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Editorial - Would You Buy a Watch NFT?

Editorial Would You Buy a Watch NFT?

Watch lovers and collectors, are you ready to acquire NFT watches to arouse the admiration of your relatives in the future metaverse?

As I start putting pen to paper, I see that the term “NFT” has just made its entrance into the 2023 edition of Larousse (one of the two most important French dictionaries), accompanied by “woke”, “long Covid” and “remote working”, all words related to current affairs. The NFT, aka Non-Fungible Token, has now been given an official French definition that will hopefully help those who are allergic to all things digital to better understand what we are talking about. An NFT is thus a “non-reproducible and unforgeable digital file representing a unique asset, virtual or physical object (such as a work of art, a tweet, a piece of music, etc.) which is listed in a blockchain and to which a digital certificate of authenticity and ownership is associated.” That’s pretty clear, right? But, then again!

Astronomia Metaverso

Astronomia Metaverso Venus & Earth NFT © Jacob & Co.

I first heard about NFTs a few months ago. The phenomenon has been gaining momentum for quite some time now, especially in the art market. And the hype started with digital artworks selling for tens of millions of dollars. NFTs have also entered the gaming world. They have made it into the music industry, and the fashion industry too. And now, the watch industry is also positioning itself in the metaverse, which according to experts at Morgan Stanley, recorded a colossal trading volume of over $10 billion in the third quarter of 2021. 

Would You Buy a Watch NFT?

Octo Finissimo Ultra © Bulgari

As is often the case, Jean-Claude Biver was the first to take a chance with his flair and foresight. In the spring of 2021, he auctioned a digital twin NFT, a digital file of a physical watch from his personal collection – the Bigger Bang All Black Tourbillon Chronograph “Special Piece”. Since then, the race to this digital and speculative Eldorado is most definitely on. Jacob & Co. tried its hand early on, and has a brand new NFT Collection that you can read about here. Other more recent examples are fueling the trend. This year, Louis Moinet sold a thousand NFTs in record time. Bvlgari also created NFTs in association with its record-breaking ultra-thin manual timepiece unveiled at Watches and Wonders, the Octo Finissimo Ultra. As for Hublot, it has just announced the creation of two NFTs in partnership with the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. 

Would You Buy a Watch NFT?

© Hublot

If we are to believe Mark Zuckerberg, who announced the imminent arrival of NFTs on Instagram and Facebook, these digital assets are far from having said their last word, despite the spectacular fall of the cryptocurrency market, which now seems to follow the jolts of the stock market. So, for us aficionados, collectors, and simple watch lovers, should we consider acquiring the digital twin of a watch as an investment, or obtain one to show off in the metaverse one day?

Would You Buy a Watch NFT?

Space Revolution NFT © Louis Moinet

I sincerely believe that advances in technology are good. In the case of NFTs, the good news is that the authenticity, traceability, and transparency of real objects can now be guaranteed. We can identify the date of creation, the place of origin, and the whole life history of a watch, from the origin of its components to its repairs, along with the names of its successive owners, without fault. For watchmakers, NFTs can also be the digital counterpart of a tangible project/object, accompanied by a series of services and real experiences for their owners, such as visits to the manufacture or VIP access to events, for example, not to mention the opportunity to develop a brand’s community, virtually or in person! From a personal point of view, I admit that I am not quite ready to wear a virtual watch to shine in the metaverse. Perhaps it’s an age question suggests a colleague of mine (who, for the record, is older than me)! 

So, what about you? Are you ready to acquire your first NFT?

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