Franck Muller, Swiss Watchmaker, Launches the World’s First Functional Bitcoin Watch, in Partnership with Regal Assets
If you lived through the excesses of the 1990s, you’ll know of Franck Muller, both man and brand, who took the world by storm into the early 2000s with “must-have” tonneau-shaped watches. In Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and Frankfurt, it was THE timepiece of choice on the wrists of the nouveau riche and aspirants. Tellingly, one of the most sought after was the Master Banker with three time zone displays for those keeping an eye on stock markets on three continents.
We stood back in perverse and vicarious excitement for a couple of years, when the founding partners, Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes, had a public fallout with retributory lawsuits. Eventually, mutual annihilation was averted and they continued as partners til today.
Franck Muller Encrypto Bitcoin Watch
Franck Muller announces the launch of the Encrypto, the world’s first functional Bitcoin watch. Each timepiece/wallet comes as a two-piece “Deep Cold Storage” set, with its own unique public address etched on the dial and a sealed USB memory stick containing the private key. Users can add their Bitcoin to their wallet or check their balance directly through the dial.
The Encrypto watch was designed with the Bitcoin universe in mind. The dial incorporates the QR code of Satoshi’s Genesis Block address. A custom designed ‘B’ motif is embedded in a graphic of circuitry, while the laser-etched public wallet address is a QR code on the dial. You can customise both the dial and the strap of the watch. Naturally, some models include precious metals and encrusted with diamonds on the dial and case.
Franck Muller regional director (Middle East, Africa & India), Erol Baliyan, said: “We always aim to impact the customer at an emotional level and create a bond between the customer and the timepiece. As a brand, we are a trend maker with a solid track record and are not shy when it comes to adopting innovation. Bitcoin is the millennial gold is the perfect marriage between innovation and personal choice.”
The QR code and cold storage system were designed in partnership with Regal Assets, the first crypto investment company to receive a government-issued license to trade cryptos in 2017. “Our watch is currently available at our Dubai Mall store. We accept payment by credit card, bank transfer and also in Bitcoin. Buyers can also purchase the watch from our partner Regal Assets,” added Mr Baliyan.
The cold storage wallet uses offline generated, non-deterministic TRNGs (True Random Numbers Generated) that cannot be hacked. The method for storing Bitcoin is quite popular among hodlers and early adopters due to its increased security and peace of mind. Rather than rely on slips of paper, users can scan the QR code on their watch to check their balance and deposit BTC in their personal safe, or their fully insured deep cold storage vault if they are buying BTC from Regal Assets. In case you’re wondering, a “hodler” is slange for a crypto currency holder as opposed to a seller and ‘BTC’ is the acronym for Bitcoin like USD for the dollar.
The Encrypto will be a limited-edition series, with a maximum of 500 watches of each version available online.
What about other altcoins? Apparently, Franck Muller is considering incorporating Ethereum and the top five coins, including Ripple XRP for future models. You can learn more about these watches and place an order on www.franckmullercrypto.com and www.regalassets.com
For liability reasons, If you are planning to use your Franck Muller Limited Edition Bitcoin watch as a Physical Access Point to deposit bitcoins, then you will need to provide a PUBLIC address to affix on your dial. The standard set comes as a “commemorative limited edition novelty item”, and not for storing Bitcoins. You may submit your public address with your order number to: email@example.com
Treat your Franck Muller Watch like a Bitcoin piggy bank: Add funds as often as you like, but only import (or “sweep”) your funds once.
Open any live wallet software or web-based wallet and send or receive funds from any live wallet to the public address shown on your watch dial.
You can check your account balance and USD value by scanning your watch dial using any Live Wallet or Bitcoin balance checker app.
The watch can be worn freely with no risk of losing your Bitcoins if it were to get lost or damaged because of the sealed USB, which you would store in a safe place, the same way you would store large sums of cash or physical gold. (e.g. safety deposit box).
To be able to move the funds, you must push a pin through the hole marked on the back of the USB to reveal the private key. Then, you link your private key to the Live Wallet. This can be accomplished through a process known as “importing.” Most Live Wallets have an option called “cold wallet” or “manual import” There you will be able to link your private key to your live wallet.
Franck Muller, Mens 45mm, Titanium Case, Gold Elemento ($11,280 – $15,980)
The titanium brushed finish gives the Gold Elemento watch a sleek and industrial style. The technical dial has highlights of Bitcoin’s Safety Orange colour details to complement the gold accents. This is Franck Muller’s vision of a luxury timepiece dedicated to men as a perfect match between harmonious design and pioneering blockchain technology. The black Alligator strap is lined with rubber inside.
Franck Muller, Mens 45mm, Gold Case, Centurion Limited Edition ($25,080 – $30,140)
Centurions were Roman soldiers allegedly paid 17 times what other legionary soldiers earned because of their famed discipline and ability to act without hesitation. This new timepiece is decorated Bitcoin Safety Orange colour and Marine White time markers on a dial design derived from the QR code of Satoshi’s Genesis Block address. The new gold case Centurion Edition timepiece evokes opulence never before seen on any timepiece. The applique numerals were hand-painted and hand-brushed in a bright Marine White enamel. A brown natural rubber strap with outer brown alligator leather complements the look.
Franck Muller, Mens 45mm, Diamond Gold Case, Centurion Edition ($50,380 – $55,880)
This new watch is encrusted with 340 diamonds (6.21 carats) amidst the Bitcoin Safety Orange highlights and Marine White enamel time markers. The black crown give the final touch to this custom made limited edition piece. A brown natural rubber strap with outer brown Alligator leather completes the look.
Franck Muller, Ladies Diamond Gold Case, Colour Dreams Edition ($35,750 – $38,500)
Lady hodlers are not forgotten with a range of watches; we show only one model in the elegant finance range: the new diamond encrusted gold Colour Dreams. Inspired by the jewelry firmament, this new watch embellished with a total of 340 diamonds (6.21 carats). The dial is adorned with different color enamel markers for every hour. Oozing sporty chic with Franck Muller’s signature tonneau shape, the new diamond-clad Colour Dreams timepiece hides even more opulence than usual with the laser etched QR code holding treasure.
Franck Muller was one of the watchmakers active in re-establishing mechanical watches after the ‘quartz crisis’ of the 1970s that devastated the industry. Perhaps that accounts for his sobriquet: ‘Master of Complications’. Embedded in the worlds of high finance and Hollywood, it is no surprise that Franck Muller watches have appealed to the rich and famous.
Now, we have the Encrypto watch.
This is a whole new, different asset class. Usually, a watch just loses money but here, your money could go up as well as down!
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web magazine. He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).