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Tips on Traveling with High-End Watches

When you travel, you want to look your best. For those with luxury watches, this often means wearing and bringing one or more high-end watches on vacation. However, high-end watches can make you a target for thieves, and you’ll need to take some precautions to ensure the safety of your watch and to prevent any damage during your travels. Follow these tips to protect your watch and look your best during your vacation.

Choose Your Watches Carefully

Although you may want to show off your brand-new luxury watch, you should choose which watches to bring on your vacation carefully. Consider whether your destination is safe, with a low crime rate, and if you need to take public transport or travel at night. If this is the case, you might want to consider wearing a lower-end watch that doesn’t draw attention.

You’ll also want to consider the security available at your destination. If you’re staying in a hotel, you may have access to a safe in your room. Some hotels also offer to store high-end jewelry pieces in their hotel vault. If you’re staying in an apartment or house, you may want to bring your own travel vault with you. Depending on how comfortable you feel with the level of security, you may want to bring your less valuable watches with you instead.

If you have a one-of-a-kind or rare watch, consider leaving it at home unless you’re completely confident in your vacation destination’s security measures. You’ll also want to think about what activities you’ll be attending. If you’re planning a beach vacation, bring a waterproof watch like the Rolex Deepsea Black 126660, which is water-resistant up to 12,800 feet, meaning you won’t need to take it off when you go for a swim. If you’re planning on attending several parties, you might need to bring one or two watches that match your party attire. However, plan your outfits ahead of your events, so you don’t bring more watches than you need.

Keep Them in Your Carry-On

Always keep valuable and sentimental items with you in the cabin. Although it may be tempting to travel light, you may find your watches missing when you arrive at your destination. For security purposes, the TSA must be able to access your suitcase. If you have a non-TSA-approved lock, they will cut it off to look inside. Unfortunately, this means that anything packed in your checked baggage cannot be completely secured. If the TSA breaks open your lock, it will remain unlocked for the rest of your journey, and TSA-approved locks aren’t very secure.

Keeping your watches in your carry-on means you will always have access to them. Make sure to store them in a closed, internal pouch. If you have a small rolling suitcase, you can also fit that with a lock for additional security. To make your journey faster and reduce the amount of time you’re separated from your bag, apply for TSA precheck.

If you travel with a bag or a backpack, don’t have the watches in the external pocket. Someone could easily unzip that pocket without your knowledge. Consider purchasing a theft-proof bag with knife-resistant material and only one large pocket. These will give your valuable watches more protection and let you relax when traveling.

Pack Them Carefully

In addition to concerns about theft, you should also consider how to protect your watches from damage. Although most luxury watches are built to last, they are safest on your wrist. Inside bags are pointed, heavy objects that could crack the case or scratch the back of your luxury watch.

The best way to travel with a watch is by using a watch roll, which protects the underside from scratches and wraps around the outside, protecting it from cracks and scratches as well. Watch rolls are much easier to transport than display boxes. Try to get an understated watch roll since it will look less inviting to thieves. Don’t put your watch roll at the bottom of your bag. Depending on the roll you buy, you may want to wrap it in a scarf or shirt for some added cushioning and place it near the top.


Even if you’ve done everything possible to protect your high-end watches from damage and theft, accidents and disasters happen. You may want to check your insurance to see if it covers damage during travel. If not, consider purchasing a plan that covers the cost of your watches. Many travel insurance plans have a maximum claim limit, which will not begin to cover a lost or damaged high-end watch.

Instead, you may want to purchase jewelry insurance. These insurance policies often have a much higher maximum claim limit, so you won’t be out of pocket if your watches are damaged or lost. Read the fine print on your insurance plan before traveling. Some may require certain precautions, like storing in a safe, to validate a claim. Check to ensure you follow all the regulations so your claim is not denied.

Get a Tune-Up

If you’re heading off for an extended vacation, consider having your watches serviced before you leave. If you need a new battery or a wind-up, your watches could stop working on your vacation. Take care of maintenance before you leave with your local, trusted jeweler. Dealing with a broken or slow watch on vacation takes away relaxation time, and you’ll need to spend time searching for someone qualified who can fix your watch.

Bring Your Paperwork

Whether in PDF form saved on your phone or in a folder in your bag, you should always have a photocopy of your proof of ownership, your insurance plan, a Certificate of Authenticity, any warranty information, and its receipt. If you’re crossing international borders, they may want proof that you didn’t purchase the watch during your travels. Make sure you also have detailed pictures of the watch and several photos of you wearing it.

The Takeaway

Traveling with high-end watches doesn’t need to be stressful. With these tips, you can protect your investment and enjoy them on your vacation, whether you’re traveling abroad or staying local.