Even as the winds of another Crypto Winter start to blow, high fashion’s investment in crypto continues to heat up.
This morning, luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer announced its new Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch, which will permit owners to display their NFTs on the watch’s digital face.
The news comes only weeks after the company partnered with Bitpay to begin accepting thirteen cryptocurrencies as payment for online purchases in the United States, and signifies yet another commitment to Web3 technology by a major luxury brand.
NFTs will be synced to the Calibre E4 via digital wallets on an owner’s smartphone. Currently, the watch supports Ledger and Metamask wallets. Owners will be able to display both JPEG and GIF NFTs, which will appear in a hexagon pattern on the watch’s face—similar to how Twitter displays authenticated NFT profile pictures.
The watch can also display owners’ personal photos and images curated by TAG Heuer.
In determining how best to customize the watch’s appearance and functionality for NFT holders. the watchmaker says it consulted with so-called “blue chip” NFT communities such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks, CLONE-X, and World of Women.
“I have had a deep interest in the NFT space, and this feature fits with TAG Heuer’s tradition of being avant-garde and innovative in technology,” said TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault in a statement. “Watch this space, as TAG Heuer will have more stories to tell about Web3.”
Arnault, a noted Web3 enthusiast, last month bought a Bored Ape NFT and made it his Twitter profile picture.
The purchase came days after Arnault announced that TAG Heuer would permit crypto payments on its U.S. website in thirteen cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.
Gm. You can now buy a TAG Heuer watch on our US website with 10 different cryptocurrencies. The beginning of a journey ! https://t.co/bg78njox95
— Frédéric ARNAULT (@f_arnault) May 19, 2022
TAG Heuer is only the latest luxury brand to double down on crypto. Last month, Balenciaga and Gucci announced they would begin accepting payment in cryptocurrency, online and in select stores. Weeks later Prada released a new NFT collection, and Balmain teased an experiential NFT-backed ecosystem for high-impact customers.
These legacy firms have only furthered their commitment to the crypto space since markets took a dive early last month; Balenciaga’s CEO Cédric Charbit dismissed questions about the wisdom of high fashion investing in crypto in such a bear market by simply stating that his strategy in the sector was ‘long-term.’
And yet, the realities of the crypto market’s enduring losses are difficult to ignore: the amount of Bitcoin needed to purchase a $2,000 TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 watch just over a month ago would be worth $1,100 to TAG Heuer at time of writing.