SOMA’s one-of-a-kind technology will automatically incorporate the product ‘story’ and transactional history in a permanent ‘item card’ for every watch
The story behind a product always makes it so much more interesting – where it was designed and built, who has owned it, what is its history. That historical context helps add value and joy to personal luxury products. Today, SOMA, a social lifestyle ecommerce platform, is announcing it will be opening up its one-stop shop for the watch community to waitlist of tens of thousands. The waitlist will be admitted in stages with a general public launch coming soon. Over the last several months, the SOMA marketplace has been available to only a limited number of beta users and partners.
From the moment the 160-plus brands of watches go for sale on the SOMA platform, they will begin to generate a digital lifecycle which later will be incorporated into a permanent tag which is a form of ‘digital passport’ named the IIC, powered by the SOMA Protocol. This will include historical records, titles of ownership, photos and all the information associated with the watch.
The first product for the SOMA marketplace is the robust luxury wristwatch market. Featured on the platform are more than 160 brands, including Singer Reimagined, Ball Watches, Hanhart, Gallet (the world’s oldest watch house dating back to 1466), Aevig, Schwarz Etienne, Tockr, and Formex. This luxury watch industry is estimated to be about USD 41 billion by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2019-2025.
The core SOMA technology that will enable this unique collection and tagging of each individual watch’s information is the IIC (Interactive Item Card). The SOMA IIC will be based on a transparent and built-in blockchain authentication protocol called the SOMA Protocol, which is being developed in parallel with the development of the marketplace. The IIC is intended to fight counterfeits while also storing lifecycle information about each watch. Because it will be a seamless process on the blockchain, consumers will simply make a watch purchase and information will automatically be entered and unique product elements as price, materials used and more included in the individual watch entry.
“SOMA offers an attractive combination of features that appeal to brands and consumers alike,” says co-founder Jukka Hilmola. “On our platform customers share their experience with these beautiful and unique watches. Brands appreciate the unprecedented interaction they can have with these consumers, as well as the new ways for consumers to discover them. Consumers, in turn, love how they can buy watches while uncovering new and meticulously crafted hidden gems that these watches represent.”
One of the elite brands highlighted on the SOMA Marketplace is from Olivier Mory, based in Switzerland. “I’m very proud to be a part of the SOMA project because everything you are doing resonates with my own feelings about how I’ve made Skill — so it’s perfect.” Mory is partnering with SOMA for this launch by producing a 5-piece limited edition of his steampunk-inspired watch with in-house tourbillon movement.
When the SOMA marketplace first opens, the waitlist customers will be admitted in stages and the public can join the waitlist now. The entire waitlist will be allowed to participate in the marketplace within weeks.
While SOMA is initially focusing on watches, going forward the platform will include other luxury goods such as fashion, purses, jewelry, art and automobiles.
How SOMA ecommerce platform is well-suited for watches and similar luxury goods:
- Watch lovers (brands and buyers and collectors, etc.) love to share and comment on their watches
- They need a place to buy and sell and discover watches
- The site provides sharing and easy transaction features (ecommerce) well-integrated into the social offering
- SOMA marketplace is balanced between the social (sharing and commenting) and the transactional (buying and selling)
- SOMA will use blockchain to create a permanent digital record (IIC) for each watch
- IIC will be shared, liked, commented on, bought, sold, and even resold; ‘proofs’ are built into the IIC so watch owners down the chain of ownership can validate their watch is genuine
SOMA is the new global standard for securing authentic personal luxury goods. It is a socially based ecommerce platform where social media and ecommerce belong together, fundamentally integrated, and will automatically include a transparent provenance authentication protocol called the SOMA Protocol that fights counterfeits using blockchain-based proofs. The platform is providing a marketplace today for wristwatch retail. The company has participated in the TINC accelerator and received seed funding from the Finnish government and blockchain angel investors. For more information, visit SOMA.co.