Proof of ownership is crucial when it comes to luxury watches. If you’ve ever tried selling a Swiss watch without box & paperwork, then you’ll know that many UK dealers aren’t keen. They are rightly aware of replica Rolex, Breitling, TAG, AP and many other brands knocking about. Then there’s that thing where angry relatives appear in the shop, saying old Dave had no right selling that watch, it was promised to little Kev, who still has the empty box…you can see how that can go pear-shaped right?
Then there’s the possibility of losing the box and paperwork – that can happen very easily. Suddenly your Navitimer has lost about £500 in resale value. Not good.
So is the answer digital passports? Breitling think so, here’s the word from their press office;
As the first luxury watch brand to extend digital blockchain technology to all of its watches, Breitling is transforming blockchain innovation through a service available to everyone. All of Breitling’s watches produced after October 13 include a digital passport with blockchain – secured by the Arianee protocol – that allows owners to prove the authenticity of their products and the legitimacy of their ownership.
Beyond ensuring the authenticity of each product, the digital passport is at the heart of a new ecosystem of digital services for Breitling watch owners. The passport is automatically connected to Breitling’s digital warranty program powered by Dentsu Tracking, and it also allows owners to initiate and track any repairs to the watch, and soon to extend the warranty period and subscribe to an insurance for theft or loss.
At the heart of Breitling’s vision lies the possibility for watch owners to control their personal data and to remain anonymous, without missing out on an innovative and symbiotic brand–customer relationship in the luxury industry.
The protocol developed by Arianee offers a fixed digital identity that is unique to each product, with blockchain technology ensuring airtight security and privacy.
From October 13, 2020, each new Breitling watch includes a private and unique digital passport. Watch owners can simply scan their electronic guarantee card with their smartphone camera to automatically download the private, encrypted digital wallet, which safely stores the digital passport. This passport contains every detail of the owner’s watch, including its serial number, and the product is time-stamped with the activation date of its digital warranty and its purchase. Accessible only through the digital wallet, this passport includes a transfer feature that allows the owner to prove the watch’s authenticity and assess its ownership, as well as an option to transfer the watch if the current owner desires.
This innovative new feature enhances watch ownership, as owners now no longer need to present a physical certificate of authenticity for their Breitling watches. Furthermore, watch owners can safely and securely transfer this certificate in case of resale. With this blockchain-based digital passport, collectors no longer need to retain paper documents, and instead can freely consult with Breitling more efficiently and anonymously thanks to an embedded chat feature.
Through this novel way of proving ownership of luxury watches through digital means, Breitling’s customers can, for the first time, experience a new way to collect watches. Repairs are registered in the certificate with a timestamp in the blockchain, upcoming insurance services are more reactive to issues like loss or theft, and resale warranties enhance the brand experience.
Georges Kern, Breitling CEO:
“The successful launch of the Top Time last March underlined how many benefits Breitling owners could get through a sustained relationship with the brand. This is why, as of today, we are offering the Breitling digital passport with every new Breitling watch without exception! By offering a comprehensive range of innovative services for their watches, we are concretely providing our clients with the inclusivity that characterizes our belief and approach at Breitling. Stay tuned as we are about to announce another significant change for our clients, again increasing the value of our watches.”
Antonio Carriero, Chief Digital and Technology Officer of Breitling:“Here, we are truly making an industry change: we are empowering the customer not only through the watch on their wrist, but also with a digital passport in a secured digital wallet, always providing tailored suggestions throughout the ownership experience. Customer engagement is at the heart of everything we do, so it goes without saying that we will continue to offer additional services to Breitling owners with absolute security and a complete respect for privacy. This is truly what brand innovation should be in 2020: transforming the relationship with our customers.”
Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, co-founder and CEO of Arianee: “Our ambition is to give Breitling the opportunity to develop its own service economy and to transform their customer relationships by proposing a more circular, transparent model for their products. The fact that Arianee’s protocol is completely decentralized gives us the ability to envision the emergence of an open-source technology that is free and available to its users, avoiding all of the negative impacts that larger, more centralized systems have on our daily lives.”
Does this move give you confidence in owning a Breitling, or is it perhaps another way that brands can track and trace owners, plus mither the life out them re servicing and extras? Post a comment if you feel the urge.