Ulysse Nardin, accompanied by Kering’s Innovation team, shows its desire to be among the pioneers of major technological changes which enhance the customer experience. In fact, since November 4, 2019, for each purchase of a new Ulysse Nardin watch from the official reseller network, a free and tamper-proof extended warranty certificate, anchored in the most widely used and robust public blockchain, is generated and digitally signed by Ulysse Nardin, then emailed to the customer or sent to their Ulysse Nardin user account. The fine watchmaker thereby wishes to provide secured proof of the authenticity of its products.
EACH WATCH HAS ITS OWN DIGITAL FINGERPRINT
Therefore, a digital document like a warranty certificate in this case, when protected on the blockchain, becomes tamper-proof. The registers of “hashes” are publicly accessible, anywhere in the world, at anytime, thereby removing the risk of losing, forgetting or falsification of physical warranty cards, traditionally provided with the watch at the time of purchase. Another advantage is that this certificate becomes extremely useful for the after-sales service (a reliable transaction history) or when it is offered as a gift or resold (used market). The physical guarantee card will continue to exist, since thanks to its “bubble tag”, customers will be able to extend the watch warranty to 5 years and thus directly generate their online blockchain warranty certificate.
So, essentially, when a customer buys a Ulysse Nardin watch, they must enter it on the Ulysse Nardin website using the physical “prooftag” warranty card. They will then receive a personalized digital certificate on their name in a PDF format containing all the data and information about the purchased product (model, watch serial number, warranty card number and warranty end date). The signature of this warranty document is anchored in the blockchain via its “hash”, i.e. the document’s digital fingerprint.
THE BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN, THE BEST SAFE
Thanks to the advanced cryptographic methods and the strong decentralization of the Bitcoin network (the first blockchain created more than 10 years ago with a high-level of reliability of its data), putting in place this certificate is an extremely innovative project in the sense that it does not use a third-party company to ensure the validity of the certification.
“We decided to use the most secure and most recognized solution. Also, according to a satisfaction survey that we send to our customers with the certificate, 90% see the value of using the blockchain to protect their certificate and 100% are satisfied with receiving a protected digital certificate.”, Stéphane Carlier, Chief Digital Officer of Ulysse Nardin, in charge of the project stated.
Verifying the validity of Ulysse Nardin warranty certificates will be possible directly on the Bitcoin blockchain using an explorer like https://blockstream.info/, or a checker using the same open source standard as https://btcproof.info/. Another option for the customer is a checker widget hosted directly on the Ulysse Nardin’s website: https://www.ulysse-nardin.com/verify-certificate. For its development, Ulysse Nardin and Kering chose the Breton start-up “Woleet”. By a simple “drag and drop”, the link between the warranty certificate and the blockchain is simplified.
“We are very happy to have been able to accompany Ulysse Nardin in defining and implementing this innovative process, which for the first time allows a watchmaker to offer its customers warranty certificates for all its collections through the blockchain technology. Working with our Houses to ensure they are able to provide their customers the best experience possible is one of our key tasks, and co-creating services as innovative as this one is a particularly significant illustration”, Amélie Lemoine, Kering’s Director of Innovation said.
NOT ONE, BUT ALL!
Another major step forward: the blockchain technology, which is being tried out in the watchmaking industry mostly as an “optional service,” is being deployed at Ulysse Nardin systematically, not just on a single product, but on all of its ranges.
“We want to provide secured proof to our end customers and thus create trust as regards the authenticity of all our products”, Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin stated. “The second step in this deployment will cover the transfer of ownership of the certificate. Also, why not eventually have a record of all the maintenance operations on our watches in the blockchain?” he concluded.
A candidate for the Digital Innovation Grand Prix (in the “Services” category), which celebrates digital innovation in all forms by rewarding both start-ups and large French groups, this innovation has been preselected by the Petit Web among the 10 innovation project finalists out of a total of 373 projects. The results will be announced on February 27, 2020.
To understand how Ulysse Nardin certification works on the blockchain, we invite you to watch this short explanatory video:
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About Ulysse Nardin – Manufacturer of Freedom
Inspired by the ocean, Ulysse Nardin is the Pioneering Watchmaker, offering innovative timepieces to its most daring customers.
Founded by Mr. Ulysse Nardin in 1846, Ulysse Nardin has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie. The company’s earliest renown came from its links to the nautical world: its marine chronometers are among the most reliable ever made, still sought by collectors around the world. A pioneer of cutting-edge technologies and the innovative use of materials like silicon, the brand is one of the few watchmakers with the in-house expertise to produce its own high-precision components and movements. This exceptional level of watchmaking excellence has earned Ulysse Nardin membership in the most exclusive circle of Swiss watchmaking, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Today, from its sites in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the brand’s continuing quest for horological perfection centers around five collections: The Marine, the Diver, the Classico, the Executive and the Freak. In 2019, Ulysse Nardin presented the X factor to the world of watchmaking.
Ulysse Nardin has been part of the Kering global luxury group since November 2014.