Off to the Metaverse with Franck Muller

Swiss luxury watchmaker Franck Muller is launching an exclusive NFT collection of limited edition watches on the crypto exchange Binance.

Luxury companies are increasingly entering the Metaverse. Their first foray into the virtual parallel world and into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) was quite jarring, even for the Swiss luxury watchmakers like Hublot.

Meanwhile, however, several luxury brands have successfully launched their own Metaverse and NFT creations. Swiss fine watchmakers like IWC join fashion companies like Prada, Gucci, Versace and Ralph Lauren, who also have the combination of the “real” and virtual world in mind.

Exclusive surprises

Franck Muller, the Swiss luxury watchmaker from Geneva, also relies on Web3. The manufacturer has announced the launch of a collection of electronic wearables and physical watches on the NFT marketplace of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance. The series begins with the release of the NFT «Mystery by Franck Muller» on July 27, 2022.

The collection includes 15,000 NFT of “Mystery Boxes”. These boxes can contain various surprises, such as exclusive watch faces for the Apple Watch. But there are also NFT watches that avatars can wear in Metaverse Decentraland, physical Franck Muller watches that buyers can purchase for special private events or a visit to the watch workshop in Geneva.

The crypto journey continued

The boxes come in four different editions: Normal, Rare, Super Rare and Super Super Rare. The higher the value of the box, the greater the chance that the buyer will receive a rare reward. In addition to Mystery Boxes, Binance NFT will also host a unique auction starting on July 27th. The winner of the auction will receive an exclusive NFT artwork and a one-off physical watch from Franck Muller.

With this move, Franck Muller continues a journey that started some time ago. In 2019, the Geneva-based company launched what it claims to be the first limited-edition functional Bitcoin watch with the “Vanguard Encrypto”. Launched in partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform Regal Assets, the classy watch features a Bitcoin logo and a QR code from the Bitcoin Genesis block. The watch face features a laser-engraved QR code for a public wallet address that can be used to deposit bitcoins and check account balances.

Quite shy

Luxury brands were among the latest to jump into e-commerce. In the past, traditional luxury brands have primarily seen online retail as a distribution platform for selling luxury goods in the lower to mid-range segment. A number of luxury companies are still cautious about their online business. Many brands feel that the feeling of luxury is somewhat lost if customers only buy their products online. High quality products have therefore often been and still are reserved for the premium experience in offline retail stores.

For manufacturers of high-quality watches, but also for luxury companies in general, Metaverse and NFT represent opportunities and challenges. Early entry into virtual reality may well mean a long-term competitive advantage for the pioneers, not least because both luxury watches and NFT appeal to collector-enthusiasts.

Successful launch on Bahnhofstrasse

However, the philosophy and experience of luxury watches’ unique mechanics and craftsmanship contrasts in the parallel world with watches that are designed with 3D software and are therefore comparatively simpler and cheaper to produce.

Only recently, the watch store Beyer Chronometrie on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, which is particularly popular with bankers, also ventured into new virtual territory and launched an NFT watch collection. The first 100 NFT watches sold out in just seven minutes, e.g reported.

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