Always wanted to own a Patek Philippe or Rolex but never wanted to lay out the cash? If you've got 17k lying around and don't mind giving the piece back after 2 months, Eleven James has got a deal for you.
A start-up company called Eleven James has launched a timepiece timeshare that allows customers to get a new luxury watch every couple of months for an annual fee. The watches range in value from $7,000 to $50,000 or more, and include top names like Rolex, Audemars, Cartier and Patek Philippe. Randy Brandoff, Eleven James' founder and a former executive at fractional-jet giant NetJets, said that today's wealthy want to be smarter about their spending. They prefer to rent rather than own when possible...Its "Aficionado" plan offers watches valued at between $7,000 and $15,000, and clients pay $2,700 for three two-month long watch rotations per year, or $4,850 for six two-month long rotations per year. In other words, customers can either choose to have a different watch all of the time or some of the time. The other plans work in similar fashion, but offer members the chance to have access to more valuable timepieces. The "Connoisseur" plan includes watches priced between $15,000 and $30,000, and costs $4,950 for three watch rotations a year or $8,950 for six watch rotations a year. The "Virtuoso" plan includes watches in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, and costs $9,700 for three watch rotations or $17,250 for six rotations per year.
If that's not enough of a hook, consider that joining the club will allow you exclusive access to meet and greets with other likeminded watch men.
To add to Eleven James' allure, Brandoff has also built a series of events and parties for clients. The company holds regular parties, for instance, so customers can come and exchange their watches. Customers who just want to do their exchanges by mail can use FedEx.
According to founder Brandoff, the allure of Eleven James is not about not being able to afford the wrist candy of your choice, but about being a watch slut.
"Most watch lovers follow the same pattern," he said. "The first six months after they buy a watch, they love it. The second six months, they don't love it as much. And by the third six months, it gets put on the pile and replaced by one or numerous others."