This must sound familiar: you’ve decided to splurge on a new watch, and the salesperson is putting it inside its enormous, fancy-looking box. It makes the watch look like it’s worth even more than it already is, and it kind of feels nice to carry the weighty thing out of the shop. But then you arrive home, take the watch out of that box, store it somewhere, and never think about it again. So, how much does watch packaging actually matter?

I’ll go over a few examples below, and then I’ll have my say on what I think would be the best way forward. But this article is also a request to you, dear Fratelli, to tell us what you think about current watch packaging. Make sure to leave your views down in the comments. But first, let me tell you about my experience with watch packaging.

My Oris Art Blakey

Nice, a limited-edition box!

My first experience with a typical example of watch packaging was with the box that came with my Oris Art Blakey. That’s a limited-edition watch that came in a special box and with a booklet about Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. I read the little booklet and then put everything except the watch back into the box. I stored it away and never looked at it again until I had to pack everything for my house move last week. It wasn’t like I had a lot of time to look inside every single watch box that I’d stored, though.

Image: WatchUSeek

I quickly put all the boxes inside a bigger box, and I ended up with two big boxes full of smaller watch boxes. Now those two big boxes are sitting in the new house, waiting to be opened. But actually, I’m not sure when or if I’ll do that. I’ve thought about displaying the boxes in a nice place in the house, but that feels a bit flashy and over the top. It might also be nice to take out any cool reading material or props and put them on a shelf. Unfortunately, though, I think all those well-made boxes will stay hidden inside those moving boxes for the foreseeable future.

Every watch has a special box of its own

However, I do appreciate all those particular boxes for the different watches. The nicest one I have came with my Autodromo Intereuropa. It’s a flat blue and white lacquered wooden box that feels heavy in the hand. It has tiny hinges, closes with magnets, and oozes quality. It’s exactly what you’d expect with a luxury watch. If I were going to put any of my watch boxes on display, this one would work well for that.

Of course, my Cartier Santos Galbée XL came with La Maison’s signature red box. It’s another well-made box with a push-button mechanism to open it. I don’t think it’s something I would like to put on display, though, just like the green wooden and leather box that came with my Rolex Explorer reference 114270. It’s a nice little box, and that green color is very emblematic, but no, it’s going back into the moving box.

A year and a half ago, I bought the new Omega Speedmaster Professional. It came in quite a big box, inside of which was a little travel case. Although that’s a nice approach, even that travel case is still inside the bigger box. It’s simply not small enough to travel with.

Watch packaging — the smaller, the better

The box that came with my Breguet 5907 is a beautiful wooden and leather one that was made by hand in Italy. It suits the watch, but again, it’s so big. In that sense, I prefer the small box that came with my Serica 5303-3. It’s big enough to ship the watch in, and it doesn’t take up as much space as the other examples I mentioned above. But more brands are thinking about how to package their watches too.

watch packaging Breitling

I know that when you order from Zenith’s online boutique, you can opt for more environmentally friendly packaging. I haven’t seen it in real life yet, but I can imagine that it’s similar to what Breitling is doing with its watch packaging. It’s a more sensible and modular solution made from 100% upcycled plastic bottles. Just like the Serica packaging, it’s easy to store away, and it can even be used when you’re traveling with your watch.

Another idea I just came across is this box from G-Shock that can also be used as ambient lighting. There’s an LED light inside, and the motif on the box makes for a nice spectacle at night. It’s a shame that only one of these will be made, but it could serve as inspiration for other brands.

watch packaging Autodromo Intereuropa

What kind of watch packaging do you prefer?

I think I’d be happy if every watch came in a practical pouch or travel case. And even if I don’t use it for traveling, it won’t take up all my storage space in the new house. That’s why I totally get why Thomas chose to ship his future VPC watch in a nice leather watch pouch. But what would you prefer? Are you a fan of those big, luxurious (wooden) boxes? Do you put them out on display, or do you also store them in the attic? Let me know in the comments below.

And maybe you’ve come across really nice watch packaging that I didn’t mention. I’d be curious to hear what you’ve seen around. Maybe we can come to the perfect solution together.