How do you spot a good watch repair shop? How do you tell the good from the bad?
I have, just recently, gotten into watch collecting and I've already had some disappointing experiences. First, there is a small, independently owned, jewelry store/ watch repair shop on the corner near my place. This is where I've taken my quartz watches to get new batteries over the years. I had recently picked up a Citizen Eco-Drive at Goodwill. It was in good shape except that the band was missing a pin. I took it into this shop (that sells Citizen and is, I believe, an AD for Seiko) to get repaired. While waiting for one guy to repair the watch I tried to engage the other person there in small talk. I brought up my Russian mechanical that I was wearing but he seemed completely uninterested in talking about it. I asked if they sold the Orange Monster (next on my wish list) but neither man had ever heard of it. I asked if they had the Blue Angles Citizen Skyhawk. They did not have it in stock but said they could get it. Neither offered to get me a price. Finally, the guy repairing my watch said he couldn't fix it because the part had to be special ordered. It only needed a pin!
I left and found another shop. There the guy repaired my watch in about a minute and a half. Since he seemed a little more competent and more friendly, I decided to talk to him about my Russian watch (it was my first screw-down crown and it came without a manual). He practically held up a crucifix and backed away telling me he doesn't touch them and advising me to stay away from them.
So, how did you guys find your favorite shop and are any of them in the central Florida area?