As the world is opening up again after being shut down for the better part of the past two years, people start traveling again. You may be planning a trip soon and need to figure out how to travel with your watches. Here are some tips to do it easily and safely. The tips will vary based on how long you will be traveling for and how many watches you plan taking with you.
How Many Watches to Travel With
Let me start by saying that the number of watches you will end up taking on your trip is naturally and obviously a personal decision. I can only share my experience and some tips I’ve gotten from friends and watch collectors. The first and most important question you may be asking yourself is: how may watches should I travel with? We can answer this question in one of several ways of course, however here is a thought: whether you are traveling for a weekend or three weeks, think of how many watches to pack the same way you do with your clothes: how many pairs of pants and shirts are you actually going to wear vs. how many you want to bring along?
Traveling with two to three watches seems to be a good compromise for most watch enthusiasts. Whether or not the three watches are all dress or tool watches, having a few options is great because you can feel wearing different watches for different situations. While some would take one tool watch (e.g., diver, field, or flinger,) one dress watch and one everyday watch, the type of watch you want to bring along is totally up to you. But realistically, you won’t be switching watches more than a few times. I’m this way and I know many people who are the same.
The benefits of bringing not more than 2-3 watches are twofolds: you travel light and stress free as you won’t have to worry about someone stealing your carry-on bag on your way to/from the airport with your precious watches inside. Carrying three watches in a travel case is more discreet than carrying a watch case that holds 12 timepieces. The goal is to not attract too much attention onto yourself. After all, we spent a lot of time hunting for the right watch and it would be a shame to get it stolen during a trip.
Packing the Watches
Since you won’t be bringing your entire collection with you, it’s easy to stow away your extra watch (or two watches) in a thin watch case like this one. For those who are not into watches or have never used such case, they wouldn’t think twice that there could be a Submariner or Explorer 2 in it. I like carrying watches in dedicated watch cases or pouches that don’t look they are watch-carrying devices. It’s not like you would want to go through airport security with a green pouch that reads “Rolex” on it, as it will definitely attract more attention that you are comfortable with.
At the very beginning of my watch collecting journey, I saw packing watches the same way I wanted to pack a fragile souvenir I’ve bought on my trip: rolled up in a sock so that it would be protected and no security officer would think of unrolling my sock to see what might be in there. While doing so was okay for a $15 Casio, I would not to do it with any of my current watches, and especially with any watch that cost more than a few hundred dollars. It goes without saying that you may forget which socks you put the watch in and you might drop it on the floor while unpacking your bags.
Yes, that has happened to me.
A few other tips on packing watches: always keep them in your carry-on or personal bag; at all times. The smaller the bag they are in the easier it is to take them in and out while going through airport security. It also doesn’t attract much attention. I personally get anxious going through security when the line moves slower than the belt that carries my bags through the scanner and pops on the other side, far away from me. You can put a smaller bag last in the bins and therefore be reunited with your watches quicker. Furthermore, you are less likely to forget about a personal bag when traveling than a backpack.
One Last Tip
Maybe you can leave your Submariner at home and instead take a less expensive watch with you, or switch the bracelet for a rubber or leather strap. Even though it is fair to assume that every thief is not a watch connoisseur, we can assume that a stainless watch on a stainless bracelet will call for more attention than being a rubber strap. Not only this, but it will also give your timepiece a true travel vibe and a change from how you wear your watches on a daily basis.
Since watches are fun and enjoyable, let’s make sure we make it so when traveling. You may relate to this: I buy certain watches specifically to travel, so I want to make sure they are packed safely. I want to be able to enjoy them during my travels without having to worry what might happen to them. Of course, we must use common sense at all times but the tips above will provide with a base to work from.
Featured image: www.gearpatrol.com