How to Pack and Travel with Your Watches

Let the watches you travel with enhance your memory-making and selfie-taking adventures.

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Hunter D. Kelley

Remember travel before lockdown? It’s not so much a thing under 2020 pandemic conditions, but you can start mentally preparing now for that change of scenery you most certainly crave.

Next time you’re packing for a trip, consider the watch or watches you take with. If the itinerary includes the likes of, say, business as well as time on the beach, you might be taking more watches than the one on your wrist. Whatever your circumstances or reasons, here’s what to consider and how to travel better with your watches.

Choose which watches to take

Some watches, like GMTs and world timers, were originally designed specifically to help travelers manage different time zones. Those are great for business and the journey itself — and some are even water-resistant enough to function as dive watches — but also consider the types of activities and situations your trip might entail. The weather and climate are other factors that’ll affect what you wear — and how many layers of cuff your watch will need to fit under (if any).

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Often, however, simply being in unfamiliar surroundings can make travelers vulnerable, and you might want to have the option of an inconspicuous, inexpensive watch on hand for, say, exploring a new city on foot. Something like a simple G-Shock is often a great choice for this kind of travel.

Protect and carry your watches easily

Watches are such small items that you can easily stuff a couple in one of your bag’s inner pockets. However, that usually works better for watches on straps than those with bracelets that might not be totally flexible. There are reasons that options like cases and rolls specifically meant for watches exist. Of course, they are meant to keep your watches from getting scratched and banged by other items, but they’ll also keep them organized.

These aren’t strictly necessary items, though — if you’re resourceful and on a budget, a pair of socks will do: roll up one and wrap the watch around it and then stuff it in the other. Done! Dopp kits are another discrete and convenient option. At the other end of the spectrum, there are even the likes of ~$13,000+, GPS-equipped, portable bolt-locking rolls encased in high-end leather from German safe maker Dottling.

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Adapt a single watch for multiple roles

Sometimes you may even be able to get away with one versatile watch. One with a 12-hour bezel can be used to track a second time zone, and changing straps can dress the same watch up or down as appropriate for the time, place and company you’re in. Straps are super easy to carry, but be aware that a strap-changing tool may need to be kept in checked luggage.

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Other good practices

Keep valuables on your person or in your carry-on, and keep your carry-on in sight while en route. Always make use of the safe provided in most hotel rooms for any valuables like watches when you leave the room. If you’re traveling with anything fancy, it could be a good idea to get insurance, as watch warranties don’t cover theft or loss.

Most importantly, let the watches you take with enhance your memory-making and selfie-taking adventures.

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