There’s been a lot of talk and several attempts to setup a watch rental service like Eleven James or Borrowed Time that focuses on micro brand watches but no-one has really managed to get it off the ground. Speed Dial Watches aims to change that.

Speed Dial Watches was founded in 2018 by Brett Luing and Jordan Auriemma with three main goals: provide a risk-free way to find watches, help microbrands grow, and, most importantly, improve the watch buying experience.

While technically they don’t offer an Eleven James style rental service just yet, their Try-to-Buy service will let you take a watch for two week test drive to decide if it’s for you before paying the full retail price. This price of this service depends on the retail price of the watch, 10% of the retail price if its under 300 USD or 5% if it’s over $300. After the 14 days you can send it back, exchange it or keep it. If you want to keep it you pay the balance of the retail price. The brands available so far include Liv Watches, BOLDR, Szanto, Hietis, Blacklist, J Ciro, HLA, Regia and Jack Mason

A Membership Rental service is in works where for a fee you can rent a watch for a month but no word yet on when this will be available.

Another interesting service they’re planning to offer is called Launch Central which is a pre-order platform with a twist. Speed Dial will hold a number of sample pieces which will be available to customers in a 3 day Try-to-Buy service. It’s a novel idea but they do have some hurdles to overcome, namely drawing enough traffic to make this worthwhile for brands to launch on, and managing popular projects where demand for trial watches exceeds the supply (the minimum number of watches a brand must supply for this service is 2).

Of the 3 services the Try-to-Buy is the most intriguing as it tries to make the online purchasing experience a lot more like an in store experience where you can assess the quality of a piece hands-on. What do you think of this kind of service? Would you use it? let us know in the comments.

If you would like the chance to access the Beta Launch of the service, sign up at Speed Dial Watches