The world’s first functional Bitcoin watch. That is how Franck Muller describes its limited-edition Vanguard Encrypto Bitcoin watch.
Its features make it an interesting choice for Bitcoin holders who are looking for a luxury time piece that has some points of interaction with Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand whether the Encrypto lives up to the hype or falls short from the expectation that Franck Muller’s announcement creates.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses of this aspiring Bitcoin watch.
The Vanguard Encrypto Features
It is important to delve deeper into the features of this Bitcoin watch to understand whether it is a functional Bitcoin watch or not, and what kind of functionality buyers should expect.
Starting with the watch itself, here are the specs of the various Encrypto models:
- Depending on the model, customers will be able to find carbon fiber, titanium, gold and diamond cases
- Customers will be able to pick between alligator style leather straps, stitched straps and rubber straps
- Vanguard Encrypto watches come with sapphire anti-scratch crystal
- Mechanical watches with automatic winding mechanisms
- The watch shows hours, minutes and the date at 6 o’clock
- It has a laser etched QR code at 12 o’clock, which is the element on the dial that has a direct relationship with Bitcoin’s blockchain
- Every Encrypto has a Bitcoin logo in the middle, anchoring its design
In terms of Bitcoin, the Encrypto offers the following:
- Cold storage via the unique public address on the laser etched QR code – you can check your balance by scanning the code on the dial
- The QR code works like a paper wallet, with its private keys stored in a sealed USB key that comes with the watch
- A card with the details of the public address etched in the watch, as well as the serial number for the watch
Franck Muller brought Regal Assets in as a partner to develop the cold storage feature on its watches.
World’s first functional bitcoin watchFranck Muller
How Useful is Franck Muller’s Encrypto Bitcoin Watch?
As far as the functional Bitcoin feature goes, Franck Muller’s Encrypto might be the first one to offer cold storage options with its watch, but users must understand a few caveats:
- A laser etched QR code on the watch cannot be changed, but once the balance in that public address is used, it is not safe to use it again
- The Vanguard Encrypto is an expensive luxury watch. Loading coins on it makes it more valuable, but it also signals to those in the know that the person wearing it is worth quite a bit
- If you believe in hedging, you are not likely to use the old storage option on the watch. Buying this Bitcoin watch means you already put a few eggs in that particular basket; why put any more?
- You must trust Franck Muller and Regal Assets if you send funds to the public address that comes with your watch. Anyone could have copied those private keys when the public address on your watch was generated; a USB key seal is not a guarantee if anything
How Could Franck Muller Make a More Functional Bitcoin Watch?
It is clear that the Encrypto falls a bit short of the expectation of functionality that Franck Muller promotes.
Theoretically, it is the first functional Bitcoin watch, but the public address that comes with the watch is not necessarily safe.
Even if you use the public address and transfer coins to it, you should understand that once you spend the money on that address, you shouldn’t use it again – as per Satoshi’s recommendation.
Therefore, the functionality that Franck Muller touts, is quite limited.
Franck Muller could have overcome at least one of these flaws easily, while personalizing its watches further in the process.
Since the only kind of private keys a user can trust are the ones they generate and own themselves throughout the process, Franck Muller should ask customers to send a public address for which they control the private keys, together with the purchase.
The Swiss watch maker can then turn that address into a QR code and etch it on the watch. This makes the watch:
- More personalized
- Potentially more secure in terms of its Bitcoin functionality
- Less of a liability for the watch maker, transferring most of the responsibility for its crypto component to the owner, which is more in line with the philosophy behind Bitcoin
How Much does the Franck Muller Vanguard Encrypto Bitcoin Watch Cost?
Such an alteration to personalize the watch more can complicate its production.
Nevertheless, considering the price that Franck Muller is expected to sell its Encrypto watches for, this kind of added complexity at the production level shouldn’t be an issue:
- The men’s Vanguard Encrypto collection prices range between $11,280 USD and $59,790 USD
- A more limited woman’s Vanguard Encrypto collection – with only 2 watches – features prices between $37,880 USD and $48,880 USD
Design on Franck Muller’s Bitcoin Watch
As far as the watch itself goes, the design, the quality of the materials used, and the quality of the construction are all exceptional.
This Bitcoin watch has some vintage design features intertwined with a daring modern, resilient build.
If you are into watches, you will find that the Vanguard Encrypto is well-priced at every level.
Should I Buy a Franck Muller Vanguard Encrypto Bitcoin Watch?
If you are considering an Encrypto purchase, you must balance the limitations on its Bitcoin functionality with the value that this watch delivers on all other fronts.
It is a timeless piece that will give you a lifetime of enjoyment even if you never use the Bitcoin feature. In any case, who is actively looking to embed a Bitcoin cold wallet in a watch that is worth tens of thousands of dollars?
Probably not many people out there. Franck Muller’s Vanguard Encrypto Bitcoin watch will be available for users who would like to pay with Bitcoin – that purchase should serve as some kind of cold storage in itself, since this watch could become a coveted Bitcoin collectible.