Rolex appears to be the latest luxury brand dipping its toes into the metaverse.
According to data published by the law office of Michael E. Kondoudis, the preeminent Swiss watchmaker filed a crypto-focused trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on October 31. The application suggests plans to introduce NFTs, NFT-backed media, NFT marketplaces, crypto keys and transactions and virtual goods auctions as well as virtual and cryptocurrency exchange and transfer.
Does this mean digital avatars will be sporting Rolex watches in virtual reality? Perhaps, but based on the application, it’s not entirely clear how Rolex plans to enter the space. It’s very possible the brand could debut a digital collection that would propel Rolex watches into the metaverse in a similar vein as Adidas, which recently teased the launch of an NFT collection that will be featured on its metaverse website.
This year, in particular, there has been an increasing interest in cryptocurrency and the metaverse thanks to a growing number of popular brands entering the space. Crypto trademark filings have surged to record levels, up 32 percent from last year according to USPTO licensed trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis.
Luxury brands including Burberry, Hermes and Gucci are among those entering the Web3 space alongside a number of prominent watch brands. The first watch NFT to go on sale came in March 2021 when Jean-Claude Biver offered the Bigger Bang All Black Tourbillon Chronograph Special Piece along with Swiss company WIseKey as a digital twin image NFT on Open.Sea. Since then, Hublot has continued to expand its presence, launching a campaign featuring the largest venue in the metaverse as well as two NFTs with Japanese NFT artist Takashi Murakami. Franck Muller and Jacob & Co. are among other luxury watchmakers to launch NFT timepieces this year.
Other brands, like TAG Heuer and Breitling, have started dabbling in the space by accepting crypto payments for online purchases. In addition, TAG released a smartwatch that allows you to display NFTs.