Based on online reviews I decided to give Arlington Watch Works a shot. I had 7 watches, some just needed batteries, one needed to be looked at mechanically, and one needed a link or two taken out. I was anticipating a good experience, that was not the case.
When I approached the front door the hours on the door appeared as as I had expected based on looking them up online. The gentleman that was working saw me and motioned for me to come in. I was thinking wow, thanks! You’re not open but you’re ok with me coming in . When I came I said oh, I thought you were open at 10 but the door says 11, he states “that’s why I scratched through the 11 and put a 0” and the tone in his voice was like “duh, you can’t see that?”. I said, oh it looked like an 11 to me.
Ok so no worries, moving on, we proceed, I state to him that I have a few watches per the above and show him this one that is hand painted, made in China, so I mean we’re not talking a very valuable watch here, but I just want to see if the new battery that was installed is operational and if so have him look at it to see if he can figure out what’s wrong, he takes one look at it and semi-lectures me that the backs are easy to take off but need special tools to put back on (I had replaced the battery and could not get the back back on), then brings out a battery checker device and says yep the battery is good, all he could do is put a new battery in, he didn’t say if he could look at it mechanically or not, just that he could put a new battery in, that was all.
Ok I’m thinking, then maybe he’ll say he can just put the back back on, but no offer of that, he proceeds to tell me the charge is $15 for a new battery. I ask him if he’s willing to do a little better than that given I have a few watches, he says maybe if you have 20-30, I tell him I have 7. He’s not willing to do any deal and says whether it’s my battery or his battery it’s $15 and then says his batteries are swiss etc. on a tangent about his batteries and their superiority.
After that we check a few more batteries, most are dead, he did allow me to use the battery checker which was nice. Then I pull out the watch that I would like him to look at for me to see what taking a link or two out would do fit wise. I try it on, and ask him what taking a link out would do fit wise and he condescendingly states “obviously make it tighter” I was taken aback, wow, this guy clearly didn’t want my business. He didn’t even tell me the price to take a link out or even offer to do so or give me any indication as to whether he thought that would be a good idea or not etc. All things that I’ve had watch shop owners provide in the past when looking into fit.
Overall this was an absolutely terrible experience. I was surprised he was not willing to come down at all on price on the battery replacements, offer to take a further look at the watch that had a good battery but was not working (or give an explanation as to why he wouldn’t look at it further), or work at all with me on taking links out of my watch. I got the impression he absolutely did not want my business from the first minute of our conversation. I also felt he was lecturing me possibly because I am a woman, as if he had to educate me on the “real world” of watches, watch repair, and batteries because clearly I couldn’t possibly know or maybe even comprehend such.