Are you, or do you aspire to be, an avid watch collector? Do you have $100,000 sitting in your bank account, begging to be spent on something impulsive? Kennedy’s slightly confusing new “subscription” service could be just the thing you’re looking for.
The high-end luxury watch and jewellery retailer is on the hunt for 12 wealthy lucky customers who are willing to part with $100k in return for 12 watches. Customers will be sent a new watch every month, with each one being personally selected by none other than Mr James Kennedy himself. The retailer implies customers won’t all receive the same watch, as they’ll be curated to their “particular interests, lifestyle, and personality.”
For your $100,000 you’d expect each watch to be worth around $8,500. And they might, we just don’t know because the press release that landed in our inbox is a little vague. Will you get a $10,000 Cartier dress watch one month and a $7,000 IWC Pilot the next? Quite possibly. We can be confident you’re not going to get the latest Rolex GMT-Master II or Daytona (with a 3-year waiting list) but we could be very wrong here. Regardless, with customers spending $100,000 upfront we expect some big savings on the overall collection.
It’s the first time such a service has been launched in Australia and comes just after Kennedy’s multi-million dollar sponsorship of the Melbourne Cup. If all 12 subscription spots are filled it’s an easy way to recoup $1,200,000 and move some serious stock.
However, we wouldn’t personally call it a subscription service though, as you have to part with the full wedge of cash before you get anything in return. What we do like about it is that you get to keep all 12 timepieces at the end of the year, so you will end up with some sort of collection. Compare this to similar services such as Acquired Time, which charge you a monthly fee, but you only get to flaunt your new wristwear for 30 days before having to return it.
The issue we do have, not just with this particular service but watch subscriptions in general, is that they take away the emotional aspect of buying a luxury timepiece. Spending several thousand dollars on a watch is an investment and a carefully thought-out process – unless you’re Floyd Mayweather, of course. They’re bought to signify special occasions, or given to loved ones as gifts.
Different customers have different requirements when buying a luxury timepiece. Size, movement type, strap material are just some of the many aspects that need to be taken into consideration before parting with a significant amount of money. It will be interesting how Kennedy’s service will address the actual process of seeing and holding various watches instore. How will the customer form that all-important attachment to their potential purchase?
As Watches of Switzerland points out:
“A watch is with you (or close by) all of the time; more so than even your phone. It’s something you will likely wear and look at every day. Choosing a timepiece of quality conveys a sense of self-respect. That message often carries forward into how others perceive you. The watch one wears can tell a lot about a person. A luxury watch can communicate individual taste, aesthetic appeal, a subtle display of wealth, and dress etiquette.”
Confident as we are in Kennedy’s ability to choose the right watch for each customer, you’ll have to hope you’re happy with whatever lands on your doorstep each month. If the ambiguous nature of the new service isn’t already enough to tempt you, then we should let you know that all 12 customers will receive a personal welcome letter from the James Kennedy as a part of the subscription.