Let’s say you have an interest in a wide variety of luxury watches, but don't necessarily have the means to buy up an entire collection. Eleven James would have the service for you. It’s a new startup that functions on a paid subscription service, offering a curated selection of high end timepieces every other month for a fraction of what the watches would cost to buy. Read on for all the details!
Why Eleven James?
The main attraction here is choice. Watch connoisseurs tend to prefer to rotate between several watches, but the cost of maintaining such a collection is rather great. If the customer’s focus is on access rather than ownership, such a service makes perfect sense. It’s analogous to renting out different sports cars every so often. Essentially, members would be trading ownership for variety, without having to worry about depreciation, maintenance, insurance, or resale.
How does it work?
To join the Eleven James program, you pay a monthly fee to receive either three or six watches per year. If you live in New York, the company will deliver the watches right to your door, but if you live elsewhere, they will mail it out to you.
For watches in the range of $7,000 to $15,000 (the Aficionado Collection), you pay $250 a month for three watches a year or $449 for six. If you want access to the next higher tier of $15,000 to $30,000 watches (the Connoisseur Collection), you’ll be paying $459 a month. For the Virtuoso Collection ($30,000 to $50,000 timepieces), three watches a year will run you $899 and six, $1599. Yes, that does sound like a fair chunk of cash, but keep in mind, the watches on offer here start around the $10,000 mark for the entry level. The emphasis here is definitely on access instead of ownership.
What do they offer?
Watches in the collection come from brands such as Audemars Piguet, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Rolex, and Ulysse Nardin, all curated and recommended based on member preferences. At launch, only mens’ watches are available, but according to the company’s founder, expansion may occur when it makes sense.
The Eleven James program encompasses more than bimonthly delivery of high end watches. Members are offered access to private events, experiences, and loyalty programs, not to mention the concierge services and personal collection assistance by the Eleven James team of professionals.
While Eleven James definitely won’t be the service for every watch enthusiast out there, it may just be the one for those desiring more choice and instant access. To many aficionados, being in possession of a fine timepiece for a span of two to three months is just long enough to appreciate it without necessarily tiring of it.
Others might feel that ownership is essential to truly experience a luxury watch. However, this will all come down to the customer’s preference - some people like buying cars and others enjoy renting.
Ultimately, Eleven James operates on a “try before you buy” premise, so who knows - it may just help you come across the watch that you decide to stick with.