This unique digital version of the Epic SF24 Tourbillon places fun irreplaceable.
Earlier this month, the Watchonista team was discussing writing an April Fool’s Day post. Among the divergent ideas, one of the stories proposed was the announcement of a non-fungible token (NFT) watch. These digital assets have always been a hot topic in the art world. Musician Grimes made a net profit of US$390,000 with 50-second videos and artist Beeple’s collages, which were sold at Christie’s for US$69 million.
But when Jacob & Co. announced the collaboration with the newly launched NFT platform ArtGrails to release the world’s first NFT timepiece The Jacob & Co. NFT (Piece Unique 1 of 1), our prank ideas were quickly put on hold. This groundbreaking timepiece will be snapped up through a five-day auction starting on April 4.
We spoke with Benjamin Arabov, CEO of Jacob & Co., and Avery Andon, founder, celebrity art dealer and manager of ArtGrails, to learn more about this timepiece and what you might want to enter irreplaceable The reason for the bottom layer of the collection.
What is NFT?
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, just like Bitcoin or Dogecoin, but its blockchain stores additional information that allows buyers to verify the ownership of digital artwork. In the case of artwork or watches, Ethereum also provides provenance, which adds to its value.
In the past few months, the digital art market has exploded. For Arabov and Andon, Jacob & Co.’s entry into the NFT field seems to be a natural process. “Our goal is to prove that there is a market for high-end luxury digital assets (HELDA),” Arabov said. “We want to be the first to enter this industry.”
Becoming the number one is a big deal. Those who purchase Jacob & Co. NFT will get a super scarce (and therefore desirable) product whose name will always be associated with the timepiece. Consider the super complication of Patek Philippe Henry Graves, which is the most expensive pocket watch in auction history.
Because it is so new, many collectors are cautious about owning an asset that you cannot actually hold. However, if an established institution like Christie’s participates, then the investment must have a certain degree of security.
“When I explain it to people,” Anton told Watchonista, “I compare NFT with a beautiful baseball card-except that you can see each past owner, when it was last sold, and its Selling price.”
Jacob & Co. has never operated like a traditional watchmaker. The company was founded in 1986 by the jeweler (and Arabov’s father) Jacob Arabo, from customizing unique products for his famous customers to expanding into high-end watchmaking in 2002.
Since then, their timepieces have become legendary due to their wealth and technological advancement. At Baselword 2013, Jacob & Co. launched the Epic SF24-a travel timer that displays the local time on the dial and displays the second time zone through a retro-style split clock at 12 o’clock.
“Art is a luxury, and the art category paved the way for NFTs. Now is the time for Jacobs to pave the way for the luxury watch sector,” Anton said in a press release.
As an avid watch collector, Andon said that he spent his first large salary on the “extra-large, cold Jacob & Co. five-time zone watch” and praised Arabov for not only accepting the project, but also Also advanced it. The digital-only SF24 NFT will include a tourbillon and replace the city names shown on the split with the names of 10 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Fantom.
“As a collector,” Arabov told Watchonista, “ArtGrails is committed to providing the experience of buying a physical watch.” SF24 NFT will come with a certificate in a physical hardware wallet in a unique box.
“I call it alternative assets,” Anton added. “Unlike a physical watch, I don’t have to worry about wearing it to damage it. I don’t have to pay for insurance. I don’t have to store it in a vault where I can’t enjoy it.” Nevertheless, Arabov and Andon don’t think NFT Watches will replace traditional watches. “This is not a one-stop shop. There are many ways to explore this platform,” Anton told Watchonista. “I foresee that physical watches will be accompanied by NFT.”
As Arabov said in numerous press statements, this digital platform represents another exciting avenue for the luxury watch industry, and he hopes to be the first to enter. However, this release is part of a long-term strategic partnership with ArtGrails, which aims to develop future planning collaborations for the collector community.