Blockchain In The Watch Industry: Examples

Blockchain In The Watch Industry: Examples
Blockchain In The Watch Industry: Examples

Video: Blockchain In The Watch Industry: Examples

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Blockchain for the watch industry 2023, January
Anonim

It's easy to grasp the main principle of blockchain. It is a decentralized information storage system that consistently records the entire history of transactions. The key word here is information. In the blockchain, it cannot be changed or deleted, since it is not a single file, but literally “block chains” stored on different resources. Written with such an electronic pen, you certainly cannot cut it out with an ax.

Unsurprisingly, from this perspective, the idea of ​​blockchain certification has greatly inspired luxury goods manufacturers, including Swiss watch manufacturers. Over the past 20 years, the more vigorously the market of fine watchmaking has grown, the more acute the problem of provenance of the watches themselves has become, both for the manufacturers themselves and for their customers.

Both those and others (at least in words) advocate complete transparency. It all starts with a certificate of authenticity of origin of watches and "Swiss" components, as well as providing information about the sources of gold or diamonds. Then, all stages of the journey of the finished specimen from the gate of the manufacture to the wrist of the client are recorded in order to exclude gray distribution channels. And finally, a subsequent history of service and resale, which guarantees future protection against counterfeiting and frankensteins made up of components from different models.

All this amount of information can be tracked by the blockchain platform, replacing the passport with holograms, dealer records, and even an auction specialist with a magnifying glass. It is enough to read the unique code assigned to the watch from the moment of birth to immediately get access to the entire history of their life, reflected in a convenient application. While many adherents of traditional mechanics are suspicious of electronic technology, the blockchain certification process for watches has already begun and will certainly continue to evolve. True, so far it is, one might say, in beta testing.

The pioneer of the movement, not surprisingly, was Hublot, which back in 2010 announced a partnership with the Swiss company WISeKey, which specializes in cyber defense technologies. Then the first watch models were presented, equipped with an electronic certificate the size of a credit card, which gave access to the WISe Authentic blockchain platform. Subsequently, WISeKey has improved the technology by adding an NFS chip embedded in the watch itself (optional). In 2016, Favre-Leuba, the second oldest brand in Switzerland after Blancpain, and several other independent brands became a client of the company, and in 2019 WISeKey announced that it had supplied more than 2 million luxury watches with its electronic certificates.

Watch Big Bang Meca-10 2P2, Hublot (2018)
Watch Big Bang Meca-10 2P2, Hublot (2018)

Watch Big Bang Meca-10 2P2, Hublot (2018) © press service

However, the cooperation between WISeKey and Hublot seems to have come to an end, since in the same 2019 the LVMH concern announced the creation of its own blockchain platform Aura, developed in conjunction with Microsoft and the Swiss cyber company ConsenSys. All LVMH products, including watchmakers, including Zenith, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Dior, will be protected by Aura certification.

In the summer of 2019, the Geneva house of Vacheron Constantin was the first of the brands of the luxury concern Richemont to present its electronic certificate based on the blockchain platform of the Parisian company Arianee. So far, in test mode and only for one collection of restored historical watches Les Collectionneurs, however, interest in cooperation with Arianee has already been expressed by Audemars Piguet and MB&F, as well as Breitling, which first tested the platform on its vintage reissues, for example, Top Time Limited Edition, and will now supply all new models with such electronic passports. At the beginning of 2020, Ulysse Nardin, the flagship of innovations of the Kering concern, presented its own blockchain certification. The French startup Woleet, which had not previously worked with watch companies, was chosen as a partner.

Skeleton X, Ulysse Nardin watches and their electronic certificate of authenticity based on the Woleet blockchain platform
Skeleton X, Ulysse Nardin watches and their electronic certificate of authenticity based on the Woleet blockchain platform

Skeleton X, Ulysse Nardin watches and their electronic certificate of authenticity based on the Woleet blockchain platform © press service

This is if we talk about the leading brands in the industry. But there are also startups offering services to independent brands: Adresta, Crypolex, WatchID and others. There are more and more of them, and there will be even more. This is the main problem of this kind of protection: just as there is no single registry for all watches in the world, there is no (and hardly ever will) a single blockchain platform that gives instant access to the provenance of a model of any brand. For the foreseeable future, even the most enthusiastic fans of cyber technologies will have to put up with the fact that their electronic certificates are dozens of disparate and regularly aging applications.

Electronic certificate of vintage 1951 Vacheron Constantin watches based on the Arianee blockchain platform
Electronic certificate of vintage 1951 Vacheron Constantin watches based on the Arianee blockchain platform

Electronic certificate of vintage Vacheron Constantin 1951 watches based on the Arianee blockchain platform © press service

The second problem of blockchain development in watchmaking is the thin interface between the virtual and material worlds. Indeed, it is impossible to forge an electronic certificate, but so far it can be easily deceived, if there is a desire. The goodwill of the people, so to speak, is enough for the adventures of the watch to not always leave a digital footprint. In addition, many owners of tourbillons (a device that partially compensates for the Earth's gravity and thus helps to increase the accuracy of the watch -) will easily sacrifice certification if it threatens their own consumer anonymity.

Breitling blockchain digital passport
Breitling blockchain digital passport

Breitling digital passport based on blockchain technology © press service

Not to mention, the idea of ​​introducing electronic components of cyber protection directly into the watch itself is met with strong opposition from mechanical purists. And their point of view is quite understandable. If a person needs a token, a chip and a special application to make sure that he has purchased a standing chronograph, then it is better to buy a smart watch right away.>

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