In this post, Rob Nudds, Managing Editor for FratelloWatches, explains why he is an avid fan of Peli cases for the transport and storage of his watch collection.
If you’ve ever read any of my watch reviews, tuned in to any of my Podcasts, or accidentally stumbled into an Instagram Live session, while I happen to be polluting the internet with my face, chances are you’ve seen or heard me wax lyrical about the virtues of Peli cases as a method of luxury watch storage.
I’ve been banging this drum for years. Back when I was a watchmaker, I became obsessed with the Peli brand. I used to carry my tools in Pick N Pluck foam cases I bought from the store. I doubted then that anyone had thought of using these ultra-resistant cases for the same purpose, but in the years since I’ve met several watch collectors that share my passion.
And why not? Even the tools we use in watchmaking are high-value and occasionally delicate. Having adequate protection for your investments — whatever form they take — is never a bad idea. Using cases that are, in themselves, well-designed and well-engineered makes sense. More than that, I feel my watches deserve something about which I am equally enthusiastic. I could talk at length about the practical virtues of the cases, but for me it’s always gone beyond that. It’s about extending and enhancing the ownership experience. I get just as much joy from viewing or transporting my collection (or parts of it, at least) in cases that are as collectible as many of the pieces within.
Currently, I use four different types of Peli cases for storing and transporting my watches and the associated tools of my trade. Now, as a journalist primarily, my toolkit has been replaced by photographic equipment. My choice for carrying this gear with me when flying is the carry-on size 1535 Peli Air, which has a Hybrid case interior with a Pick N Pluck foam area as well as a separate TrekPak compartment for storing other items (for one night stays I actually use this for a couple of t-shirts, socks, and underwear). I keep a very small, emergency tool kit (and some spare straps) in a tiny Peli Ruck Case, which can normally be found kicking around in the bottom of a backpack.
My stay-at-home collection can be found in a Peli 1500, which was converted for watch storage by a German company known as “Black Steel Watches”. It holds fifteen units and is a dream to use, with the foam expertly cut to accommodate watches up to at least 56mm in diameter (that’s the largest one I have in my collection — a Casio Mudmaster for the curious among you).
But the case I use more than any other is a 10-watch set-up purchased from The Case Farm. The case began life as a basic Peli 1400. The inserts cut for watches are generously sized and versatile, but are not as sculpted, nor as secure as the ones from Black Steel. The advantage of the 1400 (and The Case Farm in general) is that its cases are readily available and reasonably priced.
As far as a decent return on your investment goes, you can’t go far wrong with the Peli Cases supplied with custom foam from The Case Farm, but if you don’t like the look of the layout you could go direct and customize the foam yourself to fit your needs with Peli's standard Pick N Pluck foam. That’s what I did with the Peli Air and, I have to say, it worked out rather well.
When it comes to durability and security, I couldn’t ask for more from this gear. I’ll be testing all of these products more extensively in the future so check back for more detailed reviews on each and every one of them.
Find out more about Peli's line of protective cases by clicking on the button below.
Rob Nudds is an avid wrist watch collector, watchmaker, and currently the Managing Editor for FratelloWatches, a website that produces content about new watches and vintage watches, the watch industry, useful information for watch collectors, and just about anything else you can think of related to watches.