TAG Heuer’s new watch lets you display your NFTs. It can also tell you the time.
Prince once said, “Time doesn’t exist. Clocks exist. Time is only an agreed construction. The same could and has been said about ownership of digital artworks and NFTs. Can you really own something that has been replicated thousands or even millions of times online? You can, but only because we all agree you can.
Recently, TAG Heuer made history by leveraging its historic know-how to bring these two theoretical constructs together with a software update to its Connected Caliber E4 collection. The company announced the update in June, which allows watch owners to display their NFT artwork directly on their wrists.
TAG Heuer’s new software feature, called the Lens, allows you to connect crypto wallets such as Metamask and Ledger Live and then display one or more NFTs on your smartwatch. Lens supports both static images and animated GIFs, which will play as endless loops. Verified NFTs are displayed in a hexagon with a cloud of particles orbiting the image, allowing you to prove that the NFT displayed on your watch is genuine – as long as the person you’re trying to prove it to knows about this feature.
And, because it’s still a watch, Lens features “a new conceptual design” that lets wearers read the time “with a triangle and circle representing the hours and minutes.”
For those unfamiliar with the technology, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital assets whose ownership is recorded on a decentralized digital ledger called blockchain, the same technology that drives cryptocurrency. NFTs can be anything from a GIF of Michael Jordan diving from the free throw line to digital artwork.
For creators and collectors of digital art, NFTs and blockchain technology have been monumental. Creators can now be compensated in the same way as traditional artists. And because their authenticity can be verified, these digital works of art can increase in value, making them attractive to collectors.
Now, digital collectors can display their art directly on their timepieces.
Although this feature is the first of its kind, the idea of wearing pop art on your wrist is nothing new – Mickey Mouse graced the faces of watches from Timex to Rolex starting in 1933. The Apple Watch features dozens of ways to customize the display, although it doesn’t have native support for displaying verified NFTs.
TAG Heuer isn’t the first luxury brand to embrace blockchain, either. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and countless others have launched NFTs with mixed results. But, its embrace of blockchain technology as fundamental to its future puts TAG Heuer in the same category as other forward-thinking manufacturers – Fendi partnered with Ledger on a luxury hardware crypto wallet, Samsung launched an NFT market integrated and a growing number of luxury goods brands, including TAG Heuer and parent company LVMH, have started to accept cryptocurrency.
In some ways, this release is a logical progression for the 162-year-old heritage brand. Founded in 1860, Heuer has always been at the forefront of its industry, inventing groundbreaking technologies including the Mikrograph, the first stopwatch capable of accurately measuring 1/100th of a second increments, the first self-winding chronograph movement automatic and the first luxury smartwatch model. Astronaut John Glenn wore a Heuer wristwatch during his first orbit around the earth.
On the other hand, it is a departure. Most of the company’s innovations have focused on precision and performance, making them favorite watches of pilots, divers, and other consumers for whom precision is of the utmost importance. Beyond signaling status to the device owner, there’s no practical reason to display a looping GIF with proof of ownership on a wristwatch. Although, to be fair, many innovations in watchmaking, including the invention of the wristwatch, were initially considered frivolous. The first wristwatches were treated as jewelry and belonged almost exclusively to women.
And, practicality isn’t really the point for the NFT crowd. While companies like Atomic Form and Infinite Objects strive to integrate NFTs into the traditional ways we experience art, others are embracing the way NFTs integrate art into our daily lives.
Users with premium Twitter accounts can display verified NFTs as profile photos. People interact with NFT artwork in video games. Others display NFTs on their dormant computers and smart TVs as expensive screensavers, functioning as display artwork until someone clicks to wake the device. That means we often experience jaw-dropping artwork the same way we experienced the Flying Toasters screensaver in the early 90s.
This subversive approach to art and money is the founding philosophy of the crypto community. Perhaps displaying an 8-bit punk avatar worth over $170,000 – but only because the market accepts it – on a watch made by one of the market’s most respected heritage brands fits that perfectly. philosophy.
Owners of the TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 can access the new feature via a free update in the Apple App Store (update is coming to Android soon). Those interested can read more about TAG Heuer’s NFT watch here: