5 Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions (And Are They Worth It?)
In the ever-evolving realm of horology, a trend has been ticking its way into the spotlight – the monthly watch subscription. Is this the path to horological nirvana or just a cleverly designed wristwear carousel? In this exposé, I’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding this new trend.
Imagine a world where, every month, a box arrives at your doorstep, harboring a new and (sometimes) exciting watch. These subscription programs promise not just timekeeping but an ongoing affair with novel timekeepers.
But are they worth the investment? Are these subscriptions the horological equivalent of a treasure chest or merely a glitzy gimmick? Read on as I unveil the five best contenders in the watch subscription sector today.
Delivering Time To Your Door – About Monthly Watch Subscriptions
The allure of monthly watch subscriptions has emerged as a captivating and convenient way to satiate one’s passion for timepieces. This contemporary phenomenon took its first tentative steps into the watch world not too long ago, but it has since gained traction among enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The notion of receiving a fresh watch every month, like clockwork, began to pique the interest of watch aficionados around the early 2010s. The idea spread like wildfire, gaining momentum through social media, watch forums, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Watch enthusiasts, both seasoned and newcomers, were captivated by the prospect of expanding their collections without an arduous hunt or hefty price tags.
But how do these monthly watch subscriptions actually work? Allow me to demystify the mechanism behind it all. Typically, a variety of tiers or packages, each tailored to different preferences and budgets, are offered by each service. Once you’ve chosen your subscription level, you enter the horological arena, ready to embrace the element of surprise.
Every month, a meticulously selected timepiece, often curated by experts, makes its way to your doorstep. The anticipation is part of the thrill – you might receive a vintage-inspired piece one month, a rugged diver’s watch the next, or perhaps an elegant dress watch. The element of surprise and the diversity in styles help keep your collection fresh and exciting, which is part of the appeal for many subscribers.
Most subscriptions also allow you to wear the watch for the month, experiencing its nuances and appreciating its craftsmanship. At the end of the month, you can choose to keep the watch (usually at a discounted price), return it, or swap it for another. In other words, you’ve got the joy of wearing interesting watches without any of the hassle or commitment associated with buying them.
In a world where time is of the essence and horological exploration knows no bounds, monthly watch subscriptions offer an alluring blend of convenience, variety, and adventure. Whether you’re wearing a Patek or a Swatch, the concept alone should get your senses tingling.
5 Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions
Although there are now many more watch subscription services than there were even just 5 years ago, the cream rises to the top, and as such, there are only a few worth mentioning. Here are the top 5, by my estimations!
1. Watch Gang: Horological Equity
Company History: Founded in 2016 by Matthew Gallagher, Billy Harvill, and Robert Taylor, Watch Gang set out to democratize the world of watch collecting. With a mission to provide affordable access to an ever-growing collection of timepieces, they’ve made quite a splash in the horological community.
How It Operates: Watch Gang offers three subscription tiers: Original, Black, and Platinum. Each tier promises a monthly watch delivery, but the excitement lies in the element of surprise. Subscribers could receive anything from micro-brand pieces to well-known names like Seiko and Citizen. The thrill? The value of the watch received often exceeds the subscription cost.
What Watches You Can Get: The selection varies widely, from divers to dress watches, with a penchant for emphasizing both classic and contemporary styles. Watch Gang even features their exclusive ‘Wheel of Watches’, where subscribers can spin to win luxury watches or other enticing prizes.
Cost: The Original tier starts at $49 per month, the Black tier at $99, and the Platinum tier at $299.
2. Eleven James: The Luxury Collection
Company History: Eleven James was born in 2013 and founded by Randy Brandoff. It caters to the horologically inclined who seek to elevate their watch game with a touch of luxury.
How It Operates: Eleven James offers four membership plans: Enthusiast, Aficionado, Connoisseur, and Virtuoso. Each plan provides access to an exclusive collection of luxury watches for a set duration. Subscribers can swap their timepieces periodically, ensuring they always have one that suits the occasion.
What Watches You Can Get: Eleven James focuses on high-end luxury watches, including brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. Expect a curated selection of iconic timepieces.
Cost: Membership fees range from $149 to $1,999 per month, depending on the plan and the watches you desire.
3. Wrist Mafia: The Newcomers
Company History: Wrist Mafia is a relative newcomer, founded in 2019. However, its founder, Brandon Ladd, is no stranger to the world of horology, having a rich background in luxury watches.
How It Operates: Wrist Mafia stands out for its dedication to delivering high-quality, handpicked watches. Subscribers can choose from three tiers: Standard, Premium, and Platinum. Each tier provides a monthly delivery of carefully curated timepieces that are sure to please.
What Watches You Can Get: Wrist Mafia prides itself on offering watches from renowned brands like Rolex, Omega, and TAG Heuer, along with other luxury and micro-brand selections.
Cost: Subscription plans range from $129 to $299 per month, depending on the tier you select.
4. Breitling Select: On-Brand Brilliance
Company History: Breitling Select is a premium subscription service introduced by the iconic Swiss watchmaker Breitling. With a history dating back to 1884, Breitling is renowned for its aviation-inspired timepieces.
How It Operates: Breitling Select offers a unique opportunity to experience the brand’s exceptional watches. Subscribers receive a different Breitling watch each month. It’s a chance to explore the brand’s extensive range and discover which Breitling model best suits your style.
What Watches You Can Get: With Breitling Select, you can expect to receive a variety of Breitling watches, from their iconic Navitimer to the Aviator 8 and more.
Cost: Membership fees start at $129 per month, making it an attractive option for those looking to dive into the world of luxury Swiss watches without making a massive financial commitment.
5. Monthly Watch Box: The Horological Curator
Company History: Monthly Watch Box has been serving the watch community since 2014. Founded by Ben Adams, this service aims to provide both watch novices and connoisseurs with a curated monthly dose of horological excitement.
How It Operates: Monthly Watch Box offers three subscription tiers: Standard, Pro, and Platinum. Subscribers receive a watch each month, and the best part is that they get to choose from a selection of options, ensuring a personalized experience.
What Watches You Can Get: The selection includes a mix of styles and brands, ranging from classic dress watches to rugged divers and even some micro-brand surprises.
Cost: Subscription plans start at $39.95 per month, making it an accessible option for those on a budget who still want to enjoy a regular dose of wristwatch variety.
These five monthly watch subscription services cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences, from affordable variety to high-end luxury. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection, try out luxury timepieces, or simply enjoy the thrill of a monthly surprise, there’s a subscription that suits your horological journey. So, which one will adorn your wrist next? The choice is yours, and the adventure awaits.
Are Monthly Watch Subscriptions Worth It?
Monthly watch subscriptions come with their own set of pros and cons, making them a worthwhile endeavor for some while leaving others with a raised eyebrow.
Variety, Variety, Variety: One of the most significant advantages is the sheer variety you get to experience. From tool watches to timeless classics and everything in between, these subscriptions offer a diverse range of timepieces that can keep your collection fresh and exciting.
Affordable Access to Luxury: Services like Breitling Select and Eleven James allow you to enjoy luxury watches without the eye-watering price tags. It’s a fantastic way to explore high-end brands without committing to a significant purchase.
Curated Selections: Many subscriptions are curated by horological experts who handpick watches for their subscribers. This means you’re likely to discover hidden gems and under-the-radar brands you might not have encountered otherwise.
Lack of Ownership: Perhaps the most significant drawback is that you don’t actually own the watches you receive in most cases. This can be a deal-breaker for collectors who want to build a lasting, physical collection. However, many of the services offer a buy-out option, so you don’t necessarily have to send the watch back every time!
Subscription Costs: While some subscriptions are budget-friendly, others can be quite pricey. For some, the monthly cost might add up to more than they’d typically spend on a watch.
Limited Control: You might receive watches that don’t align with your taste or style. If you’re someone who prefers to carefully curate your collection, the element of surprise might not be appealing. In short, it really sucks having your bubble of anticipation burst by a watch you dislike.
Condition and Authenticity: There’s always a slight risk when it comes to the state and authenticity of the watches received. While reputable services take great care in this regard, others are less pragmatic.
In essence, whether a monthly watch subscription is worth it depends on your individual preferences and goals as a collector. If you crave variety and enjoy the thrill of trying out different watches without the commitment of ownership, these subscriptions can be a delightful journey.
However, if you’re a die-hard collector who values ownership, control over your acquisitions, and the long-term investment potential of a timepiece, you might find these services less appealing.
Ultimately, it’s all about striking a balance between your passion for horology and your personal collecting philosophy. So, are monthly watch subscriptions worth it? The answer lies in the ticking heart of your own horological desires.
As we draw the final seconds of this guide, it’s abundantly clear that the question of whether monthly watch subscriptions are worth it hinges on the individual collector’s heartbeat.
For those who savor the excitement of an ever-changing wrist companion and the opportunity to sample an array of styles and brands, these subscriptions offer a tantalizing experience. It’s a journey through time and style, a monthly adventure that keeps the wrist-wear flame burning bright.
However, for the steadfast collectors who cherish ownership, control, and long-term investment potential, the allure of these subscriptions may pale in comparison to the satisfaction of building a personal collection.
Whether you find your horological haven in a monthly surprise or a carefully curated collection, remember that in the world of watches, time is truly on your side. So, my fellow watch aficionados, the choice is yours, and your wrist remains the canvas of your horological journey.
About Exquisite Timepieces
Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.