Fractional Ownership of Luxury Watches

So here’s a clever idea from Randy Brandoff who was former chief marketing officer of NetJets (owned by Berkshire Hathaway). He’s founded “Eleven James” which is a membership program for luxury watches. In short he’s basically taken the idea of fractional ownership of aircraft and applied it to watches.

breitling-bentley3Here’s how he describes the service:

“At NetJets and Marquis Jet, I experienced firsthand how many consumers of luxury products are increasingly interested in access rather than ownership. Private jets, vacation homes, classic cars, and many other historically prized possessions have all become accessible via various club and shared ownership programs.

Eleven James applies this principle to luxury watches: an annual membership program that provides access to a curated selection of luxury watches. Members have each watch for two months at a time – long enough to really enjoy it, but not too long for the excitement to wane. They can opt to receive three or six different watches per year – from several different price categories”

Brandoff also has the following comments about ownership versus renting:

“Collectors can experience a watch that intrigues them without committing to a purchase right away. They also get the benefits of variety that would be extremely difficult to replicate through purchases. Even if you can afford, say, 20 watches – if you own them, you have to deal with maintenance, reminding yourself to switch watches, and so on. For these customers, our membership is not an alternative to ownership, but a new opportunity to “mix it up.

People who enjoy watches but aren’t collectors can experience a wide range of luxury watches without a substantial financial commitment, or spend a lot of time researching a purchase. For some, it’s like training-wheels for wearing luxury watches.”

Brandoff’s comments above are an excerpt from this interview between him and Mark Babej in Forbes which I highly recommend reading to get the full story behind what will no doubt be another successful Randy Brandoff venture, and one that’s much appreciated by luxury watch enthusiasts.

Ball Railroad Watches

It’s interesting that a watch known and respected for its superior accuracy was a brand never manufactured in its own right. This refers of course to Ball watches which even today carry on the legacy of ultra precision timekeeping.

This all came about back in the late 1800’s when two trains traveling toward each other on the same track collided in1891 causing the deaths of both engineers along with several others. The collision resulted from one engineers watch having briefly stopped and started again.

Ball Railroad Pocket WatchKeep in mind at the time there were no cell phones or even radio to provide the instant communication we have today. The only way to manage the comings and goings of so many trains was that they must start and stop precisely as scheduled. A difference of minutes could be disastrous.

Problem was that timepieces back then weren’t that accurate or dependable, plus there was no time standard. Every major city set their own official “time” based on the sun and the railroads ended up with dozens of “times” to reconcile.

So it was because of this fatal train wreck that railroad officials commissioned Webster C. Ball as their Chief Time Inspector, and tasked him with establishing precision watch standards and a reliable timepiece inspection system for railroad chronometers. These General Railroad Timepiece Standards were adopted by most railroads in 1893.

Ball who operated a small jewelry store at the time, took the opportunity to position his company to provide a watch that would meet these strict standards by contracting with established watch companies such as Hamilton, Elgin, Waltham, and others to supply him with watch movements. Then he inserted these movements into the high quality cases that carried the Ball Watch Company name. 

Even though several manufacturers ended up supplying watches that met Ball standards to the railroads, it was only those timepieces that actually bore the Ball name on the case that were considered the Rolls-Royce of railroad pocket watches for over a hundred years.

Today, Ball watches use movements made in Switzerland, and continue in their tradition of  offering superior accuracy and reliability.

Olympic Timekeeping at Vancouver Winter Games

While watching some of the events of the Olympics in Vancouver, I was amazed that in so many cases the winner was determined as the result of a photo finish. And furthermore, the gold, silver and bronze finishers were separated by a mere 1/100th of a second.

That got me to thinking about the timekeeping responsibility – like in nobody better screw up cause it can’t be re-done. I was certain that there would be tons of redundancy, but got curious about something really unusual happening like a mass power outage – surely they had battery backups as well.Vancouver Olympic Alpine

Well a little digging under the covers showed all is well. Omega is once again the official winter games timekeeper for Vancouver continuing a decades long legacy of being entrusted with this tremendous responsibility.

It is said that on their first assignment for the 1936 winter games in Germany, there was a lone Omega technician who brought 27 stopwatches that were used to time each event.

Omega WatchesFast forward to today and we have the largest timekeeping contingent in the history of winter sports. We’re told that OMEGA deployed 220 timekeeping professionals and engineers supported by 290 local volunteers. Also, they’re bringing some 250 tons of equipment, no doubt including devices for redundancy, waterproof camera gear and more for timekeeping, on-venue results and TV services.

That is incredible, but certainly reduces the possibility of mistakes to something less than negligible. Omega claims to be the worlds most successful sports timekeepers and they seem to be taking every precaution to ensure they can retain the claim.

For one of your own check out this model from the Omega Olympic Collection. An Omega Seamaster self-winding chronometer with a rhodium-plated finish and 2 day power reserve, it’s tough under an anti-reflective, domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

Made for diving, it’s water-resistant down to depths of 1000 feet or 300 meters, and features a helium escape valve along with a screw-in crown and unidirectional rotating bezel. Sized for gents, it has a diameter of 41mm.


Get more details on this Omega Seamaster watch

Rolex Submariner in Black

Designed for diving and known for their water resistance at depth, the Rolex Submariner has been often copied but never equaled. It’s been part of many sea expeditions, making thousands of dives under grueling conditions. Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian anthropologist, wore a Rolex Submariner in his 1970 Ra II sea expedition.

Rolex Submariner Oyster Perpetual

Created in 1953 and showcased to the world the following year at the Basel Watch Fair, the classic Rolex Submariner is by far one of the most widely recognized luxury products in the world. It is part of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Professional line and is probably best known for its association with super-spy James Bond. The Rolex Submariner has appeared in eleven Bond movies.

Certified Swiss chronometer
Automatic self-winding movement
Water proof to 1000’ / 300m
Triplock triple-gasket system
Black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel
Case made from solid block of 904L stainless steel
Bracelet is stainless steel and 18k yellow gold
Divers wet-suit bracelet extension
Black dial
Magnified date window
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
40mm wide case

Get more details or order this Rolex Submariner watch

Check out other Submariner watches from Rolex

TAG Heuer Men’s Link Calibre S Chronograph

The LINK Calibre S offers a true break from the traditional chronograph in that it’s simple yet sophisticated design is super-intuitive to use. It has two operating modes: “TIME” & “CHRONOGRAPH”. You merely press the crown to change from one mode to the other, then use the central hands (hours, minutes, seconds) for intuitive, easy-to-read displays in both modes.

TAG Heuer Link Calibre S Chronograph mens watchTAG Heuer has put all its avant-garde mechanical watchmaking expertise into quartz precision. The Calibre S, with its exclusive movement – patented and developed by TAG Heuer – makes a clean break with the traditional codes of the chronograph, which has used three hard-to-read counters since 1822.

A true hybrid, the electro-mechanical timepiece is an ingenious mix of mechanical watchmaking expertise and extraordinary quartz precision. With no fewer than 230 mechanical components and five bi- directional micro-engines, the Calibre S is a mechanical movement with quartz precision.

Description & Features:

  • TAG Heuer Calibre S electro mechanical movement
  • Intuitive chronograph legibility with 1/10 second precision
  • Two half-moon counters at 4:30 and 7:30
  • Retrograde date with a perpetual calendar to 2099
  • Time can be displayed at any point during timekeeping by simply pressing the crown
  • “CHRONOGRAPH” mode enables the measurement of simple time, split time and two periods of time that follow at very short intervals
  • Luminescent hands & markers for improved legibility in darkness
  • Monochrome TAG Heuer logo
  • “LINK – Calibre S” inscription
  • Angled polished hands and markers
  • Case diameter is 42 mm
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with double-sided, anti-reflective coating
  • Tachometer bezel in polished steel
  • Screw-down case back
  • Water-resistance up to 200 meters or 660 feet
  • S-link, satin-finish, polished steel bracelet
  • Double safety clasp with folding buckle

More details, or order this Mens Link Calibre S watch

See all TAG Heuer Link watches – shop a wide selection

Heart For Love by Fossil

Fossil Heart Mother-of-Pearl Fashion WatchSay love without words. This fashion analog watch features a white mother-of-pearl, heart-shaped dial in a polished silver tone case. Open-link bracelet with hearts full of clear crystal accents perfectly complements any ensemble.

  • Jewelry clasp
  • Silver-tone case & bracelet
  • White mother-of-pearl face
  • 3-hand quartz analog movement
  • Water resistant up to 165 feet or 5 ATM
  • 35mm wide
  • 11-year limited warranty
  • Imported

Get more details or order this ladies Fossil watch

Superman Limited Edition Watch from Fossil

The return of the Man-of-Steel. This Limited Edition men’s watch celebrates the legacy of Superman, and features a decorative logo dial, sleek case, and handsome, rugged bracelet. This edition is limited and only 1000 will be available. Also includes a high-quality commemorative box that’s perfect for storage and display.
Superman watch from Fossil

  • Stainless steel case & bracelet
  • Folding clasp
  • Quartz movement
  • Analog w/ sweep second hand
  • White dial with red hands
  • Superman logo at 12 o’clock
  • Date at 3 o’clock
  • 43 mm width
  • Water resistant up to 99 feet (3 ATM)
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Imported
  • Includes a stylish commemorative case

Fossil also designs, manufactures, and distributes watches for Burberry, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Columbia Sportswear, Diesel, Frank Gehry, Philippe Starck, Michael Kors, Callaway Golf, Davis Cup, Marc Jacobs, Adidas, and makes collection for all teams in the NFL.

Get more details or order this Fossil watch

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Mens Watch

Making master-crafted “watches for the few” since 1791 Girard-Perregaux has created some truly remarkable timepieces. Living up to that tradition is this triple-calendar model belonging to the Vintage 1945 Collection.

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 mens watch

Stainless steel case
Leather Strap with tang clasp
Self-winding automatic movement
46 hour power reserve
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
Analog w/ sweep second hand
Triple calendar (day, date, month)
Cream silver dial with Arabic numerals
32 mm case width
Water resistant up to 100 feet or 30 meters

Girard-Perregaux watches incorporate a combination of traditional watch-making skills and cutting-edge technology which results in unique timepieces. Constantly striving meet the challenge of achieving even higher levels of quality and reliability, their watch movements undergo the strictest quality control.

Get more details or order this Vintage 1945 men’s watch

Check out more GP mens watches from Girard-Perregaux

Denver Broncos Multifunction Watch by Fossil

Nothing says “authentic” like Fossil, and this is especially true for the bold, rugged timepieces designed especially to showcase your favorite NFL team. Shown here is the exclusive men’s Denver Broncos Multifunction Chronograph.
Denver Broncos Multifunction watch by Fossil

  • Stainless steel case & bracelet
  • Folding clasp
  • Blue and orange logo dial
  • 3 functional mini-dials
  • Dimension is 42 mm
  • 3-hand quartz multifunction movement
  • Water resistant up to 330 feet (10 ATM)
  • 11-year limited warranty
  • Imported

With the success of it’s own brand, Fossil has been repeatedly sought out by other companies to create their own branded lines. In 2006, they teamed up with the NFL to make the official watch collection for each team.

Fossil also designs, manufactures, and distributes watches for Burberry, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Columbia Sportswear, Diesel, Frank Gehry, Philippe Starck, Michael Kors, Callaway Golf, Davis Cup, Marc Jacobs, and Adidas.

Get more details or order this Fossil watch

Fossil Womens Modern Vintage

Retro “Modern Vintage” in the best of the past. Geometric links give a boxy retro modern look, and the contrast between dark brown matte and shiny gold makes for the perfect standout.

Fossil womens retro vintage watchThese watches beg to be seen & flaunted – shown off in fact. Made for the young-at-heart at heart, they are cool, hip, and everything else that’s in-style today. But Fossil watches go beyond just show, as can be seen in this vintage inspired analog watch.

  • Jewelry clasp
  • 3-hand analog movement
  • Brown dial with gold hands
  • Water resistant up to 165 feet or 5 ATM
  • 21 mm in width
  • 11-year limited warranty
  • Imported

Get more details or order this ladies Fossil watch