If you are an aficionado, virtuoso or connoisseur of watches, then you are a member of one of the prestigious watch clubs.
Imagine feeling a timeless piece of workmanship, on your wrists, that flatters your outfit, boosts your confidence and gives reliable time. From simple, elegant pieces to more dynamic models suited for underwater expeditions, scaling of cliffs, soaring to new heights in planes and many exploits, no matter the occasion, there is a suitable watch.
The World of the Watch Club
The watch club is a male-dominated world, but women are catching on to this trend. My friend wrote an article on fine watches and many men took an issue.
You would think the world fell off its axis!
But, we should get with the times as more women are opting for the bigger, sleeker watch models.
Some watch makers are spinning in their own archaic world. They aren’t following the buying trends of women. For example, Swiss watchmakers are still making the slender models that many women ignore for the bigger men’s watch.
The 21st century woman is a different beast and not stuck in the confines of a suburban home.
She is climbing the corporate ladder, in the business world. She is climbing through the trenches with her fellow male soldiers and serving her country. She is flying planes at high altitudes in the open sky. She is excavating deep pits for lost worlds and she is choosing sturdy and multifaceted watch brands that can withstand these activities.
Women understand and appreciate fine watches.
They are a niche to themselves, but for now, a male dominated one. For example, watch geeks subscribe to websites, such as Hodinkee that has a viewership of 95% males.
But, with more female editors and writers like Cara Barrett, those numbers will change. She has a special mandate of emboldening more women to declare their love of watches.
Indeed, as a former cataloger at Sotheby’s watch department, Barrett estimates she cataloged around 600 watches every year, which not only resulted in her developing an eye for watches, but also a love and appreciation for them. Barrett would go on to write a review of a 36-millimeter Oyster Perpetual by Rolex as a suggested watch for women. Only the male-dominated readership strenuously objected because 36-millimeter is a traditional size for men when it comes to vintage watches.
Of course, this made Barrett wonder why the watch world is such a boy’s club. As she told the New York Times in an interview, “If there’s a world where “mansplaining” is king, it’s definitely watches.”
Barrett pointed out that the Swiss are some of the finest watchmakers in the world, but they haven’t kept up with the times, which is why they still mostly cater to men. Barrett has spent much of her time trying to spark interest in watches among women so that will change. So far, her efforts are paying off as more and more women start purchasing watches that were traditionally for men, giving her hope that one day there will be no gender labels on watches so that anyone can appreciate them.
Overtime, I too have worked with watches and developed an appreciation for their gorgeous design and diversity.
This prompted me to join a watch of the month club.
The Watch Gang Review
One watch club subscription service that is popular is Watch Gang.
They have a $29.99 package where you receive a new shipment each month. There is another premium category for $99.99. These prices include shipping.
According to Watch Gang, a lucky winner can receive a free Rolex watch each week.
Even though Watch Gang boasts about their selections and packaging, in reality they are underwhelming.
I tried their service after reviewing their social media profiles and website. After paying the fee, I waited for my Watch Gang package to arrive in the mail.
A few weeks passed, and I received a small, brown box.
I asked, is this it, after turning it over twice in the palms of my hands. The label confirmed that it was.
I was underwhelmed and a bit disappointed.
So, I rated the package 1/5, just for not coming in a grey, plastic, USPS bag.
There was a second round of disappointment, when I saw the mediocre model staring back at me in the little brown box. The Morphic model M3103 was not something I would have chosen for myself.
It looked plastic and cheap.
This was not the attractive replicas that were advertised on the social media pages.
I tried the watch for a couple days and decided to park it, because the watch model was unattractive and uncomfortable. Overall, I would rate it 2/5, just for being able to tell the time.
The following month, I was less excited but still hoping for a better model watch.
Another sturdy brown box showed up in my mailbox.
Again, I rated that package 1/5.
This time around there was an Argenti watch in the box. Even though it was a better model than the previous shipment, I was still disappointed.
I guess, I could give it a begrudging 3/5.
Overall, my Watch Club experience was not paying off. The package did not reflect those advertised neither did the model watches I received.
That is $60 spent on two watches.
I decided to shop around for a better watch club and withdrew my subscription, because I knew there was a better option out there.
Eleven James Watch Club Review
With mixed apprehension, I decided to try Eleven James.
They had a novel idea to allow patrons the opportunity to try out watches. At first, they started out with men’s watches but have progressed into luxury women’s watches in later years.
I quite liked the idea of being able to rent luxury watches and wear them for a time. It somehow lessens the initial buyer’s anxiety.
This top-notch company lived up to their advertising and I loved their concierge service.
There were a plethora of watches to choose from, including Rolex, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and Audemars Piguet Cartier Millenary.
For my experiment, I tried the Rolex Datejust and a Cartier.
Not only were these watches stunning, but also they were set to the time zone that I lived. This showed care and consideration. There was not a flaw on these sleek, cleaned items.
I am a fan.
This is a five star service.
Eleven James membership packages vary, so visit their website to select one that suits your budget.
They accommodate extensions and your assigned concierge works to make the process as smooth as possible.
Overall, this was a superb experiment for a rental service, with the option to buy.