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!