Do you remember Eleven James? If it sounds familiar, it was an online rental service for luxury watches that was only available by subscription. They maintained a good selection of assorted luxury watch brands in a variety of styles including Breitling, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet in men and women's styles plus several more luxury brands. Subscribers paid a flat monthly rate and could choose which watch they wanted to rent. It operated much like the Netflix movie rental system. The New York City-based company began offering the service in 2013 and everything seemed to be going well until they sent out notifications on August 13, 2018, that they were ending the subscription service, then Eleven James just seemed to vanish into the ether.
A thriving business disappears
Calls to Eleven James yield no more information as staff for the company are declining to discuss anything related to the business. According to an email that was sent from a current member of Eleven James the company will no longer respond to emails. Their website is currently in a state of unresponsiveness and it won't load. Further investigation into the social media activity that was previously active from the company showed that Eleven James stopped making posts in June of 2018.
What happened to Eleven James?
The complete disappearance of Eleven James has been a mystery. They had thousands of subscribers when it was at its apex. What could have caused it to cease all activity without warning in such a short period of time? Why do staff members decline to offer any reasons for this? After a telephone message was answered by an employee who declined to give their name, the situation seemed even more strange. The employee finally offered that the website was experiencing technical difficulties, but there was a defensive and even combative tone. The inquisitor from Hodinkee shared this information and continued to explain that after three conversations with Eleven James workers, just one would give their name. Each Eleven James employee stuck with the same story.
An explanation was finally forthcoming
Hypebeast discovered that the former head of corporate strategy and development for the company attempted to obtain funds to keep the company in operation. They were unsuccessful in this endeavor and Eleven James lost their existing credit line. The board and management starting to shut down the operations of the company in June of 2018. Watches that were on loan were recalled and when members remitted the timepieces, their subscription fees were ended. Currently, there are a small number of employees still with Eleven James.
Why isn't Eleven James making an official announcement?
According to sources, there are still many watches out on the subscription loan program and the company is in the process of reclaiming them from the subscribers. The concern with telling everyone that they're winding down the business is that some of the subscribers may keep the watches and not return them. They already have bids on their watch inventory. Loss of inventory would mean that Eleven James would have less ability to recoup losses as they are currently liquidating their assets. It takes time to end a subscription service such as Eleven James because consumers who have already paid for use of the watches do have the right to keep them until the agreed upon time. After this period, Eleven James does have recourse under the law for demanding an immediate return of the property. We're assuming that each of the pieces was properly insured against loss or damage, but there is no current confirmation of this one way or the other.
A shocking end to a brilliant enterprise
Eleven James stayed in existence for five years. Subscribers were thrilled with the opportunity to borrow high-end luxury watches from a diverse collection of brands and models. The service made it possible to try out a variety of watches before deciding if one stood out as a favorite and possible future purchase from an auction or vendor. Members had a sweet taste of what it would be like to own such a luxury. Sadly, the service has now ended as Eleven James has shut down and is preparing to dissolve the company. We're not certain how the once-booming business lost their financial backing and forward momentum, but everyone is sorry to see it cease to exist. All we can do is wait and see what is going to happen in the end and if Eleven James will ever make an official announcement to the public.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker