Hublot and Wisekey: using Swissness to fight imitations

Jean-Claude Biver CEO of Hublot

Jean-Claude Biver CEO of Hublot

25th March 2009 – Today, on the occasion of the opening of the Basel Watch and Jewellery Show, Hublot and Wisekey announced a world “first” in the fight against imitations. The watchmaker has joined forces with the company “World Internet Security” with a view to taking radical steps to identify its watches electronically.

From now on, Hublot watches will be protected by a SmartCard, proving their identity and origin. This innovative solution, which was presented today by the watchmaking brand and WiseKey, represents a decisive step in the fight against the counterfeit trade.

The idea consists of creating an electronic guarantee certificate, which not only contains the watch identity code, but also enables privileged access to a reserved space on the Hublot web site. Both Hublot sales outlets and clients will be able to use the SmartCard to instantly check via the Internet if the watch is genuine.

It’s the first time that this technology has been used as a protection against counterfeiting. “There is a patent pending on this method,” explained Carlos Moreira, CEO of WiseKey. “It is based on digital identification protected by a cryptographic SmartCard associated with a Hublot watch. We supply a secured platform which the buyer can access via the watchmaker’s website, and within an area reserved for watch identification. If the information contained in the card is not valid, access to this area is simply denied.”

“Hublot is the first company in the world of luxury and watchmaking to attain this level of protection for its products, by combining state-of-the-art electronic technology and traditional watchmaking know-how. I am proud to be the pioneer in this domain, as even though imitation is flattering (he said laughing), manufacture of counterfeit watches is an inacceptable plague for the whole of the watchmaking industry, and we must use every means possible to fight it”, added Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot CEO.

Thus, as from Autumn 2009, purchasers of Hublot watches will find the electronic card included in their watch’s case. In addition to the information enabling traceability of the watch, they will, thanks to this card, be able to connect to the Hublot website and get access to a privileged space reserved for them, while remaining anonymous.

WiseAuthentic© : The Smart Way

In the past, the “paper” certificate was sufficiently secure that it could not be duplicated or modified. As a result, any watch accompanied by such a certificate bearing the same serial number was certified to be genuine.

Today, the paper certificate has become vulnerable, colour copies having evolved to a level of quality that makes it difficult to distinguish them from the original. Most security technologies embedded in paper documents become reproducible after a few years. WiseKey has therefore conceived a digital approach, based on a certificate included within a cryptographic chip which cannot be duplicated or modified.

The certificates issued bear the digital seal of Hublot’s certification authority, and cannot be manipulated by non-authorised third parties.

One of the major advantages of this solution is the ability to verify electronically via the Internet. Once the on-line validation is completed, the authenticity of the watch with its accompanying card is guaranteed. The system also enables one to ensure that the item has not been reported as stolen or lost. Depending on the type of on-line application used, proof of authenticity can subsequently be presented to a third-party.

This operation is performed via the secured platform which the buyer can access from the Hublot website, in an area reserved for watch identification. If the information contained in the card is not valid, access to this area is simply denied.

On this platform Hublot can also offer its clients new, value added services, based on the guarantee that they are the owners of a genuine watch.

The elements necessary for watch validation being simple and standard, checks can be frequent within a watch’s life cycle, in particular at the time of auctions and inheritance or with regard to the authorities.

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