Watchpod: Practical And Affordable Travel Cases For Bracelet Watches
I usually don’t review accessories for Quill & Pad, but Watchpod snuck up on me in an unusual way.
Which is how I got into contact with Watchpod’s founder Matthew Catellier, who was kind enough to lend me a few of his products to try out and review.
What need does Watchpod fill?
It’s hard to fill a void in the watch world anymore as there doesn’t seem to be many holes left to fill. But upon buying his first mechanical watch, Catellier decided that he wasn’t happy with the watch travel cases available so he made his own. Before long his friends wanted one of his cases too, and Watchpod was born.
In 2015, after acquiring his Rolex, Catellier noticed conventional travel cases with rolls or pillows in the middle wouldn’t be providing maximum protection for a bracelet watch. While they separate the bracelet from the back of the case, they still allow the watch to wiggle around inside, which can cause scratching – as anyone who has tried to travel with a bracelet watch can attest.
Catellier’s patented solution included designing a hard case shaped like an oval doughnut, with a foam-covered support in the center, a cushion on the top, another cushion on the bottom, and a zipper fastening. It looks much like a clam when it is zipped up, snugly locking the watch, regardless of size, nice and tightly in place .
I have a small wrist, and my bracelet watches are almost comically small in diameter, so I thought that might be a problem at first. But no – the Watchpod worked perfectly with every size of bracelet watch I tried.
The inside is lined with a soft Lycra material to further couch and protect the timepiece.
“We try to design products that we know watch collectors will like and find useful,” Catellier told me. “Lots of design input comes directly from the watch community.”
Watchpod watch cases and display stand
Catellier first put the Watchpod for one timepiece on the market in 2017.
That first minimalistic Watchpod has since been followed by models with room for two and three watches, all made using a ballistic 1680 denier nylon exterior chosen for its durability and water-repellent properties.
With its hard shell design the case is crush-proof, meaning it can be crammed into a bag without fear that anything will crush either it or its precious cargo.
The one-watch pod comes in black or brown, while the multi-watch styles are only available in black. And something that might particularly intrigue readers of Quill & Pad is that there is a premium line on the way.
“Our timeline for the premium line has been pushed back due to Covid-19, just like most physical product businesses at the moment,” Catellier revealed. “Right now, it’s on schedule to launch mid-summer.”
Watchpod’s upcoming premium line will consist of the current Watchpod case shapes made with more luxurious materials such as fine leathers and suedes, essentially an upscale version of the current Watchpod travel cases.
Canadian-based Catellier obviously has quite an entrepreneurial spirit as he has extended his range of products to also include a watch display stand, which can be used to display a watch or keep it on a dresser or nightstand. I even read a review where one user put his lumed watch on the stand next to his bed so he could easily see the time at night.
I enjoyed photographing my vintage Gérald Genta Retro on this stand as I felt the its jewelry-like bracelet was showcased exceedingly well.
The display stand made of polished stainless steel and silicone with engraved rivets is available in two sizes, large ($14.98) and small ($12.98).
And the best thing about these Watchpod products is that they are eminently affordable with prices for the cases ranging from $14.98 to $21.98.
As I hadn’t heard of Watchpod before Kathleen’s email, I was curious as to learn just how popular they were, so I asked Catellier. “Since our first product launch in 2017, to date we’ve fulfilled around 40,000 orders. An average order usually consists of multiple products (2-3) and we regularly receive bulk orders of 50-500 units from small and large shops. In total, we’ve probably sold around 100,000-120,000 units.”
I went from skeptical based on the pricing to becoming an almost immediate fan after spending an afternoon fitting my bracelet watches into the cases and playing with the display stand. I find Watchpod products to be an amazing value for money.
For more, please visit www.watchpodcases.com.