03/09/2021
 3 minutes

Renting Luxury Watches: A Great Idea or Total No-Go?

By Jorg Weppelink
Renting Luxury Watches: A Great Idea or Total No-Go?

Renting Luxury Watches: A Great Idea or Total No-Go?

Let’s say you’ve had your eye on something like the beautiful Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for a while, but there’s no way you can ever afford it. Ever consider renting it? How about leasing it with a contract that lets you own it after the lease term is over? This idea isn’t as far-fetched as you might think; it’s done with a lot of luxury products.

Another situation you might run into is not having the right watch for the occasion. Let’s say you’ve got the black-tie gala next week but no dress watch to match. If you really don’t want to buy a fancy timepiece for the event, you could just rent one. That or maybe you’re one of those watch people that likes to mix it up with different models without having to own them all. There really are all kinds of reasons to rent or lease a watch instead of purchasing it. So, it’s no surprise that some companies are offering exactly this to watch enthusiasts.

A dress watch can be the finishing touch for a smart outfit. But what if you don't have that timepiece in your collection?
A dress watch can be the finishing touch for a smart outfit. But what if you don’t have that timepiece in your collection?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the world of watch renting and some of its pros and cons. Getting to wear a selection of timepieces you’ve always wanted sounds great at first, but remember that watches are luxury products that cost a lot of money. Renting them might add another decent-sized bill to your monthly expenses. Be sure to ask yourself whether you’re able to afford this. Most watch rental companies work on a subscription basis that requires you to financially commit to a specified period of time.

One nice thing about watch rental is that you don’t have to worry about servicing the watch, as that’s the rental company’s responsibility. Considering that each service can cost between a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars, that’s one less potentially large bill to worry about. The same goes for damage. Most companies will insure you for the time spent wearing the watch, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying for any damage that may occur. Having said that, service and insurance are part of what you pay for with your monthly fees. Be sure to check exactly how much the rental company charges for them.

renting a luxury watch

Another upside of watch rental is getting to experience several different brands and models. This might be something to consider if you’ve grown tired of wearing the same timepiece day in and day out. That or maybe you’re still looking for the perfect watch for your wrist. Who knows what you might find? Maybe the best timepiece for you is something you’ve never considered.

However, remember that renting watches doesn’t mean getting to try on brand new models. Most plans have you sharing an existing pool of timepieces with other members, so don’t be surprised to see a bit of wear and tear on your latest watch when it arrives. Even so, you still may get a new watch from time to time.

This is probably a good time to talk about the emotional side of things. Rental watches are never yours, so you should first ask yourself what message you’re trying to send. If you’re doing it to make people think you’ve got money, renting watches can quickly become a slippery slope. Don’t get me wrong: I love the idea of someone working hard, achieving success, and rewarding themselves with their dream watch. But is watch renting really the best idea for a nine-to-fiver who lives in a small studio apartment, drives a normal car, and pretends to be rich by wearing an expensive timepiece?

The thrill of a vintage Daytona on the wrist, if only for a day
The thrill of a vintage Daytona on the wrist, if only for a day

On top of that, a large part of the fun of collecting watches is actually owning them. Plus, if you can’t afford a watch yet, saving up to eventually buy it is so much more satisfying than renting. Owning a watch is more than a show of personal success. It is its own story, beginning with the moment you decided to start saving and continuing through all of life’s significant occasions enjoyed with your timepiece on your wrist. Nothing beats that. So, think carefully about what you want your watch to say about you. What story will you be telling others about it? Ultimately, people most love a great story that involves you.

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About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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