First DVDs in the Mail, Now $30,000 Rental Watches
SAN DIEGO ( MainStreet) A new luxury watch aligning with your style can be shipped to your home every few months part of the same new culture of renting most people experience by building a profile on Pandora or Spotify or being a member of Netflix.
Enter Eleven James a luxury watch rental membership program launched late last month.
"We've already had inquiries from every continent on the planet, so clearly there's an interest in this," says Eleven James founder and CEO Randy Brandoff, former chief marketing officer of the Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets jet ownership and rental business.
For the entry-level membership fee of $249 a month, Eleven James members get to wear watches worth an average $10,000 or more for two months at a time. The annual rental program allows members to experience three to six different watches per year, depending on the membership level bought.
If you're still scratching your head wondering why such a program is necessary, you're probably not among Eleven James' target audience.
True watch connoisseurs totally get it.
Eleven James attracts several different types of luxury watch lovers, Brandoff says.
There are those of ultra high net worth who already own so many luxury watches they're hesitant to buy another.
"At some point those individuals get fatigued from having more watches then they can possibly wear," Brandoff explains. "We allow them to reinvigorate their watch collection without overgrowing it."
On the other end of the spectrum is the watch connoisseur in his early 30s for whom membership buys exposure to a variety of luxury watches as something of a learning experience, before making such a substantial purchase.
"For the sub-35-year-old, membership is firmly about access and experience," Brandoff continues. "When you are 30 years old you don't own your car, you don't own your apartment and when you go on vacation, you don't own your vacation home. Owning is not what this generation is about."
Somewhere between those categories is the highly paid executive member.
"The middle case is the well-compensated, six-figure executive who is at a phase in life where the kids are in private school and membership is their way to take it easy and still access these watches," Brandoff says.
The watches Eleven James members have access to include IWC, Panerai, Rolex, Hublot and Zenith with the lower-priced Aficionado Collection membership. The value of the watches in this tier range from $7,000 to $15,000, Brandoff says.
With more expensive Connoisseur Collection comes watch brands including Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe and Girard-Perregaux. The value of the watches in this collection range between $15,00 and $30,000, with an average value of more than $20,000.