Keeping and Storing Your Watch Collection ProperlyBack to News & Exhibitions
Your watch collection may be your pride and joy, and you want to have all of your watches out where you can see them. That is all fine and good, but there is a proper way to do it. If you don’t prepare and store your watches properly, one day, you will find that your prized watches have a lot of problems.
There is a proper way to store your watches so that they will last a long time, stay in good condition, and not need service every time you want to wear one. Here is how you should keep and store your watch collection properly.
Choose a Container
The first step is to figure out where and how you want to store your collection. There are plenty of ways to do this from having a custom-built room in your house to keeping them in their original boxes. It is entirely up to you how you want to store them. Here are some common options that work well for most collectors.
Watch boxes are very common, and they come in different shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Choose a box that fits the right number of watches for your needs, and think about how you want it to look. Some boxes have clear windows so they can double as a storage display. Other options have up to three slots and are shaped like eyeglasses cases. Those are convenient for traveling with a few of your watches and they will be more secure since they won’t look out-of-the-ordinary in your luggage.
If you want to have your collection on display, get a display case. These also come in a lot of shapes and sizes. There are large display cases that sit on the floor and have enough space to as many watches as you need. There are other options that are small enough to sit on a table and prominently display one of your watches among a collection of others. It is entirely up to you what you pick.
If you have a few watches that you rotate through regularly, a watch stand may be a better option. You can place several of them on the stand in your bathroom, closet, or wherever you want it.
The thing to remember with watch stands is that many of them have an open design. This makes it difficult to keep them secure or protect them from the elements. If this is a concern, look for a watch stand that has a cover or enclosure of some kind.
If you don’t want to invest in a different type of container or you have not found the one that you want yet, you can leave the watches in their original containers. Many collectors keep the boxes because they are collectors’ items. Plus, watch boxes are specifically designed to keep watches safe from scratches or damage.
When you choose a storage system, the next step is to find a way to remove moisture. Humidity is the one thing that will destroy your prized collection the fastest. Humidity breeds bacteria, which can lead to a variety of problems including rust. It can also make the lubrication inside the watch flow in ways that it shouldn’t. Your best bet in any case is to remove as much moisture as possible.
There are many ways to remove moisture from a container. Many products are shipped with silica packets that absorb moisture during shipping. If you decide to use silica or another material, make sure that you replace it regularly. There are also display cases that have built-in moisture control systems. Whichever option you choose, make sure that it is the right size and strength for the container that you chose.
If you are going to store your watches for an extended period of time, make sure that it is not running first. Remove the battery entirely if your watch has one. Batteries that are charged and sit for a long time tend to meltdown and leak due to the strong stored charge that is not being used. This could ruin your watch if battery acid leaks inside. Watches that are mechanically driven have a masterspring that needs to be unwound before storing it. If you leave the masterspring wound, it will weaken it and uncalibrate your watch.
Make sure that you keep all of the paperwork for your collection, including purchase slips, original packaging, and owner’s manuals. These will all be important if something happens to one of your watches, or you need to sell one. Purchase slips, boxes, and owner’s manuals, also have the serial numbers for your watches on them. If a watch is stolen, having the packaging with the serial number could get you your watch back.
Keep your packaging and paperwork in a location that is separate from your collection if possible. Put it in a safe or another water/fireproof container. You’ll need the paperwork for insurance reasons if you carry insurance on your collection.
Think About Security
Your watch collection means a lot to you, which is why you should think about security when you store it. There are many ways that you can secure your collection, and it largely depends on what storage system you chose. If at all possible, keep the location of your collection a secret and keep it under lock and key. You can limit the number of people who have access to it this way, reducing the chances that something bad could happen.
Ask an Expert
One of the best ways to ensure that you are providing the best care for your watch collection is to ask an expert about your specific case. At Swiss FineTiming, we have extensive experience helping collections find and protect the watches that they love. We can help you find the best methods of maintaining and storing your watch collection properly. Call us at (312) 337-4700 for help caring for your watch collection.