Hublot Turns to WISekey`s Smartcard Technology to Fight Counterfeiting of Its Luxury Watches

Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Proof of authenticity changes the watch making and e-security industry
BASEL, Switzerland--(Business Wire)--
Today at BASELWORLD 2009, WISekey, a leading provider of smartcard technology,
announced that it will provide Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, a certification
system that will help reduce counterfeiting among the luxury watch industry. 

As a WISekey customer, all Hublot watches will be protected by WISeAuthentic©, a
certification system of authenticity through a smartcard. By leveraging this
technology, online shopping and auction Websites have the ability to provide its
users a safe, secure transaction, by controlling counterfeited goods in its
product range. 

"Counterfeiting represents approximately five to seven percent of all world
trade," said Carlos Moreira, CEO of WISekey. "Therefore, with the luxury brand
industries estimated to reach one trillion dollars (US) by 2010, these companies
need a solution that will prove authenticity. We are pleased that Hublot saw the
value in WISeAuthentic and look forward to helping them, and others, in the
fight against counterfeiting." 

As a trusted and secure platform, WISeAuthentic will be used by the purchaser to
access an encrypted area of Hublot`s Website where the watch can be definitively
identified as part of Hublot`s inventory. Each smartcard that is given at the
time of purchase, in addition to its Certificate of Origin, is unique to each
watch and contains full details of the product including registration number,
barcode, place where it was manufactured, among other details. If the encrypted
information on the watch, does not match that of the WISeAuthentic smartcard,
access will be denied. 

"In the watch industry we are seeing a significant increase in counterfeit
goods," said Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot. "It was imperative for us as a
company to find a way to not only protect our watches but also those who were
purchasing them. WISekey has a strong track record in security and
authentication and when looking for a partner to help us in the fight against
counterfeiting we knew WISekey was the right choice for us." 

Currently, Hublot is the first watch making company to reach this level of
protection for its products by associating digital anti-counterfeiting
technology with traditional watch making. This combination provides a fail-safe
solution, impossible to replicate at a cost that is a small fraction of the
amount lost in sales due to counterfeits. 

"Every year, more than 40 million Swiss counterfeit watches enter the market
compared to 26 million genuine watches," said Jean-Daniel Pasche, President,
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. "This is a significant number that costs
the Swiss watch industry, on a global basis, approximately 700 million to 800
million dollars (US). We are pleased to see companies are taking this issue
seriously and creating solutions that will get us closer to stop

WISeAuthentic is also available for use with jewelry, beauty products, haute
couture as well as exotic items including jet aircraft engines or high-tech
automobile parts. For more information on this solution please visit 

About WISekey

Established in 1999, and headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, WISekey is a
leading information security and identity management company. Providing
specialized security technologies for data protection, as well as effective
identification and authentication of people and objects, over physical
infrastructures, networks and the internet, WISekey ensures secure
communications and e-transactions. Additionally, WISekey has subsidiaries which
solve advanced e-security issues for organizations in many sectors including
defense, health, education, finance and government. 

About Hublot

Founded in 1980, Hublot is one of the leading luxury watch brands of
Switzerland. As the first company to introduce the rubber strap, Hublot has
become known among royal families and celebrities the world over. Joining the
likes of other elite brands shortly after being founded, Hublot is a global
brand with a presence in more than 40 countries and produces approximately
25,000 watches a year. 

Daniel Ybarra, +41 22 594 3000
Raymond Reuter, +35 26 21 15 2752
Niamh Grano, 212-704-8256

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