Green Rambles: My Undecided Opinion About Watch Boxes

Watches and boxes are as common a combination as ham and eggs or fish and chips. No matter how (in)expensive the watch is you buy, you get a box. I still remember getting my first serious watch on the brink of the new millennium. It was a Seamaster Professional, and at that time, Omega delivered these in (faux) red leather boxes with a cream interior. As it was my first, that box was part of the magic, the experience of knowing that you are getting something special.

Ever since I have developed a certain duality toward watch boxes. As I got further in my collection career, with more watches added, I needed a closet just to store the boxes. While often luxurious, many watch brands also tend to make them rather large, while the vast majority of them only hold a single watch. This gives them very little practical use other than to transport the watch from the store or boutique to your home. Some are also true works of art, with my favorites being made from polished wood. The most amazing one I have ever seen came with Blancpain’s iconic 1735, the Grande Complication, which the brand launched in 1991. It was made out of different colors of exotic leathers placed in an intricate pattern. However, as amazing as they are, the chances are that they will end up in a closet rather sooner than later.

That all being said, they remain an important aspect of the experience. While I am sometimes not that happy about the space that it takes to store them all, it is also a fact that boxes (and papers) make it easier to sell a watch if you ever want to. What brands perhaps can do, is think about how they can make their packaging just as special but just a bit more practical. I recently purchased a Squale that came in a very nice travel roll made from soft leather. There was room for two watches and some extra straps. Opening it felt every bit as memorable as if it was in a box, but this type of packaging I will actually use.

What is your opinion about watch boxes? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Humberto Pacheco

    I fully agree. I have one large closet just to keep boxes wrapped in paper that I never see or use for anything. I don’t sell my watches (Mr. Stern once got me a sold out limited editions for that reason). But I imagine that I keep them just in case I ever sold one.

  2. Richard

    My pet peeve regarding watch boxes is that most houses use non-leather cream color interiors which end up flaking. When one is paying thousands for a watch, wouldn’t it be nice to have GENUINE leather interior (chamois, goatskin, etc)?

  3. Anand Poddar

    In the recent year the swatch group has shifted from quality leather boxes to arificial leather boxes which look great but sadly dont last. The materials start to peel making the boxes look very shabby. Tissot came out with a flimsy card paper box which is good for the brand as it showcases their heritage in a pop up but does not give the right feel of sturdiness. Longines I dread their blue leatherette boxes. Omega the red box simply crumbles. While rolex green plastic box has lasted me 2 decades, so has raymond weils; so not all boxes are made equal.I would actually appreiciate a more practical leather pouch or even a velvet case over the bulky space consuming boxes with thick booklets of the entire lineup of movement manuals & etc. Give the customer a free service voucher or a strap rather spending on unpractical presentation boxes we simply store them and forget about them.

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