During an interaction in October this year, GMT India asked Nicholas Hofmann, International Sales Director, H. Moser & Cie., about his views on watch brands experimenting with NFTs and metaverse. He explained how the team at Moser was still doing its research in this regard; they didn’t want to indulge in just a marketing gimmick. They wanted to bring out an NFT watch, only if it added value. “It’s something that obviously we're looking closely at,” said Hoffman. “Moser has always been very disruptive, thinking out of the box, but we have always tried to put forth something that made sense — it shouldn't be gimmicky, shouldn't be gadget-y. In other words, it shouldn't be all about marketing.”
Those were prescient words indeed, as H. Moser & Cie. has just come up with the Endeavour Centre Seconds Genesis or 01100111 01100101 01101110 01100101 01110011 01101001 01110011, if you can talk binary code. It’s a limited-edition watch, which uniquely blends the physical with the virtual.
The brand has done extensive research and developed an ecosystem that offers blockchain product authentication for multi-level security and transparency. What’s more, there are exclusive privileges enabled by digital assets ownership and a metaverse space, showcasing products and benefiting customers. The brand’s immersive metaverse experience invites customers to step into a new Moser universe, supported by a mix of tradition and latest technologies.
Exploring the Uncharted
H. Moser & Cie. has always been pushing the boundaries. While major watch brands can be hesitant to embrace the new frontier, Moser as an independent brand has always smoothly sailed into uncharted territories. Take, for example, their efforts to incorporate new materials like Vantablack – a unique pigment that absorbs 99.99% of ambient light.
With this new NFT project, they have developed an app, enabling watch authentication through blockchain technology, provided by Aura Blockchain Consortium, which offers technological solutions to the luxury goods sector. The Aura SaaS platform allows customers to enjoy complete traceability and visibility throughout the product life cycle, including certification, warranty, insurance and customer support. Eventually, this authentication process will be introduced for all Moser watches via the warranty card accompanying every model. Digital assets like NFTs have also been created. These include digital artworks like ‘time capsule’ videos, promoting products and the watchmakers behind them.
The metaverse space allows users to discover the brand’s history and manufacture, and meet the Moser team virtually. The virtual space is designed like a modern, minimalist Swiss chalet, comprising both classic references to Switzerland as well as specific references to the brand, such as the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), a nod to the brand’s headquarters. In keeping with the concept of the watch, the brand organised press conferences in its dedicated space in the metaverse, making it an immersive experience in all conceivable ways.
The 50-piece limited edition has incorporated aesthetic codes, ranging from the virtual to the tangible: its 3D-printed titanium crown and bezel appear pixelated and are perfectly paired with the watch's micro-blasted steel case. Every piece comes with a unique QR code, engraved on its sapphire crystal that allows authentication of watch ownership. The owner is also provided with privileged access to the entire digital/virtual ecosystem, according him/her priority for purchase of certain future limited editions, membership of the Moser community, exclusive invitations to brand launch events and so on.
Moser has certainly been able to provide the added value that they set out for – the digital assets will offer customers unparalleled insurance services. Recently, H. Moser & Cie. also began accepting direct payment in cryptocurrency.
A Joint Venture
To ensure the success of this endeavour, H. Moser & Cie. has partnered with Deloitte Consulting, Switzerland and Aura Blockchain Consortium. Zurich Switzerland has been roped in to insure the physical product and digital assets for this brand new hybrid offering. Crossmint handles custody of the tokens in a wallet, accessible for the first time via a dedicated application. Then there is Salesforce, making H. Moser & Cie. one of the first global customers across all industries to benefit from its Web 3.0 management suite. These partners provide their expertise and credibility to the project and form a valuable support network.
The Endeavour Centre Seconds Genesis Reference 1200-1238 comes with a 40 mm micro-blasted steel case and 3D-printed titanium crown and bezel, and Moser’s statement Vantablack® dial, with a QR code engraved on the sapphire crystal. All these come on a grey kudu leather strap with a micro-blasted steel pin buckle and a see-through caseback. The dial features black, leaf-shaped hour and minute hands. The watch is powered by the HMC 200 automatic Calibre and vibrates at a frequency of 21,600 vph. It has a power reserve of at least three days.
While the metaverse certainly opens up an entirely new space for Moser and its customers, the Genesis timepiece in itself offers a delightful design that pushes the envelope further.