Jacob & Co. has jumped on the NFT train. The famed jeweler and timepiece brand is auctioning off a luxury watch minted as non-fungible token—a cryptographic asset that acts as a certificate of authenticity for original digital content, which may include everything from audio to video to image files.
The move is a collaborative effort with ArtGrails, an NFT platform that will host the five-day auction beginning next week. The unique digital asset is Jacob & Co.’s SF24 Tourbillion, which has been touted as the first-ever NFT luxury watch. The design is based on the retailer’s Epic SF24 design, but with a number of alterations and added functions, such as a functioning tourbillon and a working split-flap system that displays 10 cryptocurrencies rather than cities.
“Our vision of Jacob & Co. is to be the trend setters, the first innovators and to lead the crowd instead of joining it,” brand CEO Benjamin Arabov said. “As we develop what most thought ‘impossible’ watches, it’s now time to see what type of noise we can make as digital products.”
Arabov said the retailer’s founder, Jacob Arabo, is also “very excited” about the NFT auction, as innovation has been one of his priorities since Jacob & Co.’s 1986 inception.
“I hope people will feel excited about it and maybe even be inspired by it,” Arabov continued. “The pandemic has pushed the luxury watch industry out of its comfort zone. I think our consumers need encouraging news such as our launch … NFT is an unexplored territory for most people, let alone the conventional horology industry. Jacob & Co. is a trailblazer in discovering this brand-new arena for all the high-end jewelry and watch brands. Our goal is to prove that there is a market for High End Luxury Digital Assets and we want to be the first ones to break into this industry.”
ArtGrails will launch the auction on April 4. After the transaction from ArtGrails, the winning bidder will be able to trade the digital asset in the open market. The platform was co-founded by web developer Seth Lowell alongside art dealer/manager Avery Andon and his brother/street artist Alec Monopoly.
“Avery came to us about the idea. We did our due diligence in researching how to enter the NFT space, and we wanted to find the right partner, this was important for us,” Arabov added. “Avery has created a platform to work on curated collaborations which gives us access to a niche NFT market. We felt like with his experience in the art space and platform exclusively, we thought it would be a good fit.”