Welcome to Guide to Life, a series of tips, tricks and insights designed to help you get the most from your gear.
Whether you've got a single, precious watch or a varied collection of timepieces, there's no sense in leaving them strewn about your house or apartment, collecting dust and possibly getting lost. Luckily, there are innumerable, handsome storage solutions out there catering to different budgets that can help you keep your watches organized and protected. But first, a few tips.
There's no "correct" way to store a watch collection
You could conceivably keep your precious timepieces in tube socks in your sock drawer if you so choose. The point is to protect them from dust and scratches, and maybe to keep them hidden, if you're worried about theft. There are myriad ways to accomplish this.
Expensive watches don't necessitate expensive storage solutions
Sure, you could store your watches in a custom, walk-in safe. Or you could choose a $40 canvas watch roll that's well-made, looks great and is able to protect your stuff from scratches and dust. There are options out there that work well at every price point.
You don't have to wind your mechanical watches every day
There's some debate about this, because older vintage watches used natural oils that will indeed congeal over time if not in use. (Modern watches use synthetic oils that last much longer.) However, the general consensus in the watch community is that you don't have to wind your mechanical watches every day — it's fine to keep them stored for longer periods of time. All watches eventually need service.
The jury is still out on watch winders
Some people like the convenience of picking up an automatic watch that's already wound and keeping the right time and date. If that sounds like you, then by all means, use a watch winder. Just know that some experts think that that overwinding one's watches puts undue strain on the mechanics. Either way, you don't need a watch winder, though they can be helpful.
The only truly safe storage solution is, well, a safe
No matter how you store you watches — tube sock, roll, carrying case, watch winders, etc. — all of these solutions only protect against damage, not theft. You're going to need to store the watches behind a closed, locked door if you want to be sure that they're not going anywhere. And you might want to insure them, too.
Some of Our Favorite Watch Storage Products
This thermo-molded storage case is perfect for two watches or other EDC items. Flexible yet strong, it includes removable, die-cut foam bumpers and a divider. Throw two watches or a watch and a knife in here and be ready when your next adventure calls.
Military Fabric Rolls by Hub City Vintage
Hub City Vintage founder Seth Roberts is renowned for his incredible vintage Seiko restorations, but he also sells affordable watch storage solutions. The Military Roll, which is available in several sizes, is made from repurposed cotton military fabric paired with a blue, flannel herringbone liner. The perfect home for your tool watch collection.
ADPT EDC Watch Fold by Worn & Wound
Entirely designed and manufactured in the United States, the EDC Watch Fold is made from ultra-tough 1000D nylon and comes in various eye-catching colors. Twin pockets allow you to store multiple watches or other EDC, and a 550 paracord enclosure keeps the whole thing secure.
GTG Mark III Tote Bag by Analog/Shift and Grahame Fowler
This one is for the watch collector on the go: stored within this otherwise innocuous (though very handsome) canvas tote is a special bandolier with room for ten watches. The bandolier clips inside the edges of the tote, meaning there's plenty of room for, well, anything else. If you attend plenty of Red Bar meetings, this is the storage product for you.
Oval Leather Travel Case For Two Watches by Hodinkee
Made in Italy from matte textured leather available in four colors, this beautiful travel case is designed to safely hold two watches. A suede-lined interior protects against scratches and scuffs, and the entire thing is secured via an external snap closure.