For avid watch lovers, a time will always come when you’ll need to keep your iconic watches in storage. It may be a timepiece you aren’t using now, one you’re saving to hand on to the next generation or a watch with a speculative purchase, waiting to be sold.
If you currently own a classic Omega Seamaster Professional and you’re looking to hand it to your son later in the future, storing it away, safe and sound, will be the right thing to do. Having successfully stored a few watches in the past, we thought it wise to put together this helpful guide on some do’s and don’ts of watch storage.
When it comes to storing your precious timepieces, there are several ways to go about it, including packing them in a storage box, keeping them in your garage, as well as saving them in a bank deposit box, especially if you have an expensive piece.
That said, to store your watches correctly, you’ll find some of these suggestions worth checking out.
Dealing with moisture
After storing a couple of watches, we know for sure that watches should be stored in a temperature-controlled setting. Anything from a safe deposit box to a secure home safe should get the job done perfectly. That said, keep in mind that regardless of where you end up storing your watches, any trace of moisture will cause lasting damage. This is especially true if you decide to store watches in a cold safe, prone to moisture and condensation. Storing your watches in this kind of safe will cause the oils in your watch to thicken, forcing them to lose their lubricants. Just so you know, condensation can cause serious damages to the IC circuits of quartz watches.
To protect your watches from the effects of moisture or condensation, especially if you plan to save them for a long time, we highly recommend storing them with silica gel. We learned this tip from gun owners who store their firearms from time to time.
You can either buy the normal silica get or use the packets that come with electronic gear. Our recommendation is to go for the desiccant get packets, precisely the one that changes colour when it soaks up moisture. Since this type of silica gel changes colour, you’ll know when it needs to be replaced.
How to store boxes and paperwork
While storing your iconic watches can be a little tricky, especially if it is your first time, storing boxes, paperwork, and other accessories is pretty easy. Keeping these guys in good shape will be worth it when you decide to sell them later on.
So you don’t end up mixing things up, we suggest storing them in separate locations. This is because boxes can eat up quite a space. When it comes to paperwork, you want to make sure you store items like proof of purchase, authenticity certificate, warranty cards and other essential documents you were issued with when buying your watches. To get everything spot on, feel free to store each item in a dedicated protective or zip-lock bag.
Like watches, moisture can also cause lasting damage to watch accessories and warranty cards, so wrapping them in some silica and storing them in a separate zip-lock bag wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Handling watch appraisal and Insurance
Some rental insurance policies offer some sort of blanket coverage. So if you find this in your lease agreement, it will be wise to take advantage of it. In some cases, you can opt for dedicated coverage.
Again, ensure you have your timepiece appraised, especially if you have a vintage watch. For more modern watches, you can keep track of current market pricing, especially since insurance companies offer replacements as per current market value.
When insuring your watches, we always recommend taking photographs of everything, from the boxes to documents to the watches. A couple of photographs captured from different angles should do.
If you plan to sell your watch in the future, it will help if you can also collect some magazine reviews, pricing and catalogues to support the value of your watch in the future.
Maintenance and other risks
A watch that sits idle for a long time can be super problematic. For instance, quartz-powered watches risk suffering from battery corrosion and leakage. To this end, it is always important to remove the batteries in your watch.
Mechanical watches, too, aren’t free from hazards. And that’s because coagulation can cause their oil to dry, leading to their movements being frozen. This is one of the reasons experts always recommend winding and wearing mechanical watches from time to time. That said, keep in mind that the oils in your mechanical watch should be replaced from time to time too. Hence, watches you haven’t worn for some time will need to be sent to experts for service.
If you have a speculative timepiece that you’re planning to sell in 15 or 25 years, you can leave out servicing and inform prospective buyers of the situation. This is because some buyers prefer watches with NOS (New Old Stock) status.
Frequently asked questions: Learn more about storing watches.
How do you store a watch properly?
According to watch experts, it’s best to store your watches facing up. Regardless of how much soft materials you place around your watch, you may end up ruining your watch if you store it facing down.
How can I store an expensive watch?
If you have an expensive timepiece, you must take extra care when storing it. To be on the safer side always, we suggest storing in a safety deposit box or a secure home safe. Also, you can wrap your watches with silica gel to protect them from moisture and condensation.
How can I store my battery-operated watch?
If you have a battery-powered watch, endeavour to save it in a dry place, especially in a place with a stable temperature. And to prevent the battery from leaking, you should have their batteries removed. For mechanical watches, make sure you occasionally wound to prevent the movement from being damaged.