How to Travel with Your Watches

How to Travel with Your Watches

| 02.08.23

How to Travel with Your Watches

So you’ve got a big trip planned — one with varied activities. There’s physical stuff, maybe skiing or SCUBA diving or hiking, and then the fancier stuff, like dinners at nice restaurants, etc. Can you get away with just one watch? You’re certainly not wearing a wetsuit to dinner, so maybe you need two? 

Most folks will probably just wear one watch on the plane, up the mountain, out to dinner, into the ocean, back onto the plane, and that’s that. But you’re not “most folks.” You’re a watch person. So how should you handle the need — real or imagined — for multiple watches? Most importantly, how does one travel with multiple watches and keep them safe?

How Many Watches Should You Travel With?

Unless you’re a full-on crazy person, we’d say no more than two: one specialized watch for a particular activity, should you need it, and one everyday or dressier option. Here are some examples:

  1. A GPS-equipped watch (such as a Garmin) for hiking in the mountains, and a steel, analog watch (such as a Rolex Explorer) for walking around town and wearing out to dinner.
  2. A dive watch (such as an Omega Seamaster) for, well, diving, and a thin, dressier watch for a black-tie event (such as a Cartier Tank).
  3. An inexpensive watch for visiting an out-of-the-way place (such as a Hamilton Khaki) — one that won’t attract attention — and a dressier watch for evenings out (such as a Patek Philippe Calatrava, because why not).

You probably get the picture: There are myriad situations that could call for packing two watches while traveling in the same way that one pair of footwear probably isn’t enough for even a weekend away. 

(However, if you need three watches, you may need to also sign up for Timepieces Anonymous. Just sayin.’)

How Should You Pack Your Watches?

Dealer’s choice, really. You can go “broke college kid,” or full-on Bruce Wayne, here. It’s up to you! Here are a few options:

Watch Pouches

Leather Service Watch Pouch - available at Windup Watch Shop

This is a dedicated little pouch — made of nylon, leather, canvas, etc — that securely stores a watch or two for travel purposes. These are great for travel or for use at home, and there are myriad options available ranging from $30 to several hundred bucks. One of our favorites is this simple pouch from our friends at Worn & Wound ($80).  

Watch Rolls 

Ok — if you’re really set on going whole hog and packing more than two watches for your next trip, then a roll is probably the way to go. These things, similar to the pouches mentioned above, are made of leather, canvas, cotton, etc and are meant to hold 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or more watches. They can be rolled up like a tool roll and thrown in your bag, and provide protection. 

You’ll kindly forgive us if we believe that this durable canvas watch roll with removable leather cinch is the baddest watch roll of them all. Available in 12- and 24-watch sizes, it’s lined with wool for protection and features nylon edging, a brass closure, and plenty of space for all your favorite timepieces.

Price: $225-$275

12 Piece: BUY NOW

24 Piece: BUY NOW

Watch Tubes

Tubes sit somewhere in between rolls and boxes. Essentially rigid cylinders made of a hard material and often covered in leather, they typically hold three or more watches and can be thrown in a backpack for travel purposes. Ours ($235-$245) are extra special: in addition to securely holding several of your favorite timepieces, each features a secret compartment for a strap-changing tool, and extra NATO, or other small items. 

Pelican Cases

If you happen to be an international arms dealer — or maybe a watch dealer? — or you just really like being detained by the TSA, then you should get yourself a Pelican case. Available in different sizes, these shock-proof, waterproof, dust-proof, dragon-proof cases look like something out of the Matrix, but they’re perfect for transporting a large collection around in safety. (Just maybe not in style, unless your style is “commando chic.”) This option, the Vault XXI, has room for 21 timepieces ($304).