Wristy Business: Wear a luxury watch ($50,000!) like a pro for a fraction of the cost with these high-end rental programs

July 24, 2018
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There is a time to reap, and a time to sow. There’s also a time to buy a luxury timepiece. But if you’d rather rent one, you can do that, too, thanks to high-end services like these.

BORROWED TIME WATCHES

With a ready-to-go collection from a range of marquee brands — Rolex, Omega, Chronoswiss, and more — Borrowed Time has just the right watch for just the right occasion. Tough time choosing? Not to worry. They’ll recommend the watch that fits your needs, whether you’re off to a black-tie event or just looking to wear something new.

HAUTE VAULT

Rent it. Receive it. Rock it. Return it. That’s how Haute Vault describes the process. But as with other high-end services of its kind, there’s another step: you have to qualify for membership first. Once you do, you pay an annual membership fee of $350-$500 dollars. Then you can start to enjoy the perks, like, say, renting a $50,000 Patek Philippe for around $800 a week.

CLERKENWELL WATCH CO.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be? Clerkenwell lets you be both. Along with renting luxury timepieces from Rolex, Tiffany, Tag Heuer and beyond, the company also offers a “share your watch” program. If you’ve got a nifty watch that’s relatively new (read: 5-years-old or newer), Clerkenwell will connect you with verified renters who’ll pay you up to $400 per month for it.

ELEVEN JAMES

Luxury watches are like haute couture: if you want to wear them right, you should change them with the seasons. Eleven James accommodates with a cyclical rental program. When you sign up for a membership, you select an array of timepieces you’d like to try out, and the company sends you a new one every three months.

THE WATCH LENDING CLUB

You might not ever want to be part of a club that would have you as a member. But if you want to be a part of a club that has a lot of watches, this is the one for you. There are four access levels — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum — each of which lets you rotate through hundreds of high-end time pieces in the club collection. The difference is how high-end you’re allowed to go. Bronze, for instance, gives you a pick of watches valued under $4,000; Silver caps you at $15,000; Gold at $25,000; and Platinum gives you access to the whole shebang, along with first dibs on anything you want.