Le Rhöne is a curious one. Curious as in offbeat. I was introduced to the brand on the business side a handful of years back at Baselworld. In fact, intermediaries who were not even representing the company encouraged me to “check them out”. Usually, that signaled something noteworthy in the sea of exhibitors. Le Rhöne’s reps ushered me into a meeting with one of the brand’s founders, and boy, did I see a stunner. I can still vividly remember the way the Moön model dazzled me, especially with its aventurine dial and craftsmanship. When an impression is that memorable, it’s definitely quite something.

Now comes the curious part. I didn’t learn much about the brand. I also didn’t hear much about Le Rhöne by way of news, so there was nothing more to it (or so I thought). It’s a bit like having a hot date set up by your friend and not hearing anything afterward. You respect that perhaps they have their own rhythm. You wonder for a bit, then you let go. And then, one day, they pop up in your feed again…

Le Rhöne — the one that got away

Here we are, five years on, and I see that Le Rhöne has confidently established itself as a Genevan watchmaker. As the story goes, the independent brand was founded by two school friends, Loïc Florentin and Timo Rajakoski. After their respective careers for luxury groups, the duo joined forces to pursue their own ideal of Swiss excellence in Haute Horlogerie. And they wanted to reflect it in the brand name.

Le Rhöne takes its name from the Rhône River, where cabinotiers (master craftsmen in the old days) used to work along the shores. It gives a nod to Swiss watchmaking at the elite level. It also employs an “ö” with an umlaut to represent the link between artisans’ work rhythms. The brand calls that human connection “Human Tempö”. So I was right on the money — they do have their own beat. The “ö” is a character you see recurring from one collection to another and throughout Le Rhöne’s brand literature.

Appropriately, the brand sets out to craft exceptional and highly technical pieces with the best artisanal Swiss workshops. In tandem, it boasts bespoke expertise and a customization service to make each watch unique to its owner. Design-wise, Le Rhöne has no desire to be shy. It strives to be bold in execution and retro-modern in expression. The brand has four distinctive collections under its belt and undertakes all of its production in Switzerland. Le Rhöne has also implemented a system of full traceability of its watches, and this year, the brand is charting a new frontier.

Le Rhöne Moön Titanium

Two novelties and one NFT

Le Rhöne has introduced two new models in the Moön collection (their predecessor was the one that dazzled me many moons ago). The brand has also announced its entry into the luxury NFT market. Wait, the what market? We’ll get to that in a bit. Now, let us first take a look at the beauties.

The two novelties are the standard Moön Aventurine Titanium and a version of the same watch with a diamond-set bezel. The latter features 64 round diamonds totaling 0.7ct. Both models come in a 37mm case in Grade 5 titanium with alternating vertical satin-finished and polished surfaces. This marks the first time Le Rhöne has used titanium in its collections, and the case’s thickness has been reduced for these lighter timepieces.

Le Rhöne Moön Titanium

Moön Aventurine Titanium — A mesmerizing moonphase timepiece

The star of the show is quite literally the starry and moon-themed dial. It has a celestial presence with a mother-of-pearl moonphase set against a midnight-blue star-studded backdrop. It is filled with glistening specks, surrounded by a ring of diamond stars, and joined by hands filled with Super-LumiNova.

Powering this lunar display is the exclusive in-house Grande Phase de Lune complication. It has been fully developed and manufactured in Switzerland. This COSC-certified automatic movement beats at 28,800vph (4Hz), and the moonphase doesn’t require any correction for five years. It also offers a 42-hour power reserve, and the case is water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM).

Securing the Moön Aventurine on your wrist is Le Rhöne’s very own interchangeable strap system, which enables a change of straps without any tools. It comes with a deep blue alligator strap, in harmony with the dial’s cosmic presence.

Le Rhone Hedonia Destiny High Jewelry Watch NFT

A unique piece in a digital realm

Now comes the NFT debut. Le Rhöne has unveiled a new model in its High Jewelry line — a unique piece by the name of Hedönia Destiny. It takes the design from the Hedönia collection and comes in an 18K white gold 41mm case. Adorning this timepiece are 888 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 42 carats. Le Rhöne is offering the Hedönia Destiny as a piece of digital artwork, the brand’s very first NFT (Non-Fungible Token). The NFT owner will be the only person in the world to decide the fate of this model. Within 12 months following the purchase, the owner may activate the watch’s production and turn the design into a physical piece. This option will grant the owner a fully immersive experience, including a bespoke journey to attend the live production of the watch.

Deciding its digital and physical destiny

Should the NFT owner choose not to activate the production, Le Rhöne has committed to never producing this watch. Thus, it will forever remain a unique piece of digital artwork and give added value to the NFT. After the 12-month period, the owner may exchange the NFT on SuperRare, a marketplace for digital art. Its new owner will unlock exclusive advantages and become a member of Le Rhöne’s brand club.

After reading all this, if you are unsure what an NFT means, fret not. You can check out this article on Hanhart’s NFT for a recent discussion. To put it simply here, an NFT is a digital file containing a unique set of data that is registered on a decentralized ledger. This ledger is run and validated by a peer-to-peer computer network called a blockchain. An NFT’s registry on a blockchain cannot be altered, so it guarantees authenticity and traceability. Because of this benefit and game-changing potential in consumer applications, there is a burgeoning market for NFTs in the luxury domain.

Le Rhöne has positioned itself at the forefront of this luxury NFT market. The company has already leveraged blockchain technology since 2020 to enable a traceability system for its timepieces. The brand’s entry into the NFT market is a natural next step to engage the growing legions of crypto enthusiasts and watch collectors who value digital presence.

Launching its own NFT art gallery

In embracing this new market, Le Rhöne will promote digital art and build a virtual art gallery in the coming months. The Hedönia Destiny will be exhibited there. The brand will also partner with art galleries on different continents to exhibit the timepiece. More details to come!

Le Rhone Moon Aventurine Titanium Watches

To follow the brand’s new adventure and explore all its models, visit the Le Rhöne website here. And feel free to share your thoughts on luxury NFTs or the Moön Aventurine Titanium models in the comments below.