Vacheron Constantin Adopts Blockchain CertificationWritten by Alvin Wong
Is this only the beginning?
Who says heritage Swiss watch brands are slow to adapt to change? At 264 years old, Vacheron Constantin may be the world’s oldest running watch Manufacture, but it also stands as one of the most forward-thinking, not just in terms of horological innovations, but also in the way it looks to incorporate new technologies in its retail experience.
The company just introduced a new certification process via blockchain technology for its Les Collectionneurs range of prized vintage timepieces. In addition to paper certification, blockchain technology promises the added assurance of a protected digital certification that eradicates counterfeiting risks while ensuring transparent traceability over time. “(It) places the customer at the heart of the process… while ensuring his anonymity,” says the press communique.
Just a quick primer for those who are not familiar with blockchain. The technology is essentially a database that is shared across a network of computers. The network is set up to be ultra-secure, while ensuring that all copies of the same database are the same. All pieces of information or activities (block) are linked to one another, with each containing encrypted codes that correspond to the preceding and succeeding block. So, what we are talking about essentially is a highly secure digital vault of records that is impossible to break into or change.
While Vacheron Constantin isn’t the only Swiss watch brand to embrace blockchain – other brands like Chronoswiss and Hublot have previously issued timepieces that can only be purchased with cryptocurrencies, which are based on blockchain technology – it is certainly the first to use it solely for certification purposes. Besides certification of authenticity, Vacheron Constantin is also looking into incorporating other vital pieces of information - such as history of the item and its collection - into the blockchain.
The Les Collectionneurs series appears to be the testbed for the technology not just for Vacheron Constantin, but its parent conglomerate the Richemont Group. Let’s just say we wouldn’t be too surprised if blockchain certification for watches became the norm in the near future.
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.