After a long, tough winter we’re finally seeing the summer months coming in, bringing with them the promise of jetting off to a well-deserved break. Whether you pack light or heavy, a reliable timepiece is a travel essential for many people – and if you’re a luxury watch enthusiast you’ll probably be tempted to take this chance to enjoy your favourite possession away from home.
But if you’re thinking about carrying precious cargo, it’s important to think carefully about what risks you’re willing to take and how you’re ensuring that your watch is protected on the move. Here’s our guide to simple steps you can take for peace of mind.
We all like to dress up and look our best on holiday. So it’s a natural temptation to want to show off your timepiece to its full advantage whilst you’re out and about. We don’t want to be killjoys – but before you even start to think about storing and insuring your watch whilst abroad, there’s a much simpler, yet vitally important decision to be made. And that is: should you take the risk of taking your luxury watch with you, or leave it securely at home for complete peace of mind?
Of course, only you can know how precious and irreplaceable your timepiece is to you. It’s not just about investment value either. It’s about rarity, emotional ties and how likely it is that you could replace the model should the worst happen. If your timepiece is unique, irreplaceable or associated with memories that just can’t be rebuilt, then it’s wise to resist the temptation and leave it behind in secure storage whilst you’re away. It’s for this reason that many watch enthusiasts choose to invest in a “holiday model” – such as a lesser value Rolex – that still looks stunning and delivers great timekeeping performance, but won’t result in a broken heart if it gets lost, damaged or stolen.
This may seem obvious, but insurance tends to be something we commission and then forget about. Your timepiece may well be fully protected at home. That’s not to say that the same conditions apply when you’re abroad. It’s worth taking the time to check and, if necessary, refresh your policy to make sure that your watch is well looked after during trips abroad. It may well be that your insurer requires extra stipulations in terms of how your watch will be carried, stored and kept safe, in order for a claim to be valid if anything happens whilst it’s in transit. And when you’re dealing with a unique, high value vintage timepiece it’s highly unlikely that a standard holiday insurance package will make adequate provision. So talk to your insurer well in advance for full peace of mind.
To make sure your pre-owned vintage watch is fully protected, think carefully not only about how you will transport it, but how you will store it in your hotel, villa or other accommodation. When flying, ultimately the best way to keep your watch safe is to keep it with you (although we would always discourage displaying a valuable timepiece on your wrist in areas of high crime, after dark or any other vulnerable situation during your break). At the very least, carry the piece in your hand luggage or, in the case of extremely high value items, talk to your airline about what they can offer in terms of extra security.
The same conversation should be had with your concierge or accommodation provider. Is there a central safe where you can keep your timepiece? On what terms is that available? Some enthusiasts invest in luxury watch accessories such as secure portable safes that can literally travel with you. The priority, though, is to know for sure that if your watch does go missing the line of responsibility is clear. For this reason, it’s always better to make security arrangements in advance with your travel provider.
If you need help with valuing your watch for insurance purposes, servicing your timepiece prior to a big trip abroad – or even making a new purchase for travel purposes, contact David Duggan. We’ll apply more than 150 years’ combined experience to assist you in whatever way is needed, making sure that whilst you’re relaxing in the sun your vintage watch is one thing you don’t need to think about.