AURA blockchain e-warranty: Hublot is improving the prevention of watch counterfeiting and theft



Luxury watch manufacture is launching a completely digital warranty stored in the AURA blockchain.

A first in the fight against counterfeiting.

After being one of the first companies in the world to equip its watches with an electronic warranty in 2009, Hublot is once again innovating with the Hublot e-warranty. With the Hublot e-warranty, Hublot & KerQuest are fusing materials and ground-breaking algorithmics to revolutionise the user experience. The watch is thus authenticated by the recognition of the specificity of its materials.

The Hublot e-warranty will be part of the AURA blockchain initiated by LVMH luxury group

The new warranty system developed by Hublot is part of a global trend to fight counterfeiting and to track and trace product lifecycles, initiated by LVMH. The Hublot e-warranty will be stored in the AURA blockchain, intended for use by other luxury brands. Developed by Microsoft and the blockchain company ConsenSys, AURA is the first international blockchain designed to help consumers trace items and assess their authenticity. Designed by and for luxury brands, it enables the tracking of raw material sourcing and the protection of intellectual and creative property, among other things.

The Hublot e-warranty technology is already compatible with all the pieces produced by the Manufacture since the start of 2020. This fully functional technology is currently being rolled out across all Hublot points of sale. The pioneering Paris Vendôme boutique, which has been equipped for over a year, and the Swiss boutiques and retailers are also already operational. The other markets will follow in the coming months. For earlier pieces, the electronic warranty card remains in place. When these watches are next with the after-sales service, they will be recorded by the Manufacture so they can benefit from the new Hublot e-warranty system.

“Hublot will use an electronic passport and warranty system, much like facial recognition, based on the uniqueness of the materials that make up its watches,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. “This advanced technology required more than three years of research and development in partnership with the company KerQuest. Today, thanks to the Hublot e-warranty, a simple photo taken with a mobile phone is all it takes to activate the warranty and access it, while verifying the authenticity of the product. Although the technology developed relies on complex algorithms, it is simple and user friendly. A perfect fusion between technological complexity and ease of use.”

Each and every Hublot watch is unique: even two watches of the same model leaving the manufacture are distinguishable thanks to the singularities of their microstructure. The challenge faced was how to read them and process them in a reliable and practical way. The Hublot e-warranty is based on the unitary recognition of the specificities of all of Hublot’s watches and models.

@hublot e-warranty system 2020

The main technology is found at the very heart of the manufacture, where, in a way, the passport of the watch is established. Specially designed optical readers image and reconstruct the reality of each piece in full detail, in very high definition. Every watch is indeed “photographed” as it comes out of production. When the watch is sold in a boutique, the point of sale activates the warranty using the Hublot-e-warranty application (which takes a photo of the head of the watch lined up with a duplicate displayed on the screen). The photo is sent to the computing infrastructure that will process it and automatically activate the warranty if the piece has been correctly identified unitarily. Once the watch has been recognised and authenticated, the customer receives their Hublot e-warranty via the channel of their choice (SMS, E-mail, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Messenger, etc.), and will then easily be able to join the Hublotista community.

A specific e-warranty application also exists for customers. This enables them to easily access new services, such as verifying the authenticity of a piece, retrieving the warranty status of a piece, or accessing the Hublotista community. In the event of the loss of warranty data or of the sale of the watch without transferring the warranty to the new owner, the unitary recognition of the piece by the Hublot e-warranty application, available on the Google Play Store and Apple App, once again enables access to all the information about the watch and its warranty. During a transaction involving a second-hand watch, the Hublot e-warranty application will enable the seller or buyer to check the status of the piece, and will protect the seller from the resale of a stolen watch.