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Innovation & Know-How

Origyn invents the Shazam of watchmaking

Authenticate luxury watches in an instant using your smartphone? This is the promise of Origyn, a revolutionary technological solution born in Neuchâtel and whose vocation is to fight against counterfeiting. Explanations.

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita27 septembre 2021

In the luxury industry, more than anywhere else, everyone agrees that counterfeiting is an endemic scourge. A scourge that Vincent Perriard, co-founder of the Origyn Foundation and former CEO of the HYT brand, intends to overcome: "Around 40 million counterfeit watches are produced each year, which is a huge loss for the brands. Brands have developed blockchain solutions to certify their timepieces, but these solutions all have the same problem: the certificate is separate from the watch. Therefore, it is still possible to sell a fake watch with a real certificate." After three years of reflection and research, Vincent Perriard and his teams based in Neuchâtel and California have managed to find a unique solution: "It's simple, intuitive and unforgeable. All you have to do is take a photo of the watch using a smartphone application and you know straight away whether it is genuine. It's the same as Shazam, but for watches. Everything is perfected, we just need to finalise the smartphone app, it will be launched during the second quarter of 2021."   

Soon, a smartphone will be enough to authenticate a luxury watch. (DR)

Technology marriage

Instead of relying on a microchip, barcode or engraving, Origyn's technology uses an algorithm that combines artificial intelligence and machine learning. This combination allows for the rapid identification and authentication of a watch through the analysis of numerous reference points captured by visual and/or audio signatures of its movement. Brands are involved in the creation of a luxury product from the moment it is produced, by generating its "digital clone", which is tamper-proof and impossible to counterfeit. In fact, it works like when you were a child and you observed two objects that seemed identical," explains the co-founder of Origyn. When you looked at them through a microscope, you realised that there were slight differences, and it is these differences that make each watch totally unique. He adds: "The question of authentication of a watch is fundamental in the second-hand market, a market that has exploded in recent months. Origyn will restore complete confidence between buyers and sellers.

Vincent Perriard, co-founder of Origyn, a non-profit foundation governed by the watch industry and token holders. (DR)

Digital links

Major watch brands are keen to adopt this technology

Vincent Perriard, co-founder of Origyn

Even before the launch of the application, these advantages have enabled Vincent Perriard to attract the interest of the major watchmaking companies: "I can't give any names yet, but the main brands are keen to adopt this technology, especially as it is open, flexible and costs them nothing. All they have to do is integrate the photo of each watch during their manufacturing process, it's as simple as that." Eventually, the Origyn protocol aims to relay watches to their owners so that they can register any loss or theft. It also aims to facilitate the transfer of ownership and allow insurance companies to offer cover directly to the owners of these luxury products. Vincent Perriard predicts: "Brands will be able to regain control of their relationship with end-customers by offering them, in addition to world-renowned products, certified and irrefutable proof of pre-order of a watch that has not yet been launched or services related to the maintenance of timepieces. The possibilities are almost endless!" Especially since, after watchmaking, Origyn intends to tackle other sectors such as leather goods and jewellery.

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