Luxury Watches: Buy, Rent or Both?

To Rent or to Buy...

There is something special about getting dressed and all the pieces of your outfit combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. Better yet is when you have the perfect watch to complement your getup and complete your outfit. But the problem is that luxury watches are not like jeans or t-shirts. Most people don’t have or cannot afford to have an array of luxury watches to pick from each morning.


That’s where luxury watch renting comes in. By renting, you get the feeling and the choice of luxury without needing to lay out all the money that comes with owning a collection of high-end watches. Then again, there are pitfalls of renting. Once your time is up, you have to return the timeless piece. You miss out on the experience of being able to build up and own a large collection, which is yours to keep. So which is the way to go, rent or buy?


As with any decision in life, there are going to be pros and cons in each direction. So, we thought we’d make the decision easier for you. Here’s what we think are the advantages and disadvantages of renting and buying luxury watches.


Option 1: Buying


Buying is the old school way. You buy a watch when you can afford it, either as an investment or as an heirloom to pass down. This way over the course of a lifetime, you could build a valuable collection or portfolio. The real pros are that if you have a watch you love, you can have it forever. People indeed build emotional connections to their watches. With buying, you get to have that connection forever


The main pitfall is the price, as we said above. Most people simply don't have thousands of dollars to drop on a Rolex, Audemars Piguet or a Panerai. Also, spending that much money on one watch that you’re committing to for the rest of your life can be daunting. Very few people have the luxury of owning an entire collection of watches. This means that most people usually only have one watch to choose from and don’t get to reap the benefits of having many watches to choose from.


Option 2: Renting


Renting is the future. In our sharing economy, many companies have made renting watches possible. Previously unheard of in the luxury watch world, this new option means that now you can have a different timepiece on your wrist every few months without breaking the bank. That's the real draw to renting. It simply costs a lot less than buying, with all the added benefits of wearing a sexy, timeless piece on your arm, giving you a greater sense of financial freedom while looking positively top-class. Combine that with the option to change to a new timepiece every few months, renting seems like quite the killer mix of luxury-meets-affordability.


Another huge pro of renting watches is that you don’t have to spend any time choosing a watch. The subscription-service does all that for you, with a shiny new timepiece arriving at your door once every while. All you have to do is slip it on and feel amazing.


The cons of renting are the opposite of the pros of buying. You don't get the satisfaction of building up a collection which you have hand-picked. You miss out on the emotional connection and personal investment, as well as not being able to build up the appreciating asset side of watch collections. If you do build an emotional connection to the current timepiece, it will be taken from you at the end of the period. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, there’s a solution for that! Welcome to rent-to-buy.


Option 3: Rent to Buy


What about rent-to-buy? If you’re interested in owning a luxury watch but don’t want to deal with buyer’s remorse, and want to give the watch a good test-run before committing, rent-to-buy can be the best option for you. While signing up for a subscription rental service, rent-to-buy gives you the option to purchase any of the watches you’re leasing if you wish to do so.


The pros are that you still get to sample and wear an array of luxury watches without the expense of buying them all, and if one speaks to you, you can add it to your collection permanently.


We recommend this option for the more indecisive luxury-seekers out there. No luxury watch sellers accept returns, if you wake up a few months after purchasing a Rolex and decide you want to give it back, it's simply not an option. Rent-to-buy takes care of that, you are able to give yourself a buyers remorse safety net, ensuring you only settle on a timepiece that you truly adore.


All Things Considered


Whether you want to own a luxury watch or be able to wear one without the monetary and emotional costs of buying, we’ve laid out all the options for you! Going forward, it’s for you to decide which avenue you feel inclined to take, both financially and emotionally. There’s no reason why everyone cannot feel special and with the array of choices available, buying, renting, or rent-to-buy, everyone CAN have the chance to know how it feels when you have a high-end piece resting on your wrist.


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