Watches

Hands-On: Cyberpunk 2077 Game-Inspired LED T-2077 Watch With NFT-Powered Ownership

This is a fun timepiece that is both interesting to watch fans who also admire the world of video and computer games, as well as a sign of what is to come between a lot of physical luxury products and blockchain-powered authentication often using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). There are a number of players involved in the creation and imagination of this T-2077 watch, so let me explain who is responsible for this product and then what the Cyberpunk 2077 T-2077 wristwatch is all about.

The company that designed and produced the T-2077 watch is Blonie, a Polish watchmaker and also the people responsible for Chopin watches (that are more high-end). Poland isn’t as well-known as other surrounding countries when it comes to timepieces, but there are a lot of fans in the country, and at least a few endemic Polish watch brands. Also Polish is a video game development company known as CD Projekt Red. If you are into contemporary gaming, you have certainly heard about this quality developer whose most recent game was the big-budget Cyberpunk 2077 (based on a more classic game) title, as well as The Witcher franchise of games (now also a series on Netflix). Blonie worked with CD Projekt Red to create a timepiece that fit the Cyberpunk 2077 futuristic universe, which is how the T-2077 watch was born.




A third company known as Piksel.art is also involved and appears to be a company that leverages blockchain technology to produce one-of-a-kind digital signatures to help authenticate both physical and digital objects. In essence, the Ethereum blockchain is used by the company; from which comes a unique digital token (an NFT), that is then assigned to each specific watch. Associated with that digital token is database information such as the watch’s series number, warranty information, and ownership status. Really there are no limits to what can be associated with the token. Implementation of this concept does have some current flaws but its promise is highly intriguing. I’ll discuss this more below.

I applaud watches inspired by video game worlds. This is nothing new, but only recently have brands started to figure out how to make products associated with an entertainment universe that are not merely tacky souvenirs of that universe. For me, the best ones are watches that imagine they are part of that universe acting like a plot item or character accessory (which is exactly the approach I took when I imagined the RAD-AUX limited edition watch inspired by the Fallout game universe that we produced with German Laco). Aside from the Cyberpunk 2077 branding on the case (a watch actually from that universe probably wouldn’t be branded with the name of that universe), the overall look and feel of the watch does seem to match the game’s art direction nicely.


The watch itself is produced from grade 2 titanium and is about 38mm-wide, 43mm-long, and is about 15mm-thick at its widest point. The T-2077 design is that of a “wedge-style” watch, meaning that the time information is displayed to the side as opposed to right on the top. This style was popular with historic racing timepieces which allowed the wearer to easily read the time (without pivoting their wrist) while holding a steering wheel or control stick. The case wears a bit on the smaller size, which is probably a good thing, as many watches of this ilk tend to be produced larger than many people might prefer. The size of the T-2077 case is very good for a variety of wearers and wearing situations.

While the T-2077 watch’s style is inspired by CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 world, the overall theme is very much historic. In the 1970s, early quartz-powered digital watches came with cases not too dissimilar from that of this watch. They required a button to be pressed in order to display the time, which flashed on a small LED-panel. Over the last few years, there has been a new interest in digital watches of this style. Two include the Bulova Computron as well as the Hamilton PSR that you can easily see live in the same family as the Blonie X CD Projekt Red T-2077 Cyberpunk watch.

The T-2077 watch is said to have an “LED-type” display, as opposed to actual light-emitting diodes. I believe it has an LCD display with a back-lit orange cast to it. The quartz movement offers the time, as well as a calendar, which, apparently, has been modified for this watch in order to allow it to be set to the year 2077. The movement also apparently has a countdown timer function, which can be fun when you want to pretend like your own life is a video game level (and you have to beat the clock to survive). In order to view the time, you will need to hit the right side pusher on the case, and you get a nice little bright numeric display that shines for about five seconds. Unfortunately, there is no auto-light feature that would activate the display when you raise your wrist up for your eyes to observe.

Blonie fitted the case with quick-release ends on the single horizontal link bracelet segments. This means it will be possible to swap out the bracelet for your own straps. I believe the bracelet ends are 22mm-wide, even though it tapers down a bit for most of the titanium bracelet’s length. The overall construction is decent enough and the design is fun but appropriately conservative so that it doesn’t have a wild and potentially polarizing design.


So, where does all the NFT stuff come in? Blonie produced the watch in collaboration with IP from CD Projekt Red. What does the blockchain add? The idea is that Piksel.art, with its parent company Arianee, uses an NFT to pair the watch to its ownership information, which can be transferred along with the watch, as well, to help prove its authenticity. Here is where a logical issue comes in. The T-2077 watch is said to have a blockchain token associated with its serial number and warranty, but I am unclear as to how that actually interacts with the watch itself. Meaning that there must be some type of unique identifier on the watch to connect with the digital number. Typically, these identifiers are things such as serial numbers or other unique fingerprints. I didn’t find any on the T-2007 watch itself.

It is true that by using RFD chips or similar technologies these unique identifiers can be invisible to the eye and located in hidden parts of the watch. That said, none of the information from Blonie or CD Projekt Red mentions how the “NFT digital passport” is actually connected to any specific watch. I believe that when you purchase the watch, you probably get some type of physical or digital warranty card whose number connects to a unique blockchain token. I’m just not sure. It is also possible that the watch is more about the Cyberpunk 2077 connection and that the NFT part of the equation is a bit more gimmicky. Not that it doesn’t work as promised but rather that there is a “security” issue if the digital token has no way of actually connecting with a specific watch product itself. Thus, for NFT technology to truly have an impact on watch ownership and authentication, there needs to be a clear and unwavering connection to a unique product.

Also possible is that my pre-production T-2077 watch doesn’t have that feature yet. An engraved serial number on the back of the case would be enough to connect it with a digital token (assuming that the number on the watch case is not tampered with). The promise of blockchain authentication and ownership status for luxury watches is very impressive. Things like warranty info, instructions, repair history, etc… don’t need to be kept around any longer, but can be easily digitized and connected with a specific physical object. Accordingly, owners can use the Arianee app in order to do things like check out warranty information or transfer ownership of the watch. That said, by my estimation, there are too many things that can go wrong with this process until the blockchain token and the item itself are sealed in their connection. This is a “holy grail” reach for current developers in this space, and I will say that until now, there are no industry-accepted standards for how to connect a watch with a unique digital ID.

That problem is less of an issue for brand-new watches, which can be constructed with built-in chips or other codes on the surfaces of the product itself. The issue is far more challenging when it comes to trying to connect “legacy” watches with digital tokens (NFTs), given that many watches do not have any unique visual identifiers and because most cannot be modified with new parts that might bear such features. Accordingly, the NFT aspect of the T-2077 Cyberpunk universe watch is fun and certainly telling of what NFT-powered wrist watch ownership can do, but it is merely icing added to this computer game fan timepiece from Poland connected to one of 2021’s hottest game titles (which really became a far better game with developer patches released post-launch).

Blonie and CD Projekt Red are making a total of 700 pieces of the Cyberpunk 2077 T-2077 watch. The price is $499 USD and you can learn more at CD Projekt Red here.

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