WISeKey Announces Swiss Intrinsiq Security for Watchmakers’ Brand Protection

WISeKey adds NFT Service for Luxury High-End and Vintage Watches
WISeKey, was the first company in the world to use dual factor authentication combined with blockchain technology to secure luxury watches, and currently protects over 2.5 million luxury watches.
This technology has received a patent in the USA

WISeKey International Holding Ltd., a leading global cybersecurity, AI, Blockchain and IoT company, today announced a new Swiss Intrinsiq Security for Watchmakers’ Brand Protection.

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Counterfeiting is a huge and growing issue for the luxury industry. Not only the original manufacturers’ revenues and reputation are at stake, but the end customers are also impacted (quality issues, reliability, etc). One of the solutions to fight counterfeiting is to digitally identify and authenticate the goods to be protected. For instance, a secure element with unique secret keys can be placed in or on a watch to prove the watch’s identity, the same way an electronic passport proves a passenger’s identity. For some luxury industries, electronic components are very badly perceived since they can waste the overall impression of luxury.

Today, there are no effective ways to mechanically and efficiently secure a piece of silicon (a secure element) in the (often metal) environment of a watch or of another luxury good. Therefore, such a secure element could easily be moved from an authentic watch to a fake one, or from a low cost model to an expensive one. Similarly, an electronic passport with no biometric records could be stolen and used by anybody.

The secure element to digitally prove the identity of a luxury good (watch, etc.) is no longer an external “dirty” part that is artificially affixed onto/into the product. It is fully integrated and becomes a constitutive part of the product. The overall luxury perception is intact.

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This secure element is no longer an external part that could be moved to another product, it becomes intrinsically part of the product it protects, like a DNA signature. This seriously reinforces the proof of identity/authenticity. Since the secure element is intrinsically integrated into a piece of the good to be protected, it does not require any specific handling. The traditional fully hand-made assembly of the good is still possible and the craft environment of luxury is respected.

The authenticity of the luxury good can be easily proven by checking the digital identity (secret keys) contained in the embedded secure element through standard cryptographic transactions between this “chip” and an external authentication device. Various interfaces are possible (contact and contactless).

The embedded secure element can also contain the full certified history of the luxury good from manufacturing to customers which solves the traceability complexity of these products. Moreover, the silicon used to manufacture the mechanical parts offers additional useful characteristics (shape memory effect, thermal stability, etc.).

Our Proposition in Details

The method we propose in this invention can be summarized the following way:

  1. The mechanical part that will be included in the luxury good to be protected is laser cut in a piece of silicon that embeds the secure element which was previously prepared in a regular semiconductor factory.
  2. The embedded secure element is a regular secure microcontroller that provides the communication interfaces required by the application (contact or contactless) and that can be powered by contact or by induction.
  3. The embedded secure element is provisioned with the digital identity (secret keys) once the luxury good is univocally initially authenticated by the brand.
  4. Depending on the physical integration and use case, the secure element can be accessed for authentication or traceability either through the casing of the good or after having opened it for inspection or maintenance.

WISeKey’s NFT technology creates a Watch Birth Certificates, digital identities which are analogous to birth certificates and can be converted into NFTs.  The Watch Birth Certificate is signed, or “certified” by a trusted authority and contains basic information such as date & time of manufacture (birth), company (parents), and type of product.  This digital identity, used throughout the watch lifetime, allows the watch to become a “Trusted Object” of the Internet, prove its identity and provide verifiable data.
The Watch Birth Certificate is based on a cryptographic public-private key pair that is unique to each IoT device.  The public key for this key pair is part of the certificate and can be freely distributed, while the private key is used whenever the IoT device needs to verify its identity or to sign data to ensure cryptographic integrity. It is the private key that represents the essence of the identity of the IoT device.

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