,500 square feet, but after they take over the adjacent store, and finish retrofitting it, the new store will be an impressive 3,000 square ft (this is very big, especially for suburban watch store).
The new space will not only allow more brands to be stocked, it will also allow the service center to grow further (they currently have four dedicated watchmakers in-house). The service facility has the capability of servicing all the brands they sell, as well as a number of other luxury brands that are not carried, including Cartier and Rolex. According to Scott, "the new facility will be the biggest of its kind in the state."
Matheu's Fine Watches provides a friendly atmosphere to learn about, buy, and service watches. Unlike some watch shops, the owner is actually there quite often, and generally available to speak with you personally. If Scott is busy, the staff of nine is highly trained in watches and available to help you with whatever watch related questions you may have.
Matheu's Fine Watches
9315 Dorchester St. Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Hours: 10-6 Tues-Fri, 10-5 Sat, Closed Sun-Mon