Bitcoin is seeing a resurgence in value as of late and its underlying blockchain technology is being adopted in an increasing number of applications. Not to get too nerdy here, but blockchain is a distributed ledger that makes possible an immutable and secure store of data accessible by anyone. You can dig a little deeper here, if you’re interested. If you are familiar with the world of vintage watches though, you most likely have heard the term “box and papers” used frequently. Having the original box and papers that accompanied a watch when it was first sold can add a lot of value. But how do we know the “papers” are authentic and haven’t been tampered with? Knowing for sure is nearly impossible, but using blockchain technology to supplement those papers largely solves the problem.
Vacheron Constantin recently unveiled their blockchain technology at the VivaTech technology conference in Paris. To begin with, the brand will use blockchain technology to provide digital certificates for their Les Collectioneurs series of vintage watches. These digital certificates will accompany the traditional paper certificates, guaranteeing a watch’s authenticity in a durable, immutable, and transparent manner. A false digital certificate cannot be issued, as only Vacheron Constantin will have the ability to generate a new digital certificate.
An app will be available that will enable the digital certificate to be updated when the watch is first sold, or re-sold, without any intervention from Vacheron Constantin. The service center will be able to record service information in the digital certificate as well. The digital certificate will also record the case number and movement number for the watch. This is a great use of blockchain technology, which benefits both the brand and the collector. I would not be surprised to see more brands adopt this technology in the future.