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TRIED & TESTED: Chrono24 uses artificial intelligence to identify and value watches from a smartphone photograph

Watch_Scanner_Chrono24

Chrono24 has added a Watch Scanner to its smartphone app that is designed to identify a watch and display its current market value with just one photo from the phone’s camera.

The Watch Scanner aims to compare the photo with around 15,000 watches in Chrono24’s database and present the user with the timepiece’s brand, model, and a price estimate based on the 460,000+ listings on Chrono24.

What’s more, users can choose to create an auto-filled listing and sell the watch on Chrono24 or add the watch to their Watch Collection and track its rising or falling price over time.

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“It’s never been easier to identify and sell watches,” explains Tim Stracke, founder and CEO of Chrono24. “This tool draws on our database of about 15,000 watches – the largest of its kind. In addition to setting a new technological benchmark, the mobile Watch Scanner is a fantastic application of artificial intelligence. Plus, it’s just plain fun and gives “watch spotting” a whole new meaning.”

Chrono24 claims people can scan watches on the wrist of celebrities featuring in magazines or online and find out what watch they are wearing and what it is worth; snap a picture of a watch in a jeweler’s window to see if the retail price matches its value, or check the value of a watch passed down by a family member.

Here’s the science bit, according to Chrono24: “A small team of developers and data scientists spent the last few months intently working on the Watch Scanner’s technology and making it market-ready. Around 1 million images were selected and processed from a total of 6.5 million previous and current listings on the platform. Images that met the size and quality requirements were then fed into the Watch Scanner’s artificial intelligence training program. The result? The tool can now identify 15,000 different watch models, allowing users to search for and sell luxury watches with a single click of their smartphone camera. Going forward, the Watch Scanner will continue to learn from user interactions and increase the number of watches it can identify.

WatchPro tested the Watch Scanner on a few timepieces around the office and featuring in WatchPro magazine. Results were mixed. The app is certainly easy to use. It features on the home screen of the Chrono24 mobile app and, with a single click, it brings up a viewfinder to frame a photograph and take the snap.

It then rates the accuracy, or level of certainty in whether it can identify the watch.

 

The app correctly identified this Tudor Black Bay, and even that it is a Bucherer Blue model. A price estimate of £3,304 is about right too.

 

This was photographed from the back cover of WatchPro but the Ulysse Nardin Freak was incorrectly identified as a Patek Philippe Annual Calendar, despite the Accuracy rating of two out of three.

 

This one is probably a little unfair because I would not expect inexpensive Fossil watches to be on Chrono24. However, if you think of artificial intelligence as technology that can effectively think and learn like a human, the inability to even read the brand name is disappointing.

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Tags : Chrono24
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder