Work travels found me in South Dakota a few weeks back. To my delight, I found a small, independent watch and clock store in the little town of Rapid City, SD. This store was nestled in between other small-town shops along the main drag of downtown. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a vintage Fisher-Price wind-up clock toy on the counter- I knew I was in a good place. The store is horseshoe-shaped, with half dedicated to wrist and pocket watches and the other half dedicated to clocks. The watch side had a row of display cases along each wall, vintage on the left and modern on the right. What I loved was the lack of full-on display cases from a manufacturer. Sure they had some smaller, counter top displays from Tissot, TAG and Ball, but no booth-sized massive displays from Baume that take up half the store. These guys are the real deal. After talking to a few of them for at least a half hour, it became clear this was a watch store built on passion. They spoke about which watch brands they carried and why, and even went deep into the ETA movements and which Tissot and Breitling shared the same movements. You have to know a little more than how to change a battery to know this sort of info. They talked about matching their customers with the right watch for them as opposed to just selling a certain brand. On the way out, the owner alerted us to a new lot of vintage pocket watches he hadn’t gotten into the display case yet. I felt like a regular already. Way to go guys. You are the model for independent watch shops.