Q&A with Randy Brandoff, founder and CEO of Eleven James

Eleven James Members' Welcome Package

Eleven James Members’ Welcome Package

You might remember TimeCaptain’s story about enjoying watches without buying them, where he gives a few great tips for watch enthusiasts that take their first steps on the path to become collectors. Today, I’m going to add to his list a new way of enjoying watches, becoming a member of Eleven James.

Randy Brandoff, founder and CEO of Eleven James, came up with a really cool way of approaching the watch business, a membership program offering access to a collection of the latest, and the most prestigious timepieces on a rotation basis.
Members elect to receive either three or six watches per year for a period of two months at a time, from a choice of curated Collections (ranging from $10,000 average retail value and upwards). This might be an interesting way of experiencing watches before. I can see another category of people that would love this service, those that like switching watches on a regular basis, but don’t want to bother with selling them. In case, a member gets too attached to a piece, of course; they can buy it from Eleven James.

Each member has a profile based on their specific interest and the Eleven James Concierge team will analyse this info to pair watches with members.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono from Eleven James.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono from Eleven James.

Part of the fun of being an Eleven James member includes access to a myriad of inspiring lifestyle experiences and exclusive events.

There are three main types of memberships, depending on the monthly fee and the number of watches rotated. The Aficionado Collection giving access to pieces in the range of $7,000 to $10,000 (IWC, JLC, Panerai, Rolex, Hublot, Zenith, etc.) will cost $249 per month. The Connoisseur Collection with pieces between $15,000 to $30,000 (Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Patek Philippe, Girard-Perregaux, etc.) starts at $459 per month and finally the Virtuoso collection with pieces above $30,000 for $899 per month. There is a 10% discount for membership payed on a yearly base.

Hublot Big Bang Chrono and a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5123 are just a couple of dream pieces from the vast collection of Eleven James.

Hublot Big Bang Chrono and a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5123 are just a couple of dream pieces from the vast collection of Eleven James.

Randy Brandoff is an experienced and passionate entrepreneur, as well as a Co-Founder of Blueprint Summit and a Principal of Tequila Avion. Prior to founding Eleven James, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of NetJets, Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway company (symbol: BRKa) and, previously, as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of Marquis Jet.

He was kind enough, to answer a few questions I had for him:

Congratulations for launching Eleven James! I find it to be a great business concept, in a world where many people want to enjoy things without bothering to own them, cars, art, houses, etc.

Thanks very much! Appreciate the opportunity to discuss our luxury watch club, Eleven James, with you and your readers. Couldn’t agree more that for many luxury consumers access and experiences have come to trump ownership.

I would like to know where the name Eleven James comes from?

The name Eleven James is derived from a story I heard of James Bond having a selection of eleven different watches and gadgets to choose from for each new Bond film. Bond seemed the archetype for a Member and the variety of watches obviously aligned with our concept. We wanted a name that was unique, aspirational, and that felt familiar.

Who is the typical Eleven James client?

For new enthusiasts and watch connoisseurs alike, Eleven James is the modern way to experience the most sought-after timepieces without as substantial a financial or time commitment. Eleven James Members share a common passion for high-end watches, but represent a broad range of motivations. Some Members love Eleven James for the ease with which to enjoy 3-6 additional watches per year, others enjoy having the ability to “try before you buy,” and others are devout adherents to the “access and experience” over ownership culture.

Eleven James is designed to appeal to both a younger, ascendant audience as well as the high-net-worth audience of watch enthusiasts who have an insatiable appetite for variety. A membership makes a great gift for those curious about high-end watches and for “people who have everything” that are notoriously difficult to shop for. Additionally, Eleven James offers a Corporate Gifting option, which is ideal for discerning employees and clients.

Eleven James was launched five months ago, I guess you already have some feedback, would you share some of the things you hear from your clients?

The hallmark traits of Eleven James are variety, discovery, and enjoyment. We’ve heard from previously fatigued collectors who have used Eleven James to restore their passion, from brand loyalists who are using Eleven James to try new brands before committing to a purchase, and from new entrants to luxury watches who are using Eleven James as the entrée to the exciting world of fine horology.

Members particularly like having a Concierge team, exclusive events, and robust value-added benefits available to help in their enjoyment of the program and broadening of their horizons.
Perhaps my favorite feedback came from an old friend who told me, “I originally joined to support you, and now I can’t believe how much I love being a Member. When I receive each watch rotation it feels like I’m opening a present, and I never buy myself anything…”

Many of our readers are Canadians, any plans to launch an in the future?

We have received robust demand for our service throughout Canada, from Vancouver to Calgary to Toronto. We are very excited to initiate service in Canada within the next few months and are beginning to enroll Canadian members right now.

Thanks a lot and good luck in this new venture.

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As a graphic designer, I'm fascinated by the crossroads between technology and aesthetics. Horology is one of these crafts, where art and engineering come together to produce mechanical wonders that grace the eye. WatchPaper was born from the desire to create an online tool where I can share my passion for watches.