Richemont is expected to use blockchain technology to track the materials it uses from suppliers and the watches it sells.
Jin Keyu, an associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics and non-executive director at Richemont, suggests that blockchain technology has a significant role to play in improving transparency and perfect oversight of the supply chain and sales channels.
“As Cartier’s parent company, we [Richemont] have recently decided to start utilising blockchain to trace the origin of diamonds, rocks and gold back to the mines or recycling factories. For all the watches we sell, we also hope to [use blockchain] to track their sources to validate their authenticity,” she describes.
The possible use of blockchain technology to track watches throughout their life is another sign that Richemont wants greater control over the secondary market for its watches.
In June this year, the company bought Watchfinder, a £120 million pre-owned watch specialist headquartered in the UK.
That acquisition followed a buy back program that cost Richemont almost $500 million over two years to reduce unsold inventories at its authorized dealers.
An indisputable way to prove a watch’s authenticity could also add to the prices of watches on the secondary market, and pave the way to making the buying of pre-owned watches a more luxurious experience that Richemont could stand behind.