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Questions and Answers

The Watch Certificate™

What is the Watch Certificate?

It is the passport of the watch: a document signed by an expert recognized at the European level and forgery-proof. It takes the form of a steel card issued at the time of a watch purchase. This card gives access at any time to a detailed certificate with 42 control points and high definition photos taken in a watchmaking workshop. The whole thing is signed by an expert who works for auction houses.

Is the card metal?

It's made of brushed steel, it weighs 28 grams. It guarantees instant access to the certificate on a protected address. Our choice was to make it in the same material as the majority of watch cases for a simple reason: it must be durable since in case of sale of your watch, you will give this card to the new owner. In case of loss, the data is saved and we are able to reissue your card.

What's the certificate?

It is a forgery-proof digital document containing high definition photos and a minimum of 42 checkpoints. In order to produce this document, the watch is meticulously inspected by a watchmaker in our network, close to the buyer. The certificate is finally validated and signed by an approved expert.

How is this certificate forgery-proof?

Nobody can change the data on your watch because the certificate is registered in a decentralized and indelible database - the blockchain.

Stakeholders

Who are the watchmakers in the network?

They are professionals in the sale and repair of watches, whose company is registered in the commercial register.

Why should we trust these watchmakers?

The Watch Certificate network is not open to all watchmakers; a strict selection is made on the basis of the skills of each participant.

Who are the network experts?

They have an expert title recognised at European level and their company is registered in the commercial register.

Why trust these experts?

Like watchmakers, they are independent of the Watch Certificate and commit their name to each certificate. They are veritable encyclopaedias of watchmaking know-how. These experts are few in number and work mainly for prestigious auction houses.

Philosophy

Why create the Watch Certificate?

For 2 reasons: to find a solution against fraud, and to facilitate the purchase of a second hand watch.
We launched Tradeewatches, our platform for the sale of second-hand luxury watches, and quickly understood the value of information in this market. We therefore wanted to offer a standard that brings transparency and peace of mind during transactions.

Buying a second hand watch is risky?

Counterfeiting has become commonplace. Our statistics for last October (2019), for example, were clear-cut, with about 1 in 3 of the advertisements posted by individuals turning out to be counterfeit. This is a very real and topical problem.

Why buy a watch with a certificate?

3 reasons: Guarantee of authenticity and detailed analysis of each element and proof of its value on the market, useful in case of theft or loss. It is the only certificate combining high definition photos, with 42 controlled points ensuring the authenticity and condition of the watch. It is signed by 2 complementary professionals and registered in a forgery-proof database.

Technology

What technological innovation is behind the card?

The Watch Certificate is a technology that enables data to be traced from the inspection of the watch in the watchmaking workshop, through validation by the expert, to its registration in the blockchain. In a word, traceability.

What will the blockchain bring?

Forgery-proof data. The blockchain is a non-centralized database: information is recorded at different levels in an indelible way. It is therefore impossible to modify the data. It is a recognized technology in various fields, in particular that of crypto-currencies, we use it as a highly secure database.

Security

How are you going to remedy the counterfeiting?

First of all we register and secure the serial number in a tamper-proof database. We check at least 42 control points on each watch, including the movement, the watch is opened and photographed. Finally, after the professional's analysis, an independent expert pronounces and finalizes the certificate.

How can you be sure that the certificate will never be forged?

The metal card only represents the physical entity, the certificate is on a forgery-proof database. In concrete terms, if the card is copied, the certificate (data) will remain forgery-proof.

Can a watchmaker validate a fake watch?

No, because its analysis is systematically verified by an independent expert. It is therefore not possible for a watchmaker alone to validate a certificate.

The blockchain already exists, what's the most brought in?

Adapt it to the watches. This technology is only part of the solution, our job is to organize the feedback of information, to standardize it, to pilot the network of stakeholders. Finally, we materialize this impalpable technology with a physical card, easy to use and that the wearer can transmit.

Other documents of authenticity

Is an excerpt from the brand's archives better than this certificate?

The archive extract is an informative document, but not an expertise, it does not prove the authenticity or the value of the watch. It is, however, valuable, and if the seller has it, it is scanned into the Watch Certificate so that it is always accessible.

An invoice from a reputable vendor is enough?

The invoice indicates the selling price and the name of the professional. The Watch Certificate takes up these elements, adding high definition photos, details of 42 control points, specifying the condition and authenticity, an estimate to date, the serial number, it is signed by a recognised expert and registered in a forgery-proof database.

In the second hand, why don't the brands authenticate the watches themselves?

It's not their job, the brands sell new watches. Some manufacturers accept to check watches, but they don't necessarily have the resources or the organization to do it at scale.

Why isn't this certificate initiated by the brands?

More and more brands are issuing digital certificates, but there is still no common standard.

Why not mark the watch with an engraving or a chip?

Absolutely all parts of a watch are replaceable so placing a marker inside is not viable.

Cases of use

This certificate is only useful for particularly rare watches?

It is always useful, whatever the watch, as long as it is valuable. It protects it and serves as evidence in case of theft.

If you're looking for a good deal, the certificate is an overkill?

There is no such thing as too good a deal in watchmaking, and this certificate is an infallible protection to avoid losing your investment. The statistics are alarming, especially on modern Rolex on well known sales sites, the number of fakes is impressive.

On the vintage there is often polemics, how to make sure that a watch is good?

Especially on vintage, each element impacts the price of a watch. Case, crown, bezel, glass, dial, hands, case back, movement...To avoid the unpleasant surprises of a watch, the Watch Certificate is the only certificate to detail all the elements that could be replaced during a lifetime. The certificate details the condition and authenticity of each watch, with photos to support it.

I like this card, how can I buy it?

Online on watchcertificate.com, you will receive a proposal for an appointment with a watchmaker near you within 48 hours. The check of your watch will take about 30 minutes, and you will leave with it. Our independent expert will check the data collected and you will receive your Watch Certificate™ card by express mail within 72 hours.

How does the Watch Certificate™ protect me?

We secure your watch's unique serial number in a tamper-proof database to prevent malicious sellers from spoofing the number. In addition to the serial number, 42 checkpoints are listed with high-definition photographs. The card proves the existence of your watch, its authenticity and its market value - indispensable evidence in the case of a theft report to an insurance company. Finally, the card gives you access to a Breaking/Theft insurance offer reserved exclusively for owners of a Watch Certificate™, which covers accidents and theft, including those outside the home.

If I lose the metal card, what happens?

No problem, your data is safe in a database.
We cancel the old card and replace it for 39€.

What happens if I sell my watch to someone?

The map follows the watch throughout its life. If you sell your watch, let us know so that we record the transfer - it's free - and simply hand the card over to the buyer.

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You can consult all the details of our general terms of sale here.
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