I started out with the best of intentions to buy from AD's.
On January 1, 2008 I ran across a deal for a Khaki SWAT at BJ's and bit on it.
My next purchase was to be from an online AD and that watch ended up being back-ordered until April so I canceled. I felt badly and the vendor admitted that they were very sorry I had to wait so long.
My Ventura was ordered from a different online AD because they had the item in stock AND they price-matched the lowest price I could find online even though it was a non-AD that advertised the lowest price.
While I wasn't really shopping, I ran across a Khaki auto on that auction site and low-balled a bid. . . and I won it! Nice watch but not from an AD.
My experience with the previous vendor who seems to have a large stock of new, old stock is such that I am awaiting word on another Hammie bid. Fingers crossed.
A good deal is more important to me than an AD. Since I've said that let me clarify that to some degree. I always try to buy from a retailer that has a good reputation for backing the products they sell and they always include a warranty. I have at times had some problems doing this but if the savings are significant and many times they are it is well worth it IMHO.
This hobby can be so $$draining that I look for the "deal". I have no Hamilton AD within 100 miles. Quite a few of my watches are purchased from Sales Forums. WIS's take care of their watches and when they want to move a piece it is usually at a price I can live with.
I bought my Ventura and Men In Black II Digital from an AD a few years ago. I just bought my Khaki Field Mechanical Officers from OTV ([email protected]*#) which isn't an AD. Since they are priced reasonably in the first place and I could save a lot of money on them, I have no problem not buying from an AD. One watch was $125 more at an AD. Considering the watch was only $675, that's a lot of money to save.
I wouldn't buy a gray market Omega or Rolex though.
Closest AD is 2 miles away but I cannot seem to get any deals from them. Best they can do is 15% off list. Cannot understand why when I can get at least 25% off list on Breitling Tag or Omega in the same town.
Sorry AD, no choice but to go somewhere else for a better deal.
I checked a few local B&Ms, but nobody carried Hamilton. Also, I couldn't find the model I ordered at an on-line AD. (The 42mm Khaki field chrono with brown dial) I certainly would not rule out an AD for my next purchase, but I imagine price will be a factor.