Rolex watches are valuable investment pieces, which is why some collectors may be a bit apprehensive to take them with them when they travel. However, most of the models in the Rolex catalogue are developed for adventure, i.e., the Submariner, GMT, and Explorer I & II, so it only makes sense that your Rolex should accompany you wherever you roam. So what, exactly, are the risks of bringing your Rolex with you on your next trip? We’ve covered the four of the most important factors to consider below.
Of course, one of the biggest concerns when wearing your Rolex anywhere, much less when your travel, is theft. The Rolex brand is instantly recognizable, which might make you an easy target. While one of the safest places for your luxury watch while travelling is most definitely on your wrist, it can also be a risk. Especially around highly skilled thieves that have no problem slipping it off your wrist undetected. While you shouldn’t let this stop you from enjoying your watch in all corners of the globe, it’s something serious to consider. The best way to ward off any unwanted attention is to keep it tucked under the cuff of a long sleeve shirt or jacket while out and about.
Being aware of your surroundings is also paramount. If you aren’t safe, then neither is your timepiece. Some collectors will even urge you to avoid the stress altogether and leave your Rolex at home.
If you’re new to owning a Rolex watch or if this is your first time travelling with one, this section might be a bit curious. Previously, there were restrictions on bringing Rolex watches into the US commercially. If you were flying into the states with your personal timepiece, it was mandatory that it be on your wrist.
While these limitations are no longer in place, a great rule of thumb when going through customs is to wear your Rolex on your wrist at all times. This might also give you something to consider if you were toying with the idea of bringing more than one Rolex with you, such as a sport and a dress reference. The security checkpoint is another factor to consider. Not all models will offer protection against the security screeners, so it’s important to discuss your options with a knowledgeable source, such as an authorized Rolex dealer before travelling.
If you’re tempted to purchase a counterfeit Rolex while overseas, don’t. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection buying fake watches is illegal and you may be subject to severe penalties, both legally and financially. What’s more is that the majority of the counterfeit watches, while convincing in appearance, don’t even come close to the quality of a real Rolex. The risk is most definitely not worth it. Some travellers may not even be aware that they are purchasing a counterfeit watch. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the seller is an authorized dealer when buying a Rolex overseas.
Protecting your Watch
As previously mentioned, when travelling it’s ideal to keep your Rolex on your person as much as possible. However, there may be times when a precious metal watch, in particular, may need to be left behind to preserve its finish or to safeguard it from situations when theft is a high risk.
What is the best course of action to take in this situation? For starters, it’s wise to bring a watch roll or case to store your timepiece in properly. We recommend an inconspicuous option so as not to draw the attention of anyone who might come into your room while you’re away. And, of course, you should consider storing your Rolex in the hotel safe. There are risks to that as well, but short of storing your watch in a bank vault, the hotel safe is probably the most secure place beside your wrist to keep your Rolex.