IWC Schaffhausen has taken its first step into web3, opening an immersive metaverse environment for a tokenized community. The Swiss luxury watchmaker collaborated with renowned architect Hani Rashid and leading web3 solutions platform Arianee to create the IWC Diamond Hand Club. As members, token owners can unlock unique and exclusive experiences as they venture back and forth between the virtual and physical worlds. IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr announced the exciting project during his keynote speech at Watches and Wonders on Wednesday in Geneva.
“IWC has always pioneered the new and the bold, and web3 has incredible potential to demonstrate this spirit of innovation. Our exclusive new metaverse experience on the Spatial platform will provide a modern and meaningful way to communicate with our clients. By building an inclusive community for members to enjoy and linking the physical world with its virtual counterpart, we can showcase our brand like never before,” explained Grainger-Herr.
Following Wednesday’s keynote announcement, IWC will distribute a first drop of 1’868 membership tokens, in a nod to its founding year of 1868, on a first-come, first- served basis to clients, watch enthusiasts and fans of the brand. The non-fungible tokens (NFT) will be released on various IWC channels and at its physical booth at Watches and Wonders. Following the launch, every client who purchases one of IWC’s newly-launched coloured ceramic Pilot’s Watches will also receive an NFT.
Each token, minted with the Arianee NFT management platform, contains a raw diamond-shaped digital artwork, the emblem of the new IWC Diamond Hand Club. The term ‘Diamond Hand’ is widely used within web3, indicating investment loyalty and a long-term outlook. In naming its environment the IWC Diamond Hand Club, IWC pays homage to this terminology, attaching the same qualities of commitment and fidelity to its IWC community.
“Once the NFT is claimed, its owner will become an IWC Diamond Hand Club member,” explained Maurice Moitroux, IWC’s Associate Director of Brand Marketing. “They can then enter IWC’s newly-launched virtual 3D space, which is hosted on Spatial.io, a digital online platform that offers accessible and unique metaverse opportunities for creators, NFT collectors and brands to produce compelling and immersive VR experiences.”
IWC’s environment, designed by architect Rashid, is a bespoke, digital version of its physical high-tech shipping container-style booth at Watches and Wonders. It also features other unique worlds, representing the watchmaker’s new ceramic colours, like ‘IWC Mojave Desert’, ‘IWC Woodland’ and ‘IWC Lake Tahoe’. Devised as the gateway to all of IWC’s future web3 initiatives, the IWC Diamond Hand Club will grow as more worlds and features are added, and new collectible tokens are distributed at select occasions.
“Web3 technology is an exciting new frontier with limitless possibilities, and this is just the start for IWC,” explained Katharina Doepke-Schelling, IWC’s Associate Director Digital Strategy & Transformation. “Our virtual environment has been designed as a holistic ecosystem, built with our users in mind, for the long term. We aim to augment the experience of our community and engage in 3D, no matter where our clients and enthusiasts might be.”
Through the IWC Diamond Hand Club, members will be invited to exclusive virtual events within the 3D space and offered access to physical events and services. Additionally, members can participate in token-gated community channels. The first of the club’s real-world “utilities” is the chance to attend a private performance on April 1st at Geneva’s Théâtre du Léman to celebrate IWC’s new ‘Colors of Top Gun’ watch collection.
“The IWC Diamond Hand Club is the first NFT-based membership program ever created in the luxury and watchmaking industry,” added Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, co-founder and CEO of Arianee. “It is a great pleasure for Arianee to combine our web3 expertise with IWC’s spirit and love for innovation. This partnership will open new horizons to the IWC community.”
To access the NFT, clients and enthusiasts must first scan the QR code presented to them. The QR code will then prompt recipients to claim the token through the IWC wallet, powered by Arianee, where they can store it securely for future use.
Hani Rashid, a visionary architect, co-founded New York- based Asymptote Architecture (www.asymptote.net) with Lise Anne Couture in 1989. The practice is at the forefront of technological innovation and production in architecture, urban planning design and art. Asymptote has received numerous awards and global recognition for a wide range of projects, including buildings, masterplans, design and art installations. In 2000 Hani Rashid co-represented the United States at the 7th Venice International Architecture Biennale, and in 2004 Asymptote was responsible for the design of Metamorph, the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale. That same year Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture received the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the progress of art and architecture. In 2011, Asymptote completed the design and building of the Yas Marina and Hotel in Abu Dhabi, a highly significant project built alongside the Abu Dhabi Formula 1TM Grand PrixTM circuit. In 2008 Hani Rashid was awarded the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University’s GSD having also taught at Princeton University, Columbia University in New York and the ETH in Zurich. Presently Hani Rashid is the director of the Urban Futures Lab at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.
Founded in 2018, Arianee is the leading web3 solutions platform for brands. Arianee’s open-source protocol is based on the blockchain and allows brands to create and distribute NFTs, or digital assets. Arianee tokenizes products and experiences to enhance the relationship between brands and their communities and to create a direct, perpetual link which respects personal data. Arianee brings together major brands and partners in technology in its vision to build a decentralized internet. www.arianee.org