Affordable built-in safes provide convenient security, display, and watch winders that can be added as your collection grows.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” And so it was with the invention of the BlumSafe – when the theft of a cherished watch led to the creation of a US-manufactured line of watch and jewelry wall and cabinet safes that allow for up to 18 watch winders and other accessories, keeping watches secure, accessible, and ready to wear.
In 2017, one of Rob Blum’s favorite watches disappeared from the top of his dresser (perhaps a housekeeper gave in to temptation?). Rob, a lifelong tinkerer approaching retirement from a career in finance, concluded that a better way to keep his watches had to be found. He understood that desktop watch winders were convenient, but offered no protection – not just from anonymous burglars, but from the people he invited into his home (property theft occurs in more than one out of 10 US homes annually, and 80% of those thefts are committed by people invited into the home by the owners). Reasonable “peace of mind” was the objective.
So Rob went shopping for a watch safe, but he thought it was overkill to pay $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 or more for a luxury watch winder safe — money that could instead be put toward purchasing his next watch(es). He knew that he didn’t require expensive “cosmetics,” but rather sought functionality and reliability in a good looking, reasonably secure, easily concealable and upgradable package – to allow the safe’s functionality to grow with the addition of more winders as his watch collection grew. He wanted a modular design that would allow him to easily create his own custom safe. And Rob thought it was important that the safe should fit into a convenient location, such as a bedroom or dressing room.
Such a safe did not then exist, so Rob set out to build it. His company’s first safe, the original BlumSafe of 2017, led to the Display Door BlumSafe two years later. Both are built-in safes (i.e., for mounting between studs inside walls or in cabinets) with capacity for up to 12 Mabuchi-motored watch winders and a range of jewelry drawer and shelf options. Both use the same digital keypad and fingerprint sensor lock. The display door safe permits owners (and their friends) to view their well-lit watches while the door is locked.
In 2023, BlumSafe introduced the larger BlumSafe Professional, with much the same “between the studs” built-in form factor but capacity for 18 winders, in a heavier duty, higher security Class B burglary safe with optional fireproofing. All BlumSafes use the same winders and offer a range of storage accessories including velvet lined shelves, jewelry drawers, and, in the Professional, necklace bars, a mirror, a folder rack, and even utility grids for handgun storage.
All BlumSafes are now made in the USA, and additional products have joined the lineup, such as concealment options which include an electronic display screen and Magic Mirror accessories, and a hinged regular mirror. The electronic display offers the ability to easily present everything from family photo slideshows to weather, calendar, stock prices, and other data.
To try to reproduce the security, concealment and/or display, and watch winding capabilities of the BlumSafe in some combination of conventional safe, jewelry display case, and watch winders could easily cost significantly more than buying a BlumSafe or BlumSafe Professional. The BlumSafe’s built-in and concealable watch safe design is sui generis, but part of the reason why so many BlumSafe owners are repeat customers is that they are so affordable relative to comparable safe products and other security options.
BlumSafe Winder Design – Add as Your Collection Grows.
Instead of a conventional permanently housed winder approach, BlumSafe incorporates modular cube-shaped stackable winders. This patented design is well-regarded and affordable with high quality, belt-driven Mabuchi motors, the same as those found in other top-quality winders. Each watch winder is individually programmable for three direction and speed settings. Using one winder per watch offers improved reliability, ease of maintenance, and the ability to add more winders to any BlumSafe easily as an owner’s collection grows. With an optional inexpensive power adapter, a winder can even be removed from its BlumSafe and taken away for use during travels. Try doing that with built-in winders!
Why a “Built-In” Safe? Accessibility and security are the priorities of the BlumSafe line of products. BlumSafes are designed for mounting in a wall or cabinet, preferably in your bedroom or dressing room – because these are places you will actually visit every day to select the right watch for your mood or requirements. (The big conventional safe in your safe room or basement, on the other hand, is the place beloved watches usually go to never be worn).
If done right, concealment is the best form of security, especially when one considers the likely range of risks (the lion’s share of actual burglaries – estimated at over 90% – are committed by low-tech, low-skill crooks, who move in and out of a home in fewer than ten minutes and are rarely armed with more than a hammer and screwdriver). This fact led to a safe design that facilitated mounting flush in a wall or cabinet in a traditional 16” on-center stud pocket. And in contrast to a floor-mounted safe, which takes up space, it is impossible to stub your toe or bang your knee on an eye-level wall safe, or hurt your back bending down to get a watch.
Rob Blum also discovered that many people were confident enough about the security of their homes that they were comfortable with having tough, hammer-proof windows in their steel BlumSafe doors, to allow display of their watch collections without opening the safe. Many customers report that their BlumSafes with display doors contribute to a new level of enjoyment of a watch collection; for many watch hobbyists, the BlumSafe experience is the first time they’ve really been able to fully appreciate the beauties of their collections on a daily basis and share that with their friends.
Interestingly, a sizable minority of BlumSafe’s customers maintain both a 12-winder BlumSafe (or, often, more than one of them) for everyday watch access, as well as a conventional, out-of-the-way safe (or vault room). However, the addition to the product line of the more protective, fireproof and larger volume BlumSafe Professional has made having a second conventional safe less necessary for some BlumSafe customers.
Judging by the happy emails and reviews the company has received from customers around the world, BlumSafe seems to have achieved its goals with its product design.
The Verdict: Merging flexibility, quality, and value proposition, BlumSafe safes, and especially the BlumSafe Professional, represent an intriguing product for both mid and higher-end collectors. And Rob Blum put his name on the company, expressing a level of confidence in his product that is admirable and well-deserved.
Pricing for well-equipped BlumSafes range from approximately $2,000 to $7,000 depending upon the model, with more information available, here.