The Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller had last year in May unveiled the world’s first functional Bitcoin watch called Encrypto for users to add Bitcoin to their crypto wallet or check balance directly through the watch’s dial via a QR code nestled into its polished frame.
There are not many in the crypto world who would like to adjust to the stratospheric rise in cryptocurrencies on a given day and heartbreaking crashes the very next day. And very few would imagine accessing Bitcoin right through an accessory as common as a wristwatch to showcase opulence of the highest order. The Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller had last year in May turned it into reality when it unveiled the world’s first functional Bitcoin watch called Encrypto for users to add Bitcoin to their crypto wallet or check balance directly through the watch’s dial via a QR code nestled into its polished frame. Early this year, the company further went on to reveal a new premium titanium timepiece called ‘Free the Money. Free the World’ that also worked as a cold storage Bitcoin wallet.
The “world’s first functional bitcoin watch,” appropriately named “Free the money. Free the World,” not only offers a stylish addition to your wardrobe, it also allows you to check your bitcoin balance wherever you are. The watch works as a “deep cold storage” device. Translated from bitcoin jargon, a “cold” device is one that works offline. The watch stores the digital currency in a sealed USB with a private key. It also has its own public address, which is etched into the 41mm dial. Adding bitcoins to your wallet, or checking the balance, can happen with just a flick of the wrist.
This isn’t the first time Muller has fused watchmaking with cryptocurrency. In 2019, his eponymous brand partnered with Regal Assets to unveil the first functional Bitcoin watch known as the Vanguard Encrypto. Yet, the timing really couldn’t be better for this latest release. Earlier this year, the price of a single Bitcoin topped $40,000 for the first time in its relatively short history. And, although it recently plunged 11 percent in 24 hours, even some of the most begrudging financial analysts believe it’s here to stay.
However, Free the Money. Free the World is among the more affordable models. Franck Muller’s range of Bitcoin watches goes up to 74,000 Swiss Franc or close to Rs 60 lakh. The most expensive one in that price bracket is the diamond-encrusted Speed edition timepiece. Bitcoin’s price during the launch of Encrypto was $8,717 which increased to nearly $60,000 towards the end of February this year, as per CoinMarketCap, when the company launched its 12,000 Swiss Franc wristwatch. The price of Bitcoin stood at $38,878 at the time of filing this report after falling from its peak of close to $64,000 on April 14, 2021.
The Encrypto is currently available online and at Franck Muller’s Dubai Mall store, with accepted payment options being credit card and bank transfer, as well as bitcoin. Aesthetically, the dial of the watch – launched in partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform Regal Assets – sports bitcoin’s logo and a QR code of bitcoin’s genesis block address.
Franck Muller is also exploring models featuring ether (ETH) and other “top five coins”, including XRP in the future.
Earlier this year, luxury Swiss watchmaker A. Favre & Fils also announced that it is developing a handcrafted mechanical timepiece with a built-in crypto-wallet. The watch will cost in the range of $102,000–$153,000, depending upon the model and its features and materials.
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