Much like with watches themselves, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to securing proper storage for your growing watch collection. Whether you’re talking about storage boxes, travel rolls, or watch winders, each of the above categories come in an array of price ranges, styles, and sizes. Rather than simply presenting a random list across all of these storage items, we’re having a look at each category specifically, and breaking out a few of our favorite selections in each group—one for the budget-minded, one for those looking for a balance of quality and value, and one for those looking for the best option money can buy (at least online).
Watch Storage Boxes
If you aren’t traveling with your watches, and are less concerned about your self-winding watches already being ready to wear, a nice storage box is the right place to start. I’m the first to admit that this is something I need in my life, as for far too long many of my watches remained scattered across a nightstand and dresser. Generally speaking a glass-top box is the preference, as it makes it much easier to take a quick glance and decide on what watch you’re going to select for the day, evening, or occasion ahead. The entry-level of this category can be had for dirt cheap, but never forget that you get what you pay for. Many reviews of bargain basement boxes complain about shoddy construction, flimsy lids, things that fall apart, and especially the terrible quality “pillows” that your watches are meant to strap around. We’re avoiding that nonsense as best we can with our budget select, because the last thing you want to do is spend good money after bad.
Glenor Co 6-Slot Carbon Fiber Look Watch Box
Simple, sleek, and room for six watches—for $29.95 you really can’t ask for much more. As you can see between the reviews and imagery, this is miles more sturdy than many other options at or below the price point. With a 4.8 out of 5 star rating out of nearly 450 reviews, it looks like a solid bet. A few people have complained about how the cushions are not snugly fit to the slots and will move if the box is tilted or turned over, but I can’t help but think those reviewers missed the point that the box is meant to be a stationary item and not a travel box.
Case Club Waterproof 18 Watch Travel Case
Perhaps you’re in the market for something more sturdy, more transportable, or you just like the idea of storing your watches in something a little more bulletproof. We’ve seen some folks buy and modify actual Pelican cases for watch transport, however the people over at Case Club have developed their own task-specific alternative that are still modestly priced when compared to a Pelican branded DIY alternative. An 18-slot unit like this will run you $154.04, and comes in a range of other sizes too. They are American made, waterproof, and unlike most things on Amazon, they come with a lifetime warranty.
Döttling Focus Line Watch Storage Safes
At the pinnacle of watch cases/safes/etc, Döttling definitely treads in that “best of the best” category. Hand crafted in Germany, these units combine a safe, winder, storage drawers, built-in humidors, and just about anything else a client could desire. Rather than showing you one of their more opulent offerings like some of the antique safes they have restored, the Focus Line is a cleaner and more grounded offering that delivers all of the same safety and security of its bigger siblings. Pricing is unavailable at this time, but their bigger safes tend to land in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
Watch Travel Rolls
If you spend a lot of time on the road, a travel roll just makes sense. Cramming watches into socks is risky and ineffective to say the least, and a good watch roll isn’t absurdly expensive. Whether crafted of leather or synthetic materials a good watch roll will last for ages. Sure, there are other types of travel cases on the market, but the roll remains our go-to on account of its simple and compact design, as well as the fact that it allows for the safe transport of 4+ watches at a time. Because who doesn’t want at least 4 watches on hand for a weekend getaway, right?
Metiers Life Canvas Watch Roll
For a modest $20, please stay away from any of the “leather” rolls you’ll find out there. This is one of the only options we stumbled across that looks like it would hold up to actual use—a sturdy canvas exterior and soft faux-suede microfiber interior provide a safe home for four watches while on the go. It doesn’t have a clever buckle or closure mechanism, but rather a simple rope tie.
More well known for their solid quality watch straps (especially that Elite Silicone strap of theirs), Their watch roll is also quite well executed for the price. Coming in at $40, it uses a mix of waxed canvas and genuine leather, and has room for 5 watches up to 46mm in diameter. From an aesthetic standpoint the roll has a great distressed look to it as well.
Bamford Watch Department Camo Suede Watch Roll
Believe it or not, a good number of fashion houses—Berluti, Zegna, and others—make high end watch travel rolls that will set you back a good $700+, but we’re more than happy to count this camo watch roll from Bamford Watch Department at the top of the heap. Hand made in the UK of thick calf suede and fitted with a velcro closure, this one was another easy pick. For those that were wondering, the Discommon watch roll was also on our radar for this slot (I own and adore mine), but it is presently sold out until further notice.
Unlike our other categories, watch winders are a slightly more precarious one in the sense that going bargain-basement shouldn’t really be in the cards. Not that you have to shop for the most expensive unit out there, but once you start dropping down into the no-name branded units for $50 or $60 consider that “at your own risk” territory. Anyone can make a box with a motor that spins something round and round, but you also want proper controls on the motor so your watches are wound properly, and you also don’t want a winder so loud that it sounds like it’s pushing paper through an inkjet printer. Yes, the winding mechanism in any automatic watch has a failsafe to prevent actual overwinding, however letting the winder continually spin when it isn’t necessary will be a source of (albeit minor) wear to its inner workings. That in mind, here are a few selections that we would recommend.
Wolf Cub Watch Winder
As far as a basic well-made winder goes, Wolf is effectively the “household name” that every watch geek has likely heard at some point or another. The Cub is the brand’s entry point; a single watch winder that doesn’t skimp on its electronics. The compact unit runs on AA batteries, but can be charged via a wall outlet as well.
Orbita Futura Watch Winder
Next in the list of brands worthy of mention, Orbita is a close competitor to Wolf, though often setting themselves apart with interesting and slightly out-of-the-ordinary designs like the Futura winder seen here. Fully programmable, American made, and backed by a two-year warranty, these winders make for a nice show piece, should you not want to keep your watches/winder tucked away in a closet.
In the watch winder space, there are still further options, however once you start getting into the multi-unit winders of decent quality, prices ramp up fast. We’ve seen them in boutiques, at trade shows, and the like, but really when you’re playing in that level of equipment, there’s a lot more to consider than just pulling the trigger online. Swiss Kubik would be another upper tier brand to entertain, among others.