Ace Jewelers Introduces Tamper-Proof Authenticity Certificates As Utility NFTs In Partnership With ORIGYN Luxury
Not all NFTs are created equal. If you want to finally read about one that is relevant to your watch-collecting hobby, I have news for you. There is a class of NFT (non-fungible tokens) that offers real-world usage and facilitates physical experiences. It is known as a Utility NFT. How does that translate in your watch world? Let’s hear it from Ace Jewelers, the 47-year-old family-owned retailer that is spearheading an effort to cross that chasm. The Dutch retailer has announced that it will offer an authenticity certification service to watch owners worldwide through the use of Utility NFTs.
The real-world utility in question is the certification and authentication of a timepiece based on its unique physical traits. You may have come across similar concepts, such as facial recognition for passports, banking apps, and so on. Soon, you will also see it for luxury watches. We all know that the problem of authenticating a watch is as old as the industry. There’s never been a foolproof solution to that. The game may change, however, with the introduction of Utility NFTs. Let me walk you through it to see if it’s your kind of potion.
What’s the potion?
Ace Jewelers is launching an innovative service to issue digital certificates that formally guarantee the authenticity of your watches. The idea is to capture biometric data from your watch at a microscopic level and use it to produce a digital certificate. Because the data is specific to each watch and its owner, it generates a set of unique identifiers. In essence, the watch provides its own proof of authenticity with that data set and what Ace calls “microstructure traceability”. Co-owner of Ace Jewelers, Alon Ben Joseph, says, “It finally solves a problem that has existed since biblical times: proving the authenticity of physical luxury objects.”
What’s in it for you?
The digital certificates will take the form of Utility NFTs. In order to seal their finality, NFTs are registered and secured on a blockchain. A blockchain is a decentralized ledger that is run and validated by a peer-to-peer network of computers, so it cannot be tampered with. Once an NFT is logged on a blockchain, it’s set in (virtual) stone, which therefore guarantees its origin.
As a watch changes hands, the NFT leaves a trail of digital records on the blockchain for traceability. This not only facilitates the purchase or resale of an item in complete security but also safeguards against counterfeiting. On top of that, according to Ace Jewelers, these guaranteed certificates can bring along a whole host of services to enhance owners’ experiences. These include such things as insurance options, future digital twins, additional warranties, and store membership.
How does it work?
An authenticity certificate is rendered by capturing and producing a digital record of your physical watch via AI imaging technology. It’s entirely reliable because each handcrafted mechanical watch has its own minuscule discrepancies. Watches of the same model may look identical to the naked eye. Under the loupe, however, you may actually see how the paint on the hour hand looks slightly different from one watch to another, for example. That is how Ace can obtain a unique set of “biometric” or “microstructure” data from your watch’s own nooks and crannies.
Acting as a local appraiser, Ace Jewelers registers the data set on a blockchain and issues each owner the certificate as an NFT in a digital wallet. The wallet is co-branded with ORIGYN Luxury, which supplies the proprietary technology behind this service. Ace Jewelers is the first retailer in the world to have signed on as a partner to start minting the ORIGYN authenticity certificates and offering the service to end customers.
Ben Jospeh says, “As I have been working both in the luxury industry as a jeweler since 1998 and in the tech industry as a start-up entrepreneur since the year 2000, I immediately understood that the ORIGYN technology is not only a game-changer for the industry (a so-called killer app), but also very much needed in these industries it means to serve.”
The next generation of customer service
Ace will not only supply the certificates with watches, though. Indeed, every luxury product from both its eBoutique and physical luxury store Ace & Dik in Amsterdam will be eligible. The retailer is also offering it as a stand-alone service to customers who would like to create digital certificates for their luxury possessions.
As a staunch supporter of the Web3 evolution, Ben Joseph has recently joined the advisory board of ORIGYN Luxury. He has full confidence in how the next-generation decentralized internet can open up the field of possibilities for new experiences and services. And Utility NFTs are just the beginning.
Ace has stood the test of time since 1975 because the family behind it is passionate about its customers. Although they know the innovation will enhance the way they serve, there is a cost to it. When I asked what prices customers would be looking at, Ben Joseph said he was still keeping his mind open. Between a fixed-fee structure and a percentage of the watch’s value, which would you lean towards? Share your thoughts in the comments below!