How to choose a few things to make watch collecting even more enjoyable.
Collecting watches is a hobby or passion for most that involves having several Watches that you rotate throughout the week. The Watch debate for which movement, brand, complication or design is best continues to be a hotly debated topic that will be covered another time. Today, we cover the less hotly debated but equally deserved topic of Watch accessories. I will not be covering bracelets and straps as that deserves an entire separate article.
You would be forgiven for thinking that a Watch Loupe should and would be included in the repair kit. It often times is and should be it’s own separate purchase. A good magnifier is the first essential piece of kit you should buy even before buying a Watch. Fellow collectors know that there are times where the naked eye is not enough to inspect the quality of a high priced luxury item. Not only can it help you distinguish if the Watch is the genuine article, they can also help you negotiate the price if you discover some unknown damage or deterioration. Start with a 30x, but make sure you get the 60x and 90x as well for that deep dive into a Watch dial’s finer details.
Now that you’ve got your watch, you’ve got to have a Tool Kit. Assuming you’ve made the adjustment to the straps okay, be wary before cracking open the caseback. Many watches, especially if it’s vintage or a high dollar value, contain expensive parts that can easily break if mishandled. Still, if you must crack open that caseback, a tool kit that has the correct sizing tools will be a huge comfort. Doubly so if it’s just a quick battery change for a Quartz watch. Over it’s lifetime, the tool kit and some spare batteries will pay for itself in savings. Paying a little more is worth it for superior quality kit that won’t accidentally damage one of your precious collection.
The last thing you want to do is drop a watch while the case back is open so a handling station or Mat would be a good idea to have on hand. Gloves in hand, because you should always handle a watch with gloves if you’re repairing anything, the mat will provide a stable surface that prevents scratches or scrapes to your watch. It can also be a backdrop to the photos you’ll undoubtedly take of your collection because lets face it, you’re going to be photographing your collection a lot. Whether in leather or a soft fabric of your choice, this one accessory alone may provide a wide variety of unexpected uses.
A travel watch roll, unlike a watch box you keep at home, is another accessory that is hotly debated. Do you go for a hardshell case like you would for your sunglasses or a softer leather or canvas model? A Watch Roll is additionally an expression of personal style that showcases your personality. Unlike a Mat that has a ton of uses, a Watch Roll does one very specific thing, it helps you transport your watches safely. Yes it might fit some sunglasses if you’re in a pinch but it’s really only for watches. Just make sure to choose one that doesn’t cause any color bleed into your canvas or leather straps.
When not traveling, a Watch Box or Vault is purely to be used at home. Most likely being of leather, and with some additional features such as a winding function or security features, a box such as this is your watch’ temporary home before it lands on your wrist. An aluminum box may be sturdy but you may rue that decision if you accidentally knock your watch and ding it against that sturdy aluminum. Similarly, you should make sure you have cushions that cradle your watch, not cause your bracelets or straps to stretch and deform. If possible, try the box in person or get measurements for what watches will fit in it if buying online. Do not buy a box without doing one or the other.
In the end, there are a variety of accessories to help you further enjoy your watch collecting experience. Any and all of these items add their own value to enable you to be more informed and better capable of Watch ownership at any price point. The internet will provide a large number of recommendations for any of the aforementioned items and now you know how to choose some of them too.