How to Properly Store Watches for Long Term Storage
If you own one or more watches — including a watch collection — you may find it necessary to store them somewhere safe. However, it is essential to follow a handful of different steps to keep them safe while they are in a storage facility. The following steps will help to protect your watches from moisture, keep them up-to-date with their maintenance, and provide many other benefits at the same time.
Preventing Moisture Damage to Your Watches
Excessive moisture problems most often sabotage long-term watch storage. Moisture and humidity have a nasty way of wearing down watch components and causing them to fail. This problem is mainly an issue for quartz watches, as the water can damage their circuits and cause them to run improperly. Other watches may end up with inadequate lubrication because of this problem.
The best step to take here is to find a moisture-free container for your watches and invest in silica gel bags. These bags are what you may find in some foods and a variety of other products. They naturally absorb moisture and prevent it from impacting your watches. Try to place a handful of these packets throughout your containers and replace them when they change color.
Typically, you will need to replace these packets when they change to a white or pink color. This change indicates that the bag has absorbed as much water as possible. You probably will not have to change these bags more than once or twice per year but must do so. If you do not take this step, the bags will become too soaked and will no longer absorb moisture from the surrounding air.
If you are storing your watches in a facility that allows for humidity or climate control, take them up on that offer. Yes, you're going to pay more for this service — and its money well spent. When you pay a little extra to decrease and balance the humidity in your storage facility, you ensure that your watches don't end up getting damaged by water or any other type of airborne moisture in the facility.
Boxes vs. Watch Rolls: Which is Right for You?
Watch storage usually takes on one of two forms: boxes or rolls. Each of these options is available at watch stores or in storage supply centers. Both are a strong choice for different situations. Some may find that boxes suit their needs, while others enjoy rolls. However, you can also mix and match their use by using boxes for higher-end models and rolls for less expensive watches in your collection.
For example, boxes can allow individual watch storage if you have a handful of unique collector items to keep separate. And boxes can usually be quite easily stacked once you have them filled with watches. You can either buy different boxes for your watches or use the same boxes that they came in when you purchased each. Storage boxes are a better idea for maximum protection in most cases.
However, downsides do exist, such as the amount of space the boxes take up. Yes, your packages will be more accessible to stack and sort and identify later, but they take up far much more room than rolls. If you have a large portion of your storage facility dedicated to watches, though, this may not be a problem. But when there is a lack of room, rolls are easily the best choice for your needs here.
Watch rolls allow you to place all of your watches — or many of them — on a simple roller that will compress in size. These rolls can store many watches — 10 or more in larger ones — and create a minimal storage footprint. That makes them one of the most efficient ways to keep your watches, though there are downsides to them that must be carefully considered as well here.
For instance, a watch roll makes finding specific models harder and may make water protection more difficult. Though you can easily fit some silica gel bags in these containers, they may not have the same protection level. This option is best if you don't have a lot of room and need to store many watches. It is also cheaper than buying individual watch boxes.
Maintenance is Critical for Watch Protection
Every few years, you need to perform maintenance on your watches when in storage. Start by taking the batteries out of your watches when storing them. Batteries may end up corrupting over time when not in use and removing them helps to protect your watches from damage. You can keep these batteries for use later or throw them away and replace them when you get your watches out of storage. However, this is just the first step to take, as you will need to oil your watches too.
Thankfully, you do not have to oil them all that often to get good results. It used to be that watches needed oiling every three years to stay strong. However, you can now get them oiled every 10 years to keep them from getting damaged. Doing so helps prevent you from getting them overhauled or repaired when your storage is over. With collector's watches, this benefit is particularly critical.
If you are uncertain about these steps, it is wise to get your watches appraised and insured by professionals. Take this step before ever putting your watches in storage. Doing so will ensure that you can get them repaired if you forget your maintenance or if they get damaged anyway.
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