Netflix for Rolexes? The Latest Rental Companies Focus on Men’s Luxury

Luxury Watches and Starter Suits


Watches from the Eleven James collection

Where Amazon grew bored with just dominating the book market, and quickly became the Amazon of everything from web storage to diapers, Netflix has largely been content to remain the Netflix of movies and television. While the rental model hasn’t been foolproof in all industries, Rent the Runway has done well as the Netflix of dresses, and ZipCar is zipping along as the Netflix of cars. One new entrant to the rental market  is giving guys a suit-based Rent the Runway counterpart, and another is focusing on watches that probably cost as much as the last ZipCar you drove.

Eleven James is furthest along, with a collection of luxury watches from brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin available for rental anywhere for 2 months at a time.  {Business Insider}Watches available to rent range in value from $7,000 to $50,000. While there are collection levels and an application process in place, there’s no mention on the Eleven James website of what level of membership grants access to the top tier of watches – or even what the most basic of memberships will run. In the fashion and accessories space, rentals are typically 25-33% of the retail cost of an item, so using the lowest pricing tier and the lowest percentage, it’s safe to assume that even entry level membership hovers somewhere in the four-digit range.

Still, with the dearth of websites of any kind offering luxury watches, it will be interesting to see if Eleven James can prove to the last luxury holdouts that the web is indeed a sales channel for them too.

Next up is NextSuit, which is yet to launch, but promises to offer members access to a suit at a time for $100 per month. {TechCrunch} Using the 25% rental rate guideline, men can expect a new (to them) $400 suit for the daily grind, or special occasions. While $40o isn’t super cheap, it’s nowhere near the high end of an off-the-rack men’s suit. At Nordstrom, a Dolce & Gabbana suit will set you back more than $2500, while options from Armani, John Varvatos and Canali hover right at or just below the $2k mark. At Neiman Marcus, $800 is roughly entry level for a suit (Versace, on sale, if you’re curious), while a top of the line Brioni goes for more than $5,000 and Kiton suits are on offer for a hair under $8,000.

NextSuit will likely have to expand their options if they hope to achieve Rent the Runway status; there, dress rentals start at days, rather than months, but also include higher ticket items at 10% of the retail price. The shorter time frame likely allows for more rentals, which in turn allows for a larger – and yes, more expensive – range of choices.

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