How do you store your collection?

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by rdixiemiller, Mar 30, 2019.

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  1. rdixiemiller

    rdixiemiller Registered User
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    My watches lived in my watch bench drawer. I had looked at various ways to do this better, and I stumbled on this 10 drawer cabinet on Amazon. It was 65 bucks or so and looked about right. I ordered one, and it’s decent quality for the price. I had also picked up some jewelry case organizers, same place. I had to trim them slightly to fit, scissors work fine. They are thin ABS plastic.
    10 drawers, each holds 8 18s pocket watches. 80 total capacity.
    Not high end furniture, but quite handy for storage. For the price, it works well, and is a space efficient.

    What is everyone else using? Let’s see some pictures.

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  2. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    A friend of mine collects arrow heads. I have him make me glass topped wooden cases.

    High end watches at the bank box.

    Keith R...

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  3. Candew

    Candew Registered User

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    All of my running watches are displayed in a frame with a mirror backing. I am currently making a new one with the mirror further back so you can better see both sides of the watch.

    My high end and family watches are in a china cabinet in the living room.

    The remainder are in a cabinet in my office waiting for repairs etc.

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  4. rdixiemiller

    rdixiemiller Registered User
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    That frame and mirror display is really nice. I had not considered a mirror.
    Well done!
     
  5. Tim Fitzgerald

    Tim Fitzgerald Registered User
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    Very nice !
     
  6. rdixiemiller

    rdixiemiller Registered User
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    Don’t get me wrong, this is not high quality furniture. It does, however, do the job well. So much easier than digging through drawers full of little bags!
    I think I have 80 bucks in the whole thing, including the flocked plastic dividers.
     
  7. Tim Fitzgerald

    Tim Fitzgerald Registered User
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    I looked on Amazon & thing you mage a good choice. A custom made one would be 3 or 4 hundred dollars
     
  8. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    All my watches are in the top 3 drawers of a tall dresser. They're fairly shallow, but there's a lot of wasted vertical space. You could easily put 5 drawers in the same space.

    I looked at map cabinets online, but holy hannah, are they expensive! Or maybe I'm just cheap.....
     
  9. rdixiemiller

    rdixiemiller Registered User
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    I was looking at them too, way too rich for
    my blood.
    I’m frugal, and this cabinet works fine for me.
     
  10. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    #10 Clint Geller, Apr 1, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    I live in the city. Mine is a quiet, fairly safe, low-crime neighborhood - aside from a very occasional mass murder, which took place less than a mile away - but I still wouldn't dare leave my watches out on permanent display in my home. I envy those of you who can feel secure doing that. I've been in my home for 23 years now, and we had one burglary about 17 years ago, before we put in a home security system and a heavy steel door in the basement. There were about $30K worth of watches in the house at the time, but they were well hidden. The scariest part of that incident is that my wife came home and was briefly downstairs while the thieves were still upstairs. Fortunately, my wife exited the house immediately when she saw the ground floor had been disturbed, so she and the thieves never saw one another. Nevertheless, we know the thieves were still in the house when she arrived, because my wife went around to the rear of the house as soon as she exited and saw that the back door to the basement had been damaged, but it was closed. She then went next door to the neighbor's house to call the police, and when she returned to the back yard a short time later, the back door, which had been closed, was wide open and a pointed, long-handled garden hoe, which had been inside the house, was sitting on the ground outside the door.
     
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  11. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    Cripes, Clint! That's scary! One of my employees had a break in, and she realized the burglar was probably in the house when she came home, because he took a much more difficult exit route than his entry route.

    I don't worry too much about burglary, because there's always somebody at home, plus we have a big dog (and I assume burglars have no idea just how lazy Greyhounds are), and my whole collection is probably not worth as much as a single original E Howard & Co. in the original gold case. If I had one of those, or a collection made up of such, I'd worry a lot more.

    But I'd also be a lot wealthier and could afford good security. So, there's that.
     
  12. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    It's actually a good thing my wife got home first that day. At the time, I was picking up our ten-year-old daughter from school and on most days, we usually got home before my wife. As soon as the front door opened, Annie would have gone bounding up the stairs ahead of me to her room and would have run right smack into the burglars. She would have screamed, I would have come charging up the stairs after her in a blind panic, thinking only of protecting my child, and there would probably have been violence, if not also bloodshed.
     
  13. Candew

    Candew Registered User

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    Glad i live where I do. Mostly just embezzlement stuff, virtually no other crime. Besides, ever thing is insured. I know some of the family watches can't be replaced but to me, why own such beautiful items if you can not display and enjoy them?

    I have detailed pictures and a log of every watch I own and that is locked in a safe.
     
  14. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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    The display cases are both gifts from my Mrs.

    The large display case she bought on line from a source in Connecticut and had it shipped here to northern Nevada for a Christmas gift for me in 2015. It was originally in a jewelry store and displayed Towle silverware. The case dates to about 1910 and the Towle Mfg. Co. brass tag is still on it.

    The Waltham clock display case she found for me about 10 yrs. ago. It holds my military watches.

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  15. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I store most of my collection in bank safety deposit boxes. I see no reason to have much if any display. I keep small set which I often wear. I find very few people can tolerate looking at more than one or two watches, I keep some fairly high value stuff at home because I would rather lose a few than have some one destroy my home or confront me to get "good stuff". I leave enough around that a thief can get something they value and get out. I learned that from a jeweler I worked for,who said it was cheaper to lose some stock than have the place torn apart.

    The really good stuff is rarely at home and not for long.

    I live in a low crime area in small city and I keep a low profile. I never boast of my stuff or show it to neighbors unless I trust them and know they have a real interest, and so far none have much interest

    Lots of people have seen my workshop(s) and tools. That they find interesting.
     
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  16. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I store part of my collection in a safe. I spent some effort in learning about safes and offer the following:

    1) A safe does two things: It provides fire protection and delays theft. Buy your safe from a locksmith who knows enough to deliver it in an unmarked truck in non ostentatious manner. Locksmith shops know safes and can guide your selection an advise on installation and set it up for you. They are also more trustworthy than the person the local home store may be.
    2) Buy a large enough safe to hold some watches, family papers jewelry and documents especially when you travel as well as your safety deposit box keys and records. These records should also include your "In case of my death " information as well as wills. Your non collecting spouse needs to benefit from having this around.
    3) Get one small enough that you can place it in an out of the way spot and bolt it down such that it is not easily removed. It should be too heavy for someone to carry it, even if they break the bolts.
    4) Don't show it off to friends and neighbors
    5) Do show it your heirs and teach them how to open it

    As a point of reference it should cost something like $1000 plus of minus s few hundred.

    The idea is that you want enough security that casual thieves can't break it and you want to keep a low enough profile that you do not attract teh kind of talent it takes to break a decent safe. Do not buy a huge safe or any other elaborate security to alert criminals that your home is worth a professional call.

    Fortunately for us pocket watch enthusiasts, the real money ins wrist watches and high value ones are common enough that they are easy to fence for good money. Our stuff is not worth teh attention of the high talent criminals.
     
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  17. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi All I store my watches in old photographic slide boxes. I strip out the internals and refit with sections of surplus laminate flooring sheet cut to size and drilled with suitable diameter hole saws to take my 18s watches. Mounted on spacers I can accommodate two trays of 8 watches each. The boxes themselves are then stored upright in an old safe. My everyday wear watches ( I don't have a wristwatch ) are kept in and on an old display cabinet in the bedroom. Hudd

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  18. Daniel Denlinger

    Daniel Denlinger Registered User

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    I keep mine on wall above my work bench

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  19. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    I picked up a cabinet that was used at a jewelry store to hold watches waiting for and/or finished with repair. The original felt was black and was disintegrating. I replaced it with green. The cabinet says Jessen & Rossberg, Chicago.

    Like some others, I keep the less-valuable watches on display, and the better stuff stored more securely.

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  20. Mike M.

    Mike M. Registered User
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    Well, this is rather embarrassing, but you asked

    I kept running across these really cool Swiss Army ammo carrying cases at flea markets and had to think up some excuse to buy a bunch of ‘em.
    I wrap my watches in cloth strips, put each one in a small plastic snack box (with desiccant), and store the snack boxes in the carrying cases.
    My dream is to one day replace the plastic boxes with wood, or at least cardboard.

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  21. Joseph Short

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    I like to be able to see my watches, so I have them in a case directly opposite my easy chair. Believe it or not, we found these at Ikea. And they are lighted by small spot lights from above. On the far right, out of frame, is another identical cabinet that is home to some of my wife's collection of vintage and antique ladies compacts.

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  22. kevin h

    kevin h Registered User

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    I still hide most in the sock drawer , that way the wife does not know how many come and go ! (just kidding ) I also like these" jewelers box", here is a box O' Bunns , I also live in a "urban" area and would never consider displaying them in easy reach , I used to live in the "sticks" and never had to lock the door .

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  23. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Living in the "big city" as I do I do not store valuable watches at home. I mainly collect 12-size and smaller watches and found long ago that most will fit, individually in empty dental floss boxes. Here they are, neatly lined up in my safety deposit box -
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    (I have intentionally smeared some of the details in this photo)
     
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  24. Joseph Short

    Joseph Short Registered User
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    Fortunately, I live in the SMALL city. And my collection consists of relatively inexpensive watches. For me6, the value is in the enjoyment. And I can't truly enjoy them if they are locked away.
    But I do have them all cataloged, and photographed.
     
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  25. vintageguy

    vintageguy Registered User
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    I wouldn't enjoy my collection half as much if I couldn't display it. I use commercially-made pocket watch display cases for the purpose, lined up on tables in my family room with a lighting setup. Generally, I find that most visitors can't focus on an entire collection of watches for very long, so my display is mostly for my own enjoyment. Last week a friend remarked that "I bet you know the details of every single one of those watches!" I guess it would seem like a monumental undertaking to someone who doesn't have the disease.

    I show my collection only to good friends and a few neighbors that I trust. My general rule of thumb is that no one under 30 gets to see it . . . :D The only problem I've ever had was that a single watch went missing once after a week-end visit by an unsavory shirttail relative who I didn't know very well (and had no choice about inviting to stay :(). Thankfully it was a 15J Illinois in a pretty case but without a lot of importance or value otherwise.

    We're in a low-crime neighborhood, but I still keep the collection fully insured through American Collectors Insurance Company. It costs about $40/month to insure, but it's worth it to me. And while the insurance is all well and good, I've put a ton of time and effort into my collection and I'd hate to lose a single watch, so I also transfer the whole collection to a safety deposit box at the bank whenever I travel for any length of time. The transfer process is sort of a pain, but it beats worrying about the collection every minute I'm out of town.

    The clocks are insured under the standard homeowners property coverage. Good luck to any thief who want to try and make off with those . . .

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  26. vintageguy

    vintageguy Registered User
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    This sounds like a good alternative to the my safe-deposit-box-transfer routine.
     
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