As part of IVY’s ongoing efforts to introduce our audience to exciting and elevated brands, we are thrilled to partner with Eleven James, the annual luxury timepiece membership service. Much like IVY, Eleven James prides itself on experiences and community: the experience of finding what timepieces suit your mood, and the community of expert guides and advisors to help you along the way.
We invite you to meet the brand that is breaking the rules of luxury — whether you’ve never worn a watch in your life or are a seasoned connoisseur. The following piece was written by the Head Curator of Eleven James, David Lee.
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I’m going to share an experience that’s important to me. It was about twenty years ago after a party in Brooklyn, right under the Brooklyn Bridge. This is back when Dumbo’s warehouses were actual warehouses — not boutiques and luxury condos.
It was towards the end of summer, so my friends and I decided to sit along the East River to wind down after the party outside. As we sat there talking, we were rewarded with the most amazing sunrise I have ever seen.
But we weren’t facing east towards the sun — we were facing west, towards the Financial District. The sun reflecting back at us from thousands of windows across the hundreds of buildings downtown. It was a crazy light show, giving off myriad shades of blue and hurled back at us at all different angles.
It was a fleeting moment: it must have been less than sixty seconds of my now more than forty years. But it was amazing and unexpected and awesome. And I still think about it to this day. It was, in a word, an experience.
You are made up of the sum of your experiences. It is what makes us human. It is the reason why you go on vacation. Why you go out for a nice dinner. Why you go to the beach. Why you spend time with friends or family. You do these things for the experience, for how it makes you feel in that moment. And even though these experiences are fleeting, they’re powerful. Powerful enough to keep humans chasing them any way we can.
The vision of Eleven James isn’t to sell or rent watches — it’s to deliver experiences. This vision is why I’m here. You could compare what we do to buying a watch, and we will sell you a watch if you like, but then you would be missing the point of what we do. We want you to experience the beauty of a luxury timepiece. Wear it. Enjoy it. Show it off. Play with it. Experience it.
And then send it back. Just so we can send you another experience.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Photo courtesy of Eleven James.
Speaking as a watch expert, I can tell you — the worst part of owning a luxury watch? Owning it. It adds the burden of worry to an experience that’s supposed to be beautiful.
That’s why we’ve removed those restrictions. Don’t worry about servicing the watch for $500-1,000 if it breaks. Don’t worry about depreciation. Don’t worry about buying a new strap every year. Don’t worry about resale value. Take the worries of ownership out of the equation and just enjoy the watch for what it is — an experience.
This is what I hope for you as a member.
This is permission to play.
This is Eleven James.