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Innovation

RFID watches aim to stop counterfeiters

Brief: The clock is ticking for Rolex rip-offs as Toshiba introduces a tiny chip that can be embedded in watches
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Written by Jo Best, Contributor on

RFID, the much-hyped technology that's turned up on dirty laundry, on luggage and even on Japanese schoolchildren, has now made its way onto posh watches.

Winwatch has teamed up with Toshiba to put the tracking tags into wristwatches, with a view to stopping the trade in counterfeit timepieces that see thousands of pounds ripped off big-name watch sellers like Rolex.

Winwatch has patented a method of putting the tiny chips into the glass crystal of watches or fixing one to the glass front so it doesn't interfere with the mechanical workings. Attaching it to the watch front also means the metal parts of the watch -- or wearer's wrist -- won't interfere with the tag being read and it can be added to ready-manufactured watches.

The RFID chips will be manufactured by Toshiba and will be readable from a distance of 1mm.

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