I recently upgraded my Garmin watch from the earlier FR 220 to FR 235, and the vendor of choice was Dinesh Laungani of Vishal Trading (Thane). Barring the competitive pricing he offers on Garmin watches, shipping to anywhere you want it shipped, his personal advise on watch selection (being a runner himself, his advice on which model to select is always spot on!), and subsequent service levels are unmatched.
And I realized this in just about a week of using the new watch – the small screw on one end of the watch strap fell off during the run (obviously due to my sloppy job when I changed the strap from the default red one to the supplied spare black strap), and the watch hung precariously on one side since the pin kept slipping out! A watch I spent a small fortune on now depended on an insignificant tiny screw for usability, and while running, half of my attention was in pushing the pin back in every few minutes :-0 . I immediately contacted Dinesh for a solution, and he could not come up with an idea on the spot. I checked online and could only find this screw as part of a whole package of a spare strap and a set of two pins. Didn’t want to spend that much.
Meanwhile, I stayed in touch with Dinesh and he found, may be as part of Diwali deep cleaning in his office :-), some old Garmin watches that had come to him for repair and then deemed irreparable and the owners never bothered to collect the defunct pieces back. He pulled out the pin (with the screw safely secured on it) from one such watch and happily couriered to me, with a personal note, making my day!
Do you have any experiences with Garmin straps? When the strap on my earlier FR 220 went kaput, I went to many watch shops for a replacement and they could not provide me one, and I ended up paying about Rs 2500/- to get a fresh strap from Garmin itself. While the watches are indispensable for runners, I think the proprietary design of the strap is a bit of a hassle, limiting choices for the users!