Meet an Oracle: The Watch Boutique

Get to know Lucidao’s first public Oracle, who shared some deep insight into the growing luxury asset class and how it will evolve and improve on blockchain and the Altr marketplace.

In the past month alone, we’ve shared new insight and education around Lucidao, and our recently announced dApp and marketplace for luxury collectables, Altr. You’ve read about how Lucidao is building a new future of value, how our Oracles unlock access to luxury (both on the blockchain and off), and how our platform enables trust.

This trio of introductory Living Lucid articles is a perfect segway into a topic that encapsulates all three of their themes: an intimate look into one of Lucidao and Altr’s first publicly announced Oracles, The Watch Boutique. Following September 1st’s Twitter Spaces, which featured a Q/A with the Watch Boutique co-founder Alessio Zenga and Lucidao team members Icarus and Defidax, we’ve gone a step deeper to provide a thorough recap of the conversation with some extended commentary.

Before we get started, a quick recap. Lucidao acts as a true DAO. Lucidao is a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) and follows an on-chain governance protocol whereby anyone who holds a specific number of tokens can submit proposals and vote on them. This right also comes with real responsibility. Lucidao allows voters to decide who can be an Oracle. When we reference the Altr marketplace, Oracles pertains to luxury dealers and marketplace sellers, which includes The Watch Boutique, a world-renowned purveyor of rare and vintage watches.

Oracles like the Watch Boutique represent the absolute highest caliber of luxury watches and the potential for Lucidao oracles to bring off-chain information — and physical items — on-chain. The Watch Boutique, which has connected with the world’s top auction houses and watch brands, allows us to impact the traditional watch industry through the Altr marketplace by verifying authenticity in a market that’s long suffered from counterfeits and fraudulent activity. The Watch Boutique and individuals like Alessio will set an example for other trusted Oracles to onboard into our community and provide certified products.

We know that the blockchain and NFT community wants something more and that dwindling trading volume on traditional marketplaces like Opensea is a testament to this market evolution. As more prestige luxury brands evaluate their entry into blockchain and NFTs, Lucidao and Oracles like the Watch Boutique will demonstrate what’s possible when rare products exist in decentralized ecosystems, putting power into the hands of collectors who will usher in the next era of access, fandom, community, and ownership.

Lucidao: When did the Watch Boutique come into existence?
Alessio Zenga
: The Watch Boutique is the brainchild of two passionate enthusiasts — my partner Sergio Mancuso & I founded it in 2020 with the goal of creating a different way to offer their knowledge and our knowledge and interest to the collector community. This has allowed us to build a team of young enthusiasts, which is constantly growing. We have opened a seat in Milan, a showroom in New York, one in Luxembourg, and a shop in Lugano in October. It’s constantly developing thanks to a young and motivated team. Today 15 employees are working besides Sergio and myself. We are continually focusing on offering more transparency and consistency to a market that used to be a very tiny niche but, thanks to the spreading of knowledge of competency via media and the internet, is growing exponentially at an impressive rate.

What makes people so interested in rare, vintage watches?
Several factors contribute to this interest. Over generations, people have always been fascinated with beauty, excellence, and extraordinary objects. Collecting is something that developed over the centuries, starting from art and arriving today to a highly diversified panorama. Watch collecting is a relatively recent phenomenon in these terms. It has a roughly 40-year history, but it has passed from a little niche, mainly located in Italy, to a worldwide phenomenon in recent years.

And how has the watch market managed to remain so stable and grow?
The fascination is likely because watches are one of the very few objects you can collect and also wear. Watch collecting has had a strong development in the last few years and looks to become a global market with significant size and anti cyclical. It’s grown exponentially even in economic downturns, with constant stable growth.

Why is the watch boutique interested in entering the blockchain space and being an Oracle on the Altr marketplace?
What the market needs and has led to its development is transparency and the accessibility of knowledge. The next step is exactly what blockchain technology can offer, and our interest in the Altr project and Lucidao is due to this. We can offer certified watches that cannot be altered and are guaranteed.

How do you certify that all of the components in a watch are verified and legitimate?
We have developed extremely strong relationships with the producers of watches — whether it be Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, or Longines, we are in constant communication with each watch that is subject to our certification, and we submit each of those watches to the original manufacturer for their approval. Only those who produced a watch can truly verify or prove the correctness and all the details of the watch. We make this process as transparent as possible.

The Watch Boutique

What else makes extraordinary watches so valuable?
It’s certainly related to their rarity. The product of watches of a certain caliber is extremely limited due to the difficulty of producing them, the lack of extraordinary watchmakers, and the long process needed to develop the competencies necessary to make watches. The demand for watches is increasing as there is a growing demand for watches due to their collecting and investment potential. The customer base has been growing and will continue to grow exponentially. As new segments of the population access greater wealth, they start looking for purchase opportunities that can satisfy their aesthetic needs and desires.

What can you tell us about the demographic for watch collectors and how that has evolved in recent years?
While historically, it is a male population of collectors, the population of female collectors is also growing. A growing number of very motivated and interested female collectors have created spectacular collections in the last few years. Watch collecting is an interest now that encompasses all genders. This growth and interest in economic potential on the buyer side have outpaced the ability to offer watches on the market and on the manufacturer’s side. That’s not even getting into the side of vintage watches which are intrinsically limited to a finite number and tend to be scarce because they often end up in collections from which they will seldom be an exit unless a new generation comes along. It’s a matter of simple supply and demand, which will inevitably force the prices to rise over time.

Follow The Watch Boutique on Instagram and Twitter

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Lucidao is a governance protocol that connects crypto holders with traditional business owners