watch record keeping

I have a collection of over 150 Bulova watches which I keep in two display stand which hold 80 watches and are mounted on individual plastic  stands. The watches dated from the 1920's to the 1980's. I keep a record of each watch in A4 folders with photos and as much information as I can find. I am trying to put together an indexing system in watch date order by numbering the watch stands and watches and then cross referencing this with my A4 folders. The problem arises when I purchase another watch and lets say it is a 1936 model then I have to move all the watches after this date to the next stand to accomodate this watch.

Apologies if this is a simplistic question but I am curious what other filing systems are out there. Thankyou


Geoff Baker
Posted November 14, 2015 - 7:34am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hi Terry - I have about the same number in my collection right now. I store most of them in a large  floor mounted, high security safe. Think about the value of the collection, it's worth spending a thousand or two to secure it. I generally won't have more than six or seven out on display. Several years back I made wooden boxes with glass lids that are divided into small sections and lined with felt. There are 24 sections in each box but I can fit two or three watches into each section so there's plenty of room. The boxes were sized to stack and fit snugly into the safe. 

The records are all electronic. First is a spread sheet sorted by year of the watch that also has a colunm with my "collection" number. The collection number is simple, the year of the watch and a two digit number designating the number of watches for that year, (eg. 1936.05 is the fifth 1936 watch I acquired). The beauty is that adding or subtracting doesn't cause the re-ordering you suffer through. If (when) I sell a watch the number stays with the watch but goes to the "sold" section of the workbook. Second is a 'photo' file. Each watch is photographed and placed in a computer folder named with the year, manufacture, model AND collection number (eg. 1927 Bulova Lone Eagle 1927.02). The spreadsheet is hyperlinked to the photo file on the computer so I can click a watch in the spreadsheet and the photos open (I learned that trick from Bob Bruno). The key to this system is computer backup, I back up my files religiously and regularly, I even keep records off-site.

My on-going concern is that when I'm gone the collection will be easier to evaluate and sell off based on the cataloging system. I want the person that is responsible to dispose of the collection to know all the details of each watch and have some idea of the value of the collection in total. 


Posted November 21, 2015 - 9:59pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Hey Geoff, isn't that the Lockmaster 6000 that had those really weak hinges that popped out :-)

I've had the great honor of seeing Geoff's setup first hand and his storage method is a good smart way of protecting his investment, which we sometimes forget these watches are....we just get to also wear them from time to time (pun intended).

1955mercury's picture
Posted November 14, 2015 - 3:10pm

I put mine in zip lock bags along with a note describing it and what I have invested in it then put the bag in a good size cardboard box. When the box gets full I seal it up and store it away and start a new box. Might take me 6 months to find a particular watch again but I never sell any anyway.

  I had photos of them all in a computer file and my hard drive crashed and I lost everything. I was going to prevent that from ever happening again and I went to Wally World and bought a humongous external hard drive to use to back up my computer. I've been searching for it now for over 6 months so I can do the first back up, but haven't found it yet.

  I've got two Dremmel tools and I needed one about 6 months ago and after a two day search I couldn't find either one so I went to the hardware store and bought another one. Well, I had something else to do and put that project off for a period of time. Two weeks ago I decided to get back on that project and now I can't find the last Dremmel tool I bought either.

   I'm very organized. But it's fun. Whenever I start searching for something I find things that I didn't even know I had. I found a camera a couple of years back that still had film in it from where I had taken pictures back in 1986. I had it developed and it was like going back in time when I picked them up. I had no idea what the photos were going to be. I had 4 pictures of Jerry Lee Lewis's first new car. A 1958 Ford Skyliner.


Posted November 14, 2015 - 9:18pm

It sounds like you might want to confer with Geoff in a PM and see if he can help you further. His system is the most complete I have heard of and sounds as if it would make your problems go away.


Nice work Geoff.


el tel
Posted November 15, 2015 - 2:50am

Hi Geoff , thanks for the feedback . The security aspect I have not really considered , I live in the UK and live in a low crime area although I do have a monitored burglar alarm which I feel is adequate. Displaying my collection is one of my pleasures and I would be loath to lock them away. 

I like your numbering system and feel this would be appropriate for my watches , although I might need my son to assist with the spreadsheets !

Thanks again.