PARIS — Crypto heads, the latest drop you won’t want to miss isn’t in the metaverse, it’s at Hublot.
The Swiss watchmaker has teamed with hardware wallet start-up Ledger for its latest limited-edition timepiece, the Big Bang Unico Ledger.
“Knowing that there is this cross-over between watch collectors and crypto currency early adopters, we wanted to do something for those people, so we reached out to our friends at Hublot, who have previously done crypto-themed watches,” said Ian Rogers, Ledger’s chief experience officer.
“I firmly believe this is the year when the watch industry will come to embrace crypto currency,” said Hublot’s chief executive officer Ricardo Guadalupe in a statement revealing the collaboration, further described as “a gateway to a self-custody future and the metaverse” by Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier.
The design of the watch is meant to reflect the transparency and security of blockchain technology, and of the decentralized currencies relying on it. A self-confessed “watch nerd,” Rogers described it as a “really clean 42 mm” based off the Big Bang Unico with its skeleton movement and black ceramic case.
Its most striking feature: a golden bezel cast in a stainless “Electrum” gold and silver alloy, named after its naturally occurring version used for the earliest known coins. The words “Vires in Numeris” (or strength in numbers in Latin), a phrase considered to be the motto of Bitcoin, is stamped all around the bezel’s edge.
“Through this material, Hublot reconnects the past and the first coins ever minted in Egyptian times and the new world toward which we are all moving,” said Philippe Tardivel, marketing director for the watchmaker.
Each timepiece comes in a sapphire glass case along with a limited-edition Nano X crypto key, the secure digital asset wallet created by Ledger, emblazoned with the logos of both companies. Warran — as with all Hublot pieces since early 2020 — are stored in the Aura blockchain.
With a limited run of 50, the watch and its companion are meant to hit the sweet spot for “fans of Hublot who are curious about Ledger” and “those who have done well in the world of crypto,” nodding to another idea built into this collaboration.
According to Rogers, teaming with brands such as Fendi — which showcased accessories to house Ledger wallets in their latest menswear collection — or NFT project Adam Bomb Squad is a sign that “there is no such thing as ‘crypto’ [as a monolithic definition]. It’s a collection of communities,” said Rogers, adding that working with luxury labels was a statement on crypto being a luxury pursuit in itself.
“When you think about it, the definition of luxury is not material items. It’s things that are creative, scarce, and give [someone] identity within a broader community. That’s why people buy luxury and that’s going to exist — on and offline,” he said.