Vacheron Constantin announced on Thursday that it will begin offering digital tracking and certification for all of its watches by the end of 2021.
The news comes on the heels of Breitling’s announcement in October that it would issue digital certification for its new watches, and plans to extend this service to older Breitling models next year. Both companies refer to their programs as “digital passports” and each uses blockchain technology to certify the authenticity and history of their timepieces. Vacheron Constantin, however, was the first to dip its toes into the new-age version of authentication that will, ultimately, replace the old notion of a watch’s “papers.”
The company first introduced its digital passport program for its line of vintage watches called “Les Collectioneurs” in May 2019 and has been testing out the application ever since. Developed in partnership with Arianee, an independent non-profit organization that aims to implement a global standard of certification for luxury goods, the encryption-secured platform protects an owner or potential buyer of a pre-owned watch from counterfeiting of hard-copy certification papers. Secondly, it logs a track record of the watch, even if it changes hands over time, documenting its ownership, value, authenticity and condition. The intended transparency offered by both Vacheron Constantin and Breitling should be welcome news to collectors. As the pre-owned and vintage market continues to accelerate, treading through the murky offerings from dealers, e-taliers and even auction houses can be treacherous if a client is not well-versed in the ins and outs of the watch world. It is also beneficial to brands as it not only tracks important pieces, but also confirms the authenticity of their product as it trades ownership over time.
But that’s not all—the company is also updating its community-based platform for clients called The Hour Club. Here, owners will find specially tailored content and services, as well as exclusive event invitations. In early 2021, the website will also become an app and, by the end of next year, it will also be home to the digital certification platform for all Vacheron Constantin collections.