ChronoVault Frequently asked questions

What is ChronoVault?

ChronoVault is a free service that allows you to create a permanent, unchangeable record of your watch over time. Because we store the date and time you created the record, anyone else in the future can be confident of its history and authenticity.

When you sign up with ChronoVault, you are not just recording information about your watch, you are joining a community. A community of like-minded people, experts, buyers and sellers – all of whom want to see a more authentic and reliable space for these valuable timepieces.

Why would that be useful?

Put simply, ChronoVault allows you to prove ownership, provenance and authenticity.

Imagine what it would be like if every watch you bought from another collector came not only with a level of certainty that the seller actually owned it, but details of how long they had owned it, how the condition had changed during the course of their ownership, its history and service records?

Then imagine if every watch had an unbroken, permanent and unchangeable record of all that information for all of its owners.

ChronoVault allows you to create a permanent record of your watch and assert ownership. You may build up a series of records for that watch during the time you own it. At a glance you can see what you own, the condition it is in, when it was last serviced, and even share that digital record with the next owner.

So what can I use ChronoVault for?

You can use ChronoVault to:

Keep a permanent record of the watches you own

By adding information, photographs and details of a watch you own to the platform, you can create a permanent, unchangeable record. When you do so, we store and show the date and time you added those details. Importantly, the information is entirely under your control: you can choose to keep this information private to you, or share it with others.

Prove ownership and the condition of a watch if/when you come to sell it

We recommend you make a record of your watch as soon as possible if it doesn't already have one. And update that record routinely. If you buy, or are thinking of buying a watch, request that the seller creates a record and makes that record public and marks the watch as for sale. Other users can then assess the description and confirm it is accurate, or if you need a second opinion, you can ask someone to check this permanent record. The seller cannot later remove this description or change it. This can give you some confidence that the seller is has nothing to hide.

Show the provenance of a watch if/when you come to sell it

The more information you record, the more confidence a future buyer has in your ownership. You can also choose to make this information public. Doing so means that other members of the community can flag watches where the description may not match the photographs, or may not be accurate. Clearly, a watch record that has been public for some time and has not been alerted by the community has a higher chance of being authentic.

Check whether a watch you are looking to buy is lost or stolen

Losing, misplacing, or having a watch stolen is a horrible experience. It's worse knowing that it might fall in the hands of an unscrupulous dealer who will sell it to an unsuspecting buyer. With ChronoVault you can set a watch that is within your collection to lost/stolen and the record remains owned by you. That way, if the watch turns up again in the future you can continue to prove your ownership.

As as prospective buyer, you can search ChronoVault for lost/stolen watches to check if a watch you are being offered has been reported as such.

Browse watches for sale from other collectors

If you're interested in browsing watches that are for sale, ChronoVault allows this, but we do not provide a facility for your to contact the seller or negotiate a sale.

Protect the beneficiaries of your estate

We all like to consider the legacy that we leave behind us. If you worry about your loved ones inadvertently selling your watches for less than they are worth or being taken advantage of, then having an accurate record of all your valuables, ready for an experienced and independent person to assess can be helpful.

Getting started

Create an account

Create an account with just an email address and a password. Or if you wish, you can even sign in with your Facebook or Google account.

Add details of your first watch

Select "Add" from the menu and complete the form. Add at least one photo and set whether the watch record is searchable by others and/or for sale.

Decide on who else you want that information to be visible to

We encourage you to make your watch record searchable so that it is visible to other users. Using the "report this" button our community of users as well as our staff are able to monitor for fakes and watches that are not described honestly.

Transfer the digital record when you buy or sell a watch

If you are selling a watch, you will need to mark it as "for sale" on ChronoVault. We recommend that you link to the ChronoVault record in the advert. This means that a potential buyer can not only find this watch using the search function, but also request ownership of it. Where another user has requested ownership of your "for sale" watch, you will be asked to release it before the record is transferred over to the new owner.

We have made it easy for you to link to the ChronoVault record in your advert on buying and selling platforms. Just make sure you set your watch preferences to "for sale" and "searchable".

Before you buy a watch you can search ChronoVault for the digital record of that watch using the Asset ID given to you by the seller.

Data protection

Is my data encrypted?

Yes. We use the latest SSL encryption across the entire site and all data is encrypted whilst it is stored in our database.

Can anyone see private or personally identifiable information about me?

Simply put, we don't require you to enter personally identifiable information about yourself to use ChronoVault. We give you the option to enter some limited information about yourself and share this with other users, such as your instagram name.

Can anyone see what other watches I own?

Only if you choose it.

I don't want anyone to be able to see the serial number of my watch

That's fine. It's not necessary to enter the serial number information if you don't want, though it does help someone buying your watch in the future establish whether the records we hold relate to the watch you sell them. You can also enter partial serial numbers or block out parts of the image where a serial number might be visible, or even add this information later.

What do you do with my data?

All the data you enter here remains yours. We don't collect personally identifiable information data about you. We don't use cookies to track you on other sites and we do not sell your data to third parties.

If your watch is searchable, your images become publicly viewable. In this case, ChronoVault may choose to use your photos on its social media feed.

Is my account secure?

We partner with one of the best authentication providers in order to avoid us even managing your password on our servers. They are trusted with handling authentication for many companies including multinational retail chains and medical practices.

Where is my information stored? Can it be deleted if requested?

We store information securely in our European industry leading cloud based data centres using Amazon Web Services and Atlas. You can request that we delete your account from within your account settings.

How do you prove that the person recording a watch on ChronoVault actually owns it?

We carry out constant checks on the pictures and descriptions submitted to ChronoVault. We also enable users to check and easily report any inconsistencies. If we suspect a record is not accurate, we take steps to intervene, including asking the user to upload further photographs in which specific conditions are met, requesting that they correct the description, or in certain cases, removing records entirely which are misleading or fraudulent.

Can I record replica, homage or fake watches?

No. We do not allow replica, homage or fake watches anywhere on ChronoVault. Any such records will be investigated and removed. Any users found perpetrating this behaviour will be removed from the platform.

What if someone uploads photos that are old, and the watch is no longer in that condition?

If we suspect that the photos are significantly older than the date that the record is created, we ask for further photos with specific conditions, such as setting the watch to a specific and unique time, or asking for certain items to be in the photograph. We randomise the nature of this request and flag or purge records where we suspect the system is being abused.

What if someone describes a watch in a way that is not true?

A watch record is more likely to be trustworthy if it is searchable, as this means it is visible to other users, who can report it if they believe it to be fake.

If you see a watch that is not correctly described, a fake, or you believe that the user does not own the watch, you can easily report it to ChronoVault staff for investigation within the application.

Technical issues

I entered the wrong data or added a photo by accident and I want to delete it

You'll need to contact us using the form below to have the record removed from the database. We aim to resolve all requests within 48 hours. If the information you've accidentally uploaded is particularly sensitive or embarassing, you should change your sharing preferences for that watch to "not searchable" and "not for sale" until we have actioned your request.

I'm having trouble logging in

We use a high-encryption, third-party service to manage our user accounts. This means that your login data is not stored with your watch data. Unfortunately, security is often a trade-off against usability, and so you might occasionally experience problems logging in. If you have difficulty logging in, please log out of the application and clear you browser cache and cookies.

I have vintage watches. Can I add historic information?

When you enter information about a watch you can add the year it was manufactured as well as providing a rich description. Obviously a longer and more detailed historical record establishes more significant provenance. Ideally you would put this information in to ChronoVault at the time that it happened, but for older watches which already have a significant history we recognise that is impossible. Until we invent a time machine, we recommend that you add detailed information about older watches as soon as possible to ChronoVault in order to have as long an information history record as possible.

Coming soon

We are continuing to develop ChronoVault, adding new features all the time. Here are some of the things we have planned:

Record / demonstrate service history

Used watches often have patchy service histories. Manufacturers' service teams are best avoided as they often replace original parts and repolish cases without being asked. There is a wide range in the quality of work from independent watchmakers. And the paperwork inevitably goes missing. With ChronoVault you can not only add the service history receipt, but ask your independent watchmaker to take temporary ownership of your watch and when the service is complete, add his/her comments directly to your watch record. The watchmaker then has the opportunity to build their own reputation on the platform, not as a collector but as a trusted member of the community.

Share a look at your collection

By default, ChronoVault creates a virtual watch box of your entire collection. This view is private to you. You can also select specific watches from your collection and add them to a public collection. ChronoVault allows you to share this public watch box with friends, other collectors and even potential buyers. It is easy to move watches in and out of your public collection as your needs change.

Demonstrate your own credibility and trustworthiness in the community

Reputation is everything. Its important to understand that in many cases a buyer should "buy the seller" as much as the watch itself, but in the excitement of finding a watch you really love this can get overlooked. An active user of the platform with many registered watches obviously has greater credibility and more of a reputation to protect. Similarly, a watchmaker who can show they have serviced many watches or a dealer who buys and sells many watches and describes their work or pieces accurately will be able to build strong reputations on the platform.

Record the condition of a watch before you send it for repair/service or lend it out

Watches are fragile and can get damaged. Disputes between two parties about whether or not a watch was damaged before or after it changed hands are no fun. With ChronoVault, you can record the exact condition of the watch at the time it changes hands - and the recipient can confirm the accuracy of the description before accepting physical delivery. This gives you both an independently managed record of condition for any transfer of your watch.

Check whether a watch you are looking to buy is authentic and in original condition

A watch record whose sharing preferences are set to "can be searched by others" is open to community scrutiny. Other users, including ChronoVault staff, assess the credibility and consistency of the pictures and description. For example, an experienced collector can review a watch's description against its pictures, and anonymously send a comment to ChronoVault. The experienced collector receives increased reputation for this, which is seen on their profile. The platform then checks the comment and if it is reasonable, passes it to the seller. Note that ChronoVault will not append the comment directly to the record, it is up to the user to resolve the comment by improving the accuracy of his description in a new record for that watch. For minor inaccuracies, an owner's reputation is not affected as we give the owner the benefit of the doubt, but the old and new description will become a permanent part of the watches history.

In this way, if the watch ever becomes for sale, a prospective buyer can ask for the ChronoVault ID from the seller and look through the history of changes. If the watch has not been "searchable by others" there has not been much time for the community and ChronoVault staff to comment on the authenticity or originality of the watch. If there have been several changes of the description, that may indicate that the watch is now accurately described but the seller has a tendency to mis-describe and the buyer should proceed with caution.

Check the integrity of a seller before you buy from them

ChronoVault allows you to check the reputation of a seller before you buy a watch. Reputation is calculated based on a number of different factors including the length of time they have been on the platform, the number of watches in their collection, the accuracy of the description of their watches and the feedback they have contributed.

I've still got questions

Feel free to get in touch with any questions using the Contact page. Alternatively you can instagram us, connect with ChronoVault on facebook messenger or drop us an email. We would love to hear from you.

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