The 10 Best Watch Boxes
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in October of 2015. If you're a collector of fine timepieces, there's no better way to protect and display them than with an elegant watch box. These cases enable you to store costly chronometers in a safe and dust-free environment, and make it easy to pick out the perfect one for every occasion. Many have removable inserts to make room for other accessories, and even locks to add an extra level of security. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 02, 2020:
If you're a collector of automatic mechanical watches, you might reasonably find yourself more tempted by a winder than a box. The thing is, there are advocates for both arguments. One says keeping a watch running will prevent microscopic dust buildup and the degradation of oils, while others say that running your watch constantly only shrinks your service interval. I tend to side more with the winder crowd, as I believe most watches are designed with daily wear in mind. But if you've got quartz or hand-wound timepieces or you prefer a balance between winding and resting, a good watch box is necessary.
Of course, the Triple Tree Portable gives you the best of both worlds, with winders and resting spots in one box, and with interchangeable pillows that let you swap watches out as their power reserves require. My only personal gripe with that model is its aesthetic. That's why we added the Wolf Designs Windsor, a model with a simple elegance that comes from a premiere watch winder company.
Keep a close eye on slot and cushion width as you peruse, as well. Most vintage watches and luxury timepieces should fit without trouble, but many modern men's watches exceed 44mm in diameter and really challenge the available space in a watch box. If you've got a Panerai or a Deepsea in your collection, you might simply be able to space them out with smaller watches, but a model like the Case Elegance Solid Wood, with its 52mm slots and generous depth might be a necessity for your goods.
December 12, 2019:
The last thing you want for your cherished timepiece is for it to become damaged by scratches or allow dust to interfere with its delicate mechanisms. A watch box solves this problem with the added benefit that many sport clear lids that allow you to see inside, putting your elegant pieces on display and allowing you to select one for wear without opening it.
While watch boxes seem like a simple purchase, you'll want to consider your storage needs, dimensions, aesthetics, and the level of security you want. We've included models of varying designs, capacities, and sizes, so that you can store both slim, women's watches and men's big face watches simultaneously. Many boxes, like the TimelyBuys Display, Glenor Co. Luxury, and Caddy Bay Collection Vintage are designed with extra clearance for this exact reason.
Joining the ranks today is the Songmics Organizer, which we felt was superior in quality to the Finding King Showcase, which had no lock, didn't use real glass, and could only hold 18 watches while the Songmics holds 24. We also said goodbye to the Sodynee Black 8-Grid and Caddy Bay Classic 2336 due to availability issues, as well as the Volta 8.
While the Volta unit is solidly-built and aesthetically-pleasing, we felt there were too many complaints regarding small defects to merit its high price point. We added the feature-rich Triple Tree Portable in its stead. This selection has both space for stationary storage in addition to four winders capable of moving in four orientations. It's also outfitted with LEDs, which is helpful when you're undressing after a long night and don't want to disturb other family members by turning on a closet or bedroom light.
Rapport London Optic 8 Offered in beige and handmade to the highest standard from solid wood, the Optic 8 is tailored to fit eight watches in individual compartments that have a luxurious suede lining with matching removable holders. It also features highly polished chrome fittings, a beveled glass lid that allows for easy viewing of your collection, and lock and key closure. rapportlondon.com
Watch Box Co. Diplomat This is a simple, no frills offering with black leather cushions, gold hardware, and a reliable lock. Its slots measure 52mm wide, capable if accommodated a majority of large cases, and its dark ebony finish lets the wood grain show through for added charm. The branding plate on the top is the only thing that detracts from its appearance. watchboxco.com
Ghurka Travel Watch Case No. 213 Ghurka's pieces are constructed from the most pristine hides available, such as French calfskin, which has a finer grain and softer feel than traditional cowhide. The company uses a trademark stitching process that includes extra-thick spun nylon that should never snap or fray, with experienced craftsmen dedicated to ensuring that each piece is stitched to exacting standards. Perfect for taking your timepieces on the go, this handcrafted travel case can accommodate eight watches in its padded structure, and protects them behind a combination lock. ghurka.com
Form and Function: The Watch Box
There are wood finishes of any types and leather-lined options; some have accessory drawers while others are small enough for travel.
A fine wristwatch is perhaps the purest known expression of form and function together at once. Watches are inarguably decorative items, and in fact are often the only thing a man wears that approximates jewelry (excluding a wedding ring for the married gentleman). Discerning women and men alike spend hundreds if not thousands (if not tens of thousands, at the extreme) on single watches, and wear them as much to be seen and admired as simply to tell the time. But indeed when it comes to function, a fine watch will keep accurate time to within a matter of seconds over the course of many days, helping to keep you informed of the hour and on schedule.
The owner of a collection of fine watches knows that their timepieces require occasional maintenance to ensure proper function, including battery swaps for some models, professional cleanings for others, and occasional tune-ups and repairs now and then. A luxury watch deserves the investment of time and capital to ensure its proper upkeep, because only when the watch is functioning precisely is it really functioning in any usable way. Watches also deserve to be carefully protected when not on their owner's wrist.
Simply put, if you have invested enough of your cash into owning multiple fine watches, then you should have no qualms about spending a bit more money on a fine watch box that will help keep your timepieces organized, safe, and clean.
Choosing the right watch box is not necessarily a complicated affair in terms of logistics, but the aesthetic considerations may require some time and thought. There are wood finishes of any types and leather-lined options; some have accessory drawers while others are small enough for travel. Choosing based on the look of a box is entirely acceptable, as most will protect a timepiece in much the same way.
As for the right size of watch box for a given individual, first simply consider how many watches you own. If the answer is five, then a box suitable for six watches might be ideal, as you are likely to acquire another chronometer at some point. Unless you buy (or are gifted) watches regularly, there is no reason for a watch box with a capacity far exceeding your collection; keep in mind that you will usually be wearing one of your watches, thus leaving a slot open in the box.
If you are considering a watch box to be used for display purposes in a shop, then security becomes another facet. Look for watch boxes that can be reliably locked shut; many have key-operated locks, but some units use such a basic key and lock that their mechanism can be foiled by even a novice thief.
Finally, consider the watch box beyond your own collection of timepieces. The watch box is a great gift idea, and is suitable for myriad occasions and recipients. When thinking of a watch box in this manner, the first thought may well be of a father's day gift, and it is certainly a fine fit for many men being celebrated on said day. However the watch box is also an ideal corporate gift. It shows thoughtfulness and a refined sensibility while remaining impersonal enough to maintain all lines between professional and personal relationships both within an office and among clients and their representatives.
The Other Accessory Discerning Watch Owners Will Love
A watch box is a wonderful item to own for it allows a gentleman or lady to display his or her entire collection of chronometers, whereas of course a person can only wear one watch on their wrist at a time. Watch boxes are usually left out in the bedroom, closet, or other private quarters, but are also perfectly acceptable in a study, office, or even in a foyer. The watch box performs two basic functions: it organizes and protects your watches.
Watch boxes are usually left out in the bedroom, closet, or other private quarters, but are also perfectly acceptable in a study, office, or even in a foyer.
However, some timepieces benefit from a slightly more involved type of storage: a self-winding mechanical watch — often known as an automatic watch — requires occasional kinetic motion to keep its mainspring under tension to keep the watch running. A watch winder is a must-have accessory for the man or woman who regularly finds his or her self-winding watches out of stored energy and thus reading the wrong time.
Many watch winders are less aesthetically pleasing than their static watch box counterparts, so owning both such units is not superfluous; one stores and displays watches in style, the other makes sure a given wristwatch is properly set and ready for wearing when needed later that day. If you wear one automatic watch out on a daily basis and keep the rest of your fine watches reserved for special occasions, then by all means consider a watch winder for storing your go-to chronometer and a watch box for the rest of the collection.
The Rather Recent Wristwatch
The first devices approximating the modern wristwatch were developed by a man named Peter Heinlein who lived in Nuremberg in the late 15th and early-to-mid 16th centuries. Heinlein developed mechanical clocks small enough to be carried about by an individual and even in come cases to be worn as a unique piece of decorative jewelry.
By the 17th century, the development of ever better designs and materials allowed for ever smaller and more accurate watches to be designed.
While Heinlein's clocks were much larger than the modern wristwatch, they represented the first step toward miniaturization of timekeeping technology. The accuracy and reliability of these early devices was anything but clockwork, however, and they were more ornamental than effective.
By the 17th century, the development of ever better designs and materials allowed for ever smaller and more accurate watches to be designed. The pocket watch became quite popular during this century, and would in fact remain the only type of watch preferred by most gentlemen for several hundred years.
While ladies often wore wristwatches by the 19th century, partially as timepieces, partially as decor items, men still cleaved predominately to the pocket watch. It was not, in fact, until the last decades of the 1800s when military men adopted the use of the wristwatch due to its small size and ready availability, both ideal for combat. Following WWI, the wristwatch began to rapidly supplant the pocket watch even among civilians, thanks to changes in style preferences and thanks to the ever lower price of watches in general.