Favre-Leuba is working with cyber security specialist WISeKey to register, authenticate and trace all its timepieces using blockchain technology.
The incorruptible digital ledger will store a unique serial number etched onto each Favre-Leuba the watch. When a customer buys one, the authorised Favre-Leuba retailer must activate the warranty of the watch, which also 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.
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.
Favre-Leuba is not the only watchmaker looking at using blockchain. Jin Keyu, a board member of Richemont, said that Cartier and other watch brands within the group, are looking at the benefits of the solution. “As Cartier’s parent company, we 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,” he said in July.