Favre-Leuba AG, the second oldest Swiss watch brand that is renowned for its tool watches such as the Bivouac and Bathy, and WISeKey International Holding Ltd (“WISeKey“) (SIX: WIHN; OTCQX: WIKYY), a cybersecurity IoT platform company, have partnered to implement the WISeAuthentic Blockchain edition to authenticate and protect Favre-Leuba’s watches and their owners.
Purchasing an exclusive Swiss watch is always a matter of great joy and pride, but this purchase comes with the concern that the timepiece may be stolen or that the watch itself may not be an original. While most high-end watch brands find it extremely difficult to stop such acts, Favre-Leuba has taken steps to protect its watches. Reliable methods include the use of cutting-edge software or blockchain technology, which together with on-the-ground measures can ensure the authenticity of the watch. Moreover, if the watch is stolen, it can be traced thus making it difficult to be traded on the secondary market. This control is possible to practice because the identity of each watch is stored on an immutable ledger in the implemented system.
At Favre-Leuba, the welfare of its luxury tool watches continues long after they leave the manufacturing facility. Upon activation of a Favre-Leuba warranty, the legitimate ownership of the watch is registered in the company’s highly secure SAP database and is supported by WISeAuthentic blockchain technology. Owners of a new Favre-Leuba luxury timepiece become digital members of an exclusive club and their registered watch is protected by Favre-Leuba’s 24/7 online fraud prevention unit.
Each Favre-Leuba timepiece has a unique serial number etched on the watch. Upon ownership of a new Favre-Leuba piece, the authorised Favre-Leuba retailer must activate the warranty of the watch. Each watch is accompanied with a warranty card which has a unique number and a unique electronic identity that is generated by the WISeAuthentic blockchain platform and engraved into a WISeKey Secure Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) hardware chip. The identity is a unique ePassport able to identity the product on the blockchain ledger.
When the serial number of the watch is paired with the unique warranty number, the watch is then considered active for the applicable 5-year warranty period. Only authorised distributors can activate the warranty via a highly-secured, encrypted software system.
It is vital for the authorised retailer to activate the warranty upon purchase – otherwise the watch will not be covered under the Favre-Leuba warranty and not registered in the ledger.
If a Favre-Leuba watch is stolen – by simply informing the company, relating the details of the watch, the serial number and some other basic information, the watch will be flagged as ‘stolen’ in the warranty activation system. If at any point the stolen watch enters a Favre-Leuba registered service centre, it will be immediately identified, and the company can then take measures to track down the watch’s legitimate owner. The WISeAuthentic blockchain technology used by Favre-Leuba, provides transparency and traceability and is tamper-proof, unlike the traditional databases often used by other watch manufacturers.
The Blockchain Advantage
While most people consider Blockchain technologies as a vital component in securing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the cryptography and security inherent in the Blockchain system can be utilized for storing information, making transactions and performing functions for web-based services that demand high security requirements for an impenetrable global reach. Favre-Leuba’s implementation of WISeAuthentic Blockchain technologies ensures the company’s database, its watches and the warranty system are protected by the highest level of security and encryption available today whilst providing full transparency and traceability to the stakeholders involved, including Favre-Leuba’s authorised retailers and its trusted customers.
“WISeKey has long been recognised as a leader in providing luxury and other product manufacturers with reliable means to protect their brands against counterfeiting,” said Carlos Moreno, VP Corporate Alliances and Partnerships. “The combination of blockchain technology with our secured NFC chips and our WISeAuthentic PKI platform further leverage the unified manner that shield these brands from the harmful effects of counterfeit products, while enhancing transparency into their end consumers and the entire ecosystem.”