Last week, Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling announced it is using Arianee blockchain to prove the authenticity and ownership of a limited edition timepiece. Buyers of the ‘Top Time’ watch will get a blockchain digital passport, and eliminate the need for a physical authenticity certificate.
The digital passport is essentially the digital identity of the Top Time watch, only 2,000 of which are available. Some Top Time models have been sold for well over $10,000, and one of the earliest versions featured in the 1965 James Bond flick Thunderball.
Under the initiative, Breitling will provide e-warranty cards to owners, which can be scanned to download an encrypted private wallet. The wallet will store the digital identity of Top Time, including details such as the serial number and date of warranty activation. Breitling has an e-warranty program in place that will work in tandem with the blockchain digital passport of the watch.
While Breitling does not mention it in the announcement, the blockchain would likely be able to record the maintenance activities of the watch. This is essential for proving that no unauthorized person serviced the watch.
Meanwhile, the owner can use the private wallet to transfer the ownership of the Top Time watch utilizing the blockchain. Luxury watches are a statement for many, and their value may appreciate as time passes. To put things in perspective, the Top Time worn by Sean Connery in Thunderball sold for £103,875 ($128,805) in 2013.
Another added benefit of the blockchain is that owners need not maintain paper documents, which may not survive for as long as the watch does.
“With Arianee and its blockchain technology we have the unique opportunity to strengthen the link with our customers, providing the highest level of clienteling, and in the same time ensuring their entire privacy,” said Antonio Carriero, Global Chief Digital Transformation Officer of Breitling in a statement.
Paris-based Arianee is an independent consortium that developed a blockchain for the digital identity of luxury goods. Consortium members include several watch makers and luxury goods manufacturers such as Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Poétique Paris, Verlan and Roger Dubuis, among others.
Additionally, Breitling is joining as a member and Antonio Carriero will be joining as the Member of the Advisory Committee of the consortium.
“Our open-source protocol is specifically built to make it easy to create and manage digital identities to ultimately add more value to brands and clients,” said Emmanuelle Collet, co-founder, Chief Marketing Officer of Arianee.
Last June, Arianee and Vacheron Constantin worked on a similar project to certify the latter’s luxury watches.
Among other blockchain projects for luxury goods, Everledger has developed a solution for tracking the origins, features and ownership of luxury goods. The company is using molecular DNA tagging to prevent counterfeiting of leather products.
LVMH worked with Microsoft and ConsenSys to develop a blockchain platform for tracking the history and authenticity of luxury goods.