There is an unspoken rule in the consumer goods market; if something is cool, it will be forged. Whether we are talking about clothes, gadgets or even cars, there isn’t anything one can do to prevent these items from being ripped off and sold at cheap prices.
When it comes to personal luxury items, watches are one of the biggest categories for forgers, as luxury brands are generally too expensive for regular people to afford, however quite cheap to rip off.
Another reason being, that no matter how complex the exterior design may seem, in the end the customer can’t really tell the difference between what’s inside a real watch or a fake one.
But now, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Research Institute from Switzerland hopes to make the difference quite apparent with their brand new DNAwatch Technology.
Developed in collaboration with EPFL spinoff company Nanoga, this smart technology helps in the identification of original luxury watches by creating nanoscopic watermarks that are literally unforgeable.
What makes these watermarks so special is them manufacturing process itself, which uses a LED manufacturing machine to apply a unique blend of chemicals directly into the glass surface as a vapor.
This vapor helps create photonic crystals that reveal unique patterns when exposed to UV light. By tweaking the pattern, the watch companies would be able to create watch specific watermarks that are immune to forgery.
Since the watermark is only visible under UV light, it will have no effect on the actual appearance of the watch itself, thus making sure the design remains flawless.
The company is now in talks with multiple luxury watch makers who are interested in adopting this unique form of authentication into their existing lineup. If successful, we will shortly be seeing a new benchmark in forgery detection.