8 Tips for Traveling with Your Watches

When most people travel, they might not think much about watches. They might bring somewhere between zero and two timepieces with them and don’t put any further effort into the situation. On the other hand, those of us that are obsessed with horology have a much tougher time, as we want to bring more, and more expensive pieces. This is why I’ve compiled my top eight tips for traveling with your favorite watches.

8 Tips for Traveling with Your Watches infographic

Tips for Traveling With Watches

1: Bring a Piece for Many Occasions

Before you leave for your trip, take a double look at your itinerary. I’m guessing that there will be a diverse range of activities on it.

Hamilton Khaki Field black dial watch on its side

If you’re going on a tough hike one day and a luxury dinner the next, you’ll want multiple timepieces to fit each situation. My typical lineup includes watches for day to day activities, rugged outdoor adventures, and classy restaurants, but your itinerary might call for less or more than mine.

2: Use a GMT Piece

The way a GMT watch usually works is that you set your local time on the dial and an alternate time on the bezel or the outer portion of your dial. Either way, these watches allow you to keep time in two different zones. This tool is incredibly convenient for travelers, as adjusting over and over again is not preferable.

3: Don’t Bring Your Whole Collection

If you have over five watches in your collection, you won’t want to bring them all. As much as you love your timepieces, being a bit picky is a good idea in this case.

front view of Seiko Astron blue dial watch

Having a massive pile of wristwatches will be cumbersome and inconvenient, and you most likely won’t get to wear all of them. A better bet is somewhere between two and five.

4: Purchase a Watch Roll

One of the unexpectedly amusing parts about collecting watches is figuring out how you want to store them. There are a variety of beautiful cases out there for home display, but many of them are too heavy and bulky for travel. Rather than risking scratches by keeping them loose in your bag, you should consider purchasing a watch roll. Not only will this device keep your property safe and compact, but they are incredibly fun to open, close, and pack. A roll is practically required for traveling with watches, so don’t second guess – getting one for yourself.

5: Utilize Hotel Safes

Though Airbnb and other home-sharing technologies are common these days, many of us still stay in hotels. Unfortunately, there is always a chance of having your property stolen when you do.

This event can be especially tragic for horology enthusiasts because their watches can be worth many thousands of dollars. The best way to keep them safe is, well, putting them in a safe. Most hotels have them and taking a minute to lock up your precious timepieces is a smart use of your time.

6: Consider an Insurance Policy

You have two options for insuring your favorite watches. The first is travel insurance, which covers a variety of possible issues including health problems and theft. While this service is useful, it can be insufficient for watch owners. The reason is that these policies frequently have limits on their coverage. A typical example is a $2,000 maximum claim on a stolen bag or a $400 maximum on a specific item. If you are a luxury watch owner, these amounts will not suffice. Your second option is jewelry insurance, which most mainstream providers offer and is likely a better idea for those of you with expensive pieces.

Omega Speedmaster black dial watch on the wrist

7: Get Your Watches Serviced Before Long Trips

If you’re going to be away from home for a long time, you’ll want your watches to perform throughout the trip.

That is why getting them serviced before you leave for a trip is a good idea. Your quartz pieces will be given a fresh battery, and your mechanical ones will get a needed tune-up.

8: Carry Them On

My last tip (and maybe easiest option) is to bring your watches onto the plane with you. If you only have one, then of course feel free to wear it while you travel. If you’re bringing multiple watches, put your watch roll in your carry-on bag. The reason is that airlines frequently misplace checked baggage. If you happen to get unlucky, you could lose every watch you packed for your trip.

Now that you know some tips for traveling with your watches, I hope that your next trip goes smoothly. Following these tips should give you a watch for every occasion, help you tell time in a different part of the world, keep your property safe, and much more. The end result will be the best traveling experience possible. As icing on the cake, you might want to pick up a new piece wherever you are. Doing so can be an excellent way to commemorate a trip and have a physical record of the memories you made.

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