Monday, September 16, 2013

Watch Accessory Review: Wolf Designs 4583029 5 Piece Watch Storage Box

Watch boxes occupy an interesting spot in the realm of watch accessories.  At some point (usually after collecting more than 2-3 watches), they become something of a necessity for those looking to keep their collection in some semblance of order.  But many such boxes tend to either occupy stratospheric price points (when the box costs more than most of the watches it houses, something is amiss), or pair reasonable pricing with dubious construction or materials (in particular, an anonymous model I picked up from eBay for about $40 had lining and watch pillows that started to disintegrate the moment I touched them).  The sweet spot that couples reasonable price with reasonable quality can be elusive.

After paring down my watch collection from well over the ten slots allocated in my previous watch box (a now-discontinued Fossil model), and confirming that Fossil's current watch box offerings 1) cost over $100 each (straying into costing-more-than-the-watches territory where Fossil is concerned) and 2) featuring no less than eight slots, I decided to venture onto Amazon and see if I could find another brand that would hit the reasonable-price, reasonable-quality sweet spot.

I'd heard of Wolf Designs before, but their "retail" price point positions them squarely outside reasonable price territory.  Fortunately, most retailers that carry them offer the boxes at substantial discounts, Amazon included, making them a stronger value proposition and worth looking into.  With a slim collection in mind, I chose their 5-watch offering, available on Amazon for roughly $50.  (Not cheap, but not quite exorbitant, either.)

The quality of materials is more than adequate, on par if not slightly better than those used in the now-discontinued Fossil box.  The slots feature a slight incline that allows the watches to rest naturally at an attractive angle when nestled within.  The display window is glass rather than plastic, giving it a more solid feel.  I prefer watch boxes with transparent lids as they allow solar-powered watches (such as the Citizen Eco-Drive line and many higher-end Casios) to take on light even while the box is closed.

The locking mechanism is simple and functional, but ultimately of limited protective value; any determined thief need only shatter the glass lid to gain access to the watches within, or simply take the entire box.  I tend to leave mine unlocked by default.

All in all, this is about as nice a watch box as can be had at around the $50 price point - which is hardly a steal, but an acceptable value given the watch box market.  For those looking to maintain a smaller (by WIS standards) collection, the Wolf Designs 4583029 5 Piece Watch Storage Box is probably the box to get.

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