Watch Curmudgeon #3: On Watch Theft


Remember that article Blake posted on March 19 about the Pelican Watch Case? What a great idea! If you want to keep your growing watch collection in great shape make one or two for yourself. It’s the perfect solution.

Now I don’t want to rain on Blake’s parade, but to a paranoid like me, it’s also the perfect solution for watch thieves. What could be easier for them? Your watch collection all in one discreet place, with a handle for easy transport, no less. And if it’s dropped while fleeing down a fire escape, for example, the watches will probably go unscathed.

Yeah, I’m paranoid about my watches being stolen. I mean really paranoid. And for good reason. Over the years, I’ve had four watches nicked: a clunker, a really good one, an exceptional one, and a priceless heirloom. So, not a moment goes by that I’m not worried about someone scheming to rip me off. At this very moment, I can picture someone pulling a Mission Impossible in my home: shimmying down a rope upside-down while defeating my deadly laser security system.

Of course, fires, tornados, tsunamis and asteroid strikes can also have a deleterious effect on one’s collection, but theft is really personal. And of all my possessions, I can honestly say that my watches are the closest to my heart. Which is why I’m always trying to think of a safer place to keep them away from sticky fingers.

Years ago, I considered placing them in a safety deposit box. That would have been amazingly dumb. I’d have to be at the bank every day at the crack of dawn so I could agonize over which one to wear. Even worse, I wouldn’t be able to lovingly gaze at them in the evening and decide which one to wear to sleep. And I’d have nightmares about someone robbing the bank. Bad idea, those safety deposit boxes.

Suffice to say, I had to find a way to intelligently stash them in my apartment. At first, I kept my growing collection tucked away in my sock drawer. Dumb idea. It’s probably the first place any self-respecting crook would look. For that matter, the same goes for any drawer at all. Closets aren’t that much better, either. So where to hide them?

How about the kitchen. I tried cereal boxes, but found that impractical. Then, after seeing a mail order ad in an in-flight magazine, I sent away for some of those anti-theft cans with false bottoms. But thieves probably saw the same ad. I flirted with the idea of hiding them under meat in the freezer. Stupid. Could screw-up the watches, and what if I had a hungry thief?

Next, the bathroom. Obvious. And too much humidity. How about hollowed-out books in the living room? A strong possibility. I could ruin Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, Memoirs of Frank Sinatra and other volumes no burglar would filch. No. Also too obvious. How about a safe? Impractical because it would have to be several tons to be at all effective.

I had a brainstorm. Leave a few beaten-up, graphically challenged Swatches in plain view around my home so a thief would be fooled into thinking I didn’t give a damn about watches. But, then, I would have to see those watches every day. Bummer.

Finally, I arrived at the perfect solution: a place where my watches would be insanely safe from even the most crafty thief. Want to know where? Don’t take this personally, but do you really think I’m going to tell you? Right now, a thief is probably reading this article!

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