Last year British jeweler and royal warrant holder Asprey turned 240 and celebrated with the launch of its new Asprey Digital Studio.
The aim is to extend Asprey’s bespoke capabilities. “A lot of what we do is bespoke and high value,” says Asprey Studio Chief Creative Officer Ali Walker. “The studio works in conjunction with the atelier on photorealistic renderings of product, making changes along the way so you don’t have to keep creating samples. It streamlines production and minimizes waste.”
First project which dropped in April was a collaborative NFT collection with luxury automobile manufacturer Bugatti. Firmly anchored in physical product, the 261 tokens which sold out instantly, each came with a handcrafted sterling silver collectible sculpture of Bugatti’s storied Voiture Noire.
A final one of one sculpture made of 24k rose gold was auctioned June 30 along with its corresponding NFT by Philips in London where it fetched $460k.
The Voiture Noire itself, a replica of the black Atlantic Coupé that went missing during the Second World War, sold in 2021 for $18 million. 261mph being its top speed.
“We worked with the Bugatti designers and the sculptures are made from the CAD of the real car,” says Walker of the sculptures.
The NFTs which had a floor price of 3ETH
But the Bugatti collaboration is just the first step in Asprey’s Web 3.0 roadmap. This month, the luxury brand will launch The Asprey Studio Club, its genesis NFT collection followed by The Asprey Studio Gallery.
The Gallery, an ephemeral Web 3.0 exhibition space, opening above the Mayfair store later this summer, overlooks Bruton Street to the front and Bruton Place to the side and rear.
The xxx sq ft modular venue will display the work of Web 3.0 artists — via screens and immersive VR and AR technology installations — alongside Asprey’s more traditional craftsmanship capability. AV enabled, it will also host talks and webinars plus a café space overlooking Mayfair.
“It’s a hub geared around linking traditional clients with crypto clients,” says Walker. “A huge percentage of the art world do not understand NFTs but they can come here and get assistance on how to buy and trade from our concierge.”
It’s certainly part of a new trend for luxury brands seeking to onboard existing clients to Web 3.0 but Asprey also aims to introduce the tech rich to traditional establishment players creating a new symbiotic economy.
As for Asprey’s genesis NFT collection, while the nature of the digital artwork remains under wraps, the physical utilities will certainly pique the interest of old and new world alike.
Among standard perks such as whitelisting for future drops, owners will receive ultimate aristocratic status symbol, an engraved gold signet ring denoting membership of the new Web 3.0 establishment, complimentary access to London’s famous Black’s members club plus TBC reciprocal club access globally. They will also have the possibility to showcase and sell their own NFTs at the physical Asprey Studio Gallery. The initial run, limited to 241, has a floor price of 2.5ETH.
All the Asprey Bugatti sculptures are currently under production. The process will take around six months. “Many projects don’t pay attention to the quality but we went the opposite,” says Walker, noting that each is valued at way beyond the mint price — made possible due both to economies for scale and the capabilities of the Digital Studio.
“The idea is to expand so the rest of business will have same workflow,” adds Walker who comes from a background in the film industry. “Production studios pre-visualize an entire film because they can’t commit to the spend otherwise.”
Going forward, the Studio will work on the international sporting trophies that Asprey creates including Premier League and Formula One plus its next release with Bugatti and further partner projects to be announced.