Precision Preserved: A Watch Enthusiast’s Guide to Storing Your Watch Collection

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Precision Preserved: A Watch Enthusiast’s Guide to Storing Your Watch Collection

Your watches are so much more than mere accessories. They’re tools. They’re investments. So, you want to put a little more care into their storage than you might with your sock collection. That’s right. You may not want to shove them haphazardly into a drawer next to your underwear.

If you want to maintain your watch’s functionality, mechanics, appearance, and value, proper care and storage is crucial. Whether you’ve got one watch or a dozen, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive watch storage guide.

1. Choose the Right Storage Location

  • First, make sure your storage location is cool and out of direct sunlight, as the heat from sun exposure can cause damage and fading.
  • Your storage area should be dry since moisture and high levels of humidity can cause corrosion to your watch’s metal parts.
  • Good locations for watch storage include closets, drawers, or cabinets.

2. Choose the Right Storage Method

  • The Display Box: If you aren’t quite sure about investing in a fancy-shmancy watch display box with all of the bells and whistles, you’re in luck. The display box that your watch came in was crafted to effectively protect your watch and is the perfect place to keep it when it’s not in use. In addition, should you decide to sell your watch, you’ll do better if you have the original packaging.
  • A Watch Pouch: If you only own one or two watches and don’t want to deal with the bulk or expense of larger watch storage solutions, a watch pouch can be an ideal solution. Keep in mind, though, that the lack of a sturdy exterior means minimal protection and is often better used as an added security measure when storing your watch in an already secure place.
  • A Designated Drawer: No, we aren’t suggesting that throwing your watch in the drawer of your nightstand alongside old Chapstick and dusty knickknacks is the way to go. If you’re going to go the drawer route, we recommend designating a specific drawer for watch storage only. Make sure the drawer is kept clean and that you won’t be constantly rummaging around in there.
  • A Safe: Watch connoisseurs with especially valuable timepieces may prefer the protection of a locked safe. A safe will offer a dry, cool space for your high end watch collection.
  • A Watch Display Case: From a simple box to a designer display case, the options for watch display boxes are endless. A simple plastic or wooden box can be a great, inexpensive storage solution. But if you really want your collection to shine, a windowed case with individually placed display lights is a rad choice.

3. Clean Your Watches Before Storing

Whether your watch has been out for a day, or you just got back from a month-long backpacking trip, clean it before you store it. Use a microfiber cloth to remove dust, dirt, oils, and other buildup safely and gently. Water resistant watches may be cleaned with a damp cloth, but you should always follow any cleaning instructions in your watch’s care guide to ensure your ticker stays in tip-top shape.

4. Keep it Secret. Keep it Safe.

This Gandalf-endorsed tip is a must if you’ve got any concerns about keeping your watches safe and secure. Consider storing your collection in a safe, locked cabinet, or locked drawer. It’s also a good idea to maintain a detailed inventory of your collection, complete with serial numbers, receipts, and photos, just in case you run into an insurance issue.

5. Rotate Your Watches Out Regularly

Most people have one watch they wear consistently. A daily driver if you will. However, if you own multiple timepieces, it’s a good idea to switch things up regularly rather than wearing one for a prolonged period of time and risking too much inactivity for the others. Regular wear keeps your watch wound and lubricated, ensuring optimal functionality. Plus, you wouldn’t want anybody feeling left out.

6. Use Your Watch Winders (If Needed)

Watch winders are a great way to keep your best automatic watch movement running when they aren’t being worn. Make sure you check out your watch’s care guide for specifics on watch winding procedures and intervals.

7. Maintain the Storage Environment

Keep tabs on your watch’s storage area to ensure it is consistently clean, dry, and sitting at a safe temperature.

8. Service Watches Regularly

If you want to ensure your watch remains in optimal working condition, try to have it serviced regularly at a trusted watch repair shop. Your manufacturer’s instructional materials should include recommendations for service intervals and procedures.

9. Insure and Document Your Collection

We know the struggle of keeping all your receipts and documents organized. You start out with good intentions but end up leaving things on the counter for a month until your significant other…relocates them (totally not speaking from experience). However, if you want to maintain the value and safety of your timepieces, keep any receipts, manufacturer’s guides, appraisals, and repair documentation in a file or other organized place.

Finally, because quality watches can be a hefty investment, we recommend insuring your collection. Watch insurance can cover your pieces in the event of damage, theft, and loss, so it’s handy to have, just in case.

Great watches are an investment and often have high intrinsic value as well. We get it, you love them. Following proper care and storage guidelines will keep them looking and working as well as the day you bought them.

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