Watches have come in many iterations and styles, with many new designs coming to market within the last generation. Watches that have velcro straps, watches with calculators you type on, watches that take your blood pressure, and now watches that really aren’t watches, but Internet browsers for your wrist. Many have foregone the idea of wearing a watch altogether as time is available on your smartphone, car’s dashboard, subway car, and MP3 player. Maybe the day of the watch has passed, in the name of “progress”?
There is a difference between a watch and a crafted timepiece. You may not need a watch anymore, but you may want a crafted timepiece to enhance your style. To accessorize your wardrobe. To set yourself apart from the crowd as a person who is on the cutting edge. If you are a Bitcoin enthusiast, this may describe you to a T. And fortunately there are still companies like Cryptomatic.
Cryptomat Mechanical Watch Exclusively for the Bitcoin Buyer
Cryptomatic creates finely crafted mechanical timepieces for those with a discerning taste for fine art that still maintain the hands of time. Designed for the well-to-do consumer of timepieces created through “private label manufacturing”. A Cryptomatic timepiece won’t be found at Target or Sears. They are exclusively designed in a Bitcoin motif, and can only be purchased with the digital currency itself. Don’t even try to offer fiat currency for these special machines.
And that’s exactly what they are, with no batteries, no electronics, just metal gears, springs, and jewel bearings made of ruby to keep the friction low. All models feature a custom-designed 42-mm surgical grade stainless steel case enclosed on both sides with sapphire crystal that allows for observation of the inner workings of the skeletonized, self-winding, and mechanically precise Japan-made movement. These special timepieces rely on craftsmanship and precision engineering, not batteries or USB ports. If you can appreciate the finely-crafted timepieces made for the Bitcoin owner only, learn more about the Cryptomat collection as we. We present our exclusive interview with watch designer Luis Rosende of Cryptomat to find out more about this unique creation for the Bitcoin community.
Tell me about your history personally, and the company’s history, building watches. Why should digital currency consumers buy timepieces from you over another watchmaker?
I’m an investor and advisor in a small watch-making firm based in Hong Kong that has been designing and manufacturing mechanical watches for a number of brands for almost a decade now. It’s a process known as “private label manufacturing”. I got involved with this company because I love mechanical watches and because I love the management team. I often participate in the design process.
I’ve always found fascinating being able to keep track of time with a completely mechanical device. No batteries, no electronics, just metal gears, springs, and jewel bearings made of ruby to keep the friction low. Now you must be wondering, why a Bitcoin watch? Well, I first learned about Bitcoin in 2011, after going through the study/discovery process many of us go in the digital world, I was blown away and became an early “experimenter.”
Why should people buy a Cryptomat watch? Well, if you have to ask, then it’s not for you. Also, do you own bitcoins? Because if you don’t, you can’t get it.
It is very common for retailers to take money from the Bitcoin community and return 100% of it to the broken fiat currency system, which in turn hurts the overall value of Bitcoin. Is this your plan? How does your company plan to invest in the Bitcoin community going forward. Is holding Bitcoin a priority for your company, either as an investment or as a show of faith and gratitude in Bitcoin.
Well, this is a very interesting question, and I’ll give you my take. Bitcoin as a unit of account or a store of value is completely debatable… buying and selling bitcoins is easy, but doing business using bitcoin is almost impossible. My bitcoin friends and I are known to go around Hong Kong, and China trying to convince companies and vendors to let us pay in Bitcoin. We have some success stories but the truth is that Bitcoin is mostly used for speculative trading. And it’s still too hard to use and understand for most of the population.
What most vendors don’t realize is the power of bitcoin as a medium of exchange. That’s the key factor. For the first time in my life I can send an expensive timepiece to a client on any corner of the world after he’s sent me the coins and sleep at night knowing the money will stay in my wallet until I decide to do something with it. As a vendor I’ve lost money from fraudulent credit card and PayPal operations, crypto-currency pretty much solves that problem.
Our intention is to keep most of the proceedings in Bitcoin and exchange to fiat only the part to pay our suppliers and utilities. However to date we haven’t even done that, we’re holding 100% of the coins hoping that one day we’ll be able to conduct business with them. It’s risky, but we don’t care.
Today, watches as just a timepiece are almost passe. Being a time counter is now only a part of the story. Is making a digital smart watch in your future, like Apple and Samsung have made? One that can follow the price of Bitcoin or other commodities? Should watches do more than just be a watch?
Well, I completely disagree with you on that, and I know because my company makes over 20,000 mechanical watches per year and has kept business going regardless of the world crisis. Wrist watches are not about telling the time; they are a form of art and a personal statement.
I’ll tell you that most people can’t tell the difference between a quartz and a mechanical watch… Quartz wrist watches were invented in the late 60’s, and are the ones that have a battery, and the second’s hand moves once every second. Mechanical watches were invented centuries ago, use a spring to store energy, and the seconds hand flows smoothly (if you’ve seen a Rolex you know what I mean)
Quartz watches almost destroy the Swiss mechanical watch industry because they’re more accurate and cheaper to make. But they’re also completely uninteresting. The Swiss was smart enough to reposition mechanical watches as high-end pieces that represent the origin of time keeping and the best craftsmanship.
So yes, some people will wear mechanical watches, others will wear smart watches, and others won’t wear a watch at all and see the time in their mobile phone screen. By the way, I own a Pebble smart watch and love it.
Few things in the world keep their value over time as mechanical watches do.
Which watch, of the ones you make, is your favorite and why?
Without a shadow of a doubt, of all the watches I’ve made my favorite is The Cryptomat. I am very emotionally attached to it because every little detail was chosen with a purpose in mind.
Just look at the design…it’s completely symmetrical, inspired by traditional coins with a face and a tail. The face displays the Bitcoin symbol with its forward angle. When I wore the first prototype, I realized that when you lift your arm to read the time the symbol always points to your heart. The dial is in binary numbers instead of decimal, could not be otherwise.
On the back there’s the inscription famous to the Bitcoin world “In Cryptography We Trust” and on top of it I decided to change the famous “Vires in Numeris” for my favorite quote of Virgil’s poem Aeneid: “Vires Aquirit Eundo” which means “It gains strength as it goes” and I think it applies well to both the watch movement, that requires you to keep in motion so it self-winds, and the Bitcoin movement, which gains strength as more people join it.
As for the caliber, I was very tempted to choose a Swiss one, but the anonymous creator of Bitcoin chose a Japanese pseudonym, so I chose a Japanese heart for The Cryptomat.
Personally, I feel good about the attention-to-detail given to each timepiece, and the company designers being Bitcoin owners and enthusiast, not looking to take the value out of the Bitcoin ecosystem. The funds will more-or-less stay within Bitcoin, unlike most merchant sales today, so I feel very good about endorsing this product. And it also comes in multiple colors, including black, so they have something for everybody with an eye for style and exclusivity. Check out the Cryptomat Collection at their website, Cryptomatic.io
Images provide by Cryptomatic
Feeling like a high-end Bitcoin-motif mechanical watch this holiday season? What do you think of this being sold only for Bitcoins, not fiat currency? Share above and comment below.