In early April of 2020, NASA announced the comeback of their iconic red-worm logo, designed by Richard Danne, the ‘father of the NASA design program.’ The logo is recognized across the globe and came to be NASA’s official logo only a few years after Apollo 11 landed on the moon back in 1969. Today, NASA has teamed up with watchmaker Anicorn to release a NASA-branded NFT (non-fungible token) that can be used to redeem a physical “secret timepiece,” designed by Richard Danne.
NFTs originally were unique tokens that could be bought to certify digital artwork, but they’ve since turned into digital pieces of actual artwork. Essentially, NFTs convert digital artwork into unique, coded investments that can be traded on the blockchain. On Rarible, a digital marketplace for selling and buying NFT collectibles, Richard Danne’s NFT-backed digital artwork was sold for ￡30,000. The digital artwork showcases a vacuum-sealed, spinning object that’s shaped like a coin and coated with a reflective chrome finish, placed in front of a jet-black background.
Once purchased for ￡30,000, the NFT grants its buyer access to a limited edition, Danne-designed Space Watch. Unlike bitcoin, NFTs are unique and one-of-a-kind, so they work somewhat like certificates of authenticity. In a truly unique twist, this NFT acts like a redeemable token – a “Collector’s Gacha” if you will, which entitles the owner to the actual physical Space Watch (which makes this NFT one of the most interesting mergers of digital design going physical). The buyers will also receive a high-resolution video and sound clip that reveal the timepiece’s production blueprint along with audio of Richard Danne’s design statement.
While actual images of Space Watch still hover somewhere in the digital world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, it has been described by NASA and Anicorn as donning a sapphire watch face finished with anti-reflective coating and engraved with the code SB 001/150 on the Space Watch’s case back. Smooth Miyota 9015 automatic movement keeps the watch running for over 42 hours, while deep-water resistance of 50-meters braces Space Watch and keeps it afloat. The watch face is then held together with a black leather strap, matte-black buckle, and stainless steel bracelet.
The digital artwork for the NASA-branded NFT features a vacuum-sealed disc encased in chrome foil against a black background.
In collaboration with NASA and Anicorn, Richard Danne designed the first NASA-branded Space Watch.