British digital artist MRE’s rare ‘Race Against Time’ artwork inspires heated auction

By Freddie Clode | 26 May 2021 | Culture, Design, Art

New ‘phygital' art brand The ARX presents the one-of-one edition digital artwork paired with the Rolex timepiece that inspired it

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A unique artwork by British digital artist MRE is being auctioned on Wednesday 26 May along with the rare Rolex timepiece that inspired it. Race Against Time is a one-of-one digital artwork depicting mannequins racing across the dial of a Rolex ‘Hulk’ Submariner 116610LV – a rare diver’s watch that is no longer in production. 

During the video piece, the mannequins are swept aside by the hands of the dial. It is one of a number of NFT pieces by MRE that explore the concept of time, and the first time that an artwork includes the physical timepiece on which it is modelled.

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Bids for the artwork can be placed exclusively on MakersPlace and payment made with credit card or cryptocurrency – but collectors must hurry, as the auction closes at 9am BST on 26 May. 21

NFTs – or ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’ – are taking the art world by storm as a way to collect iconic moments in time, created by digital artists. An NFT is data stored on a digital ledger – or blockchain – certifying the asset is unique and an original. 

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Exploring the idea that we all must race against a ticking clock, and that eventually we all get knocked down by fate, the artist says: “On my quest to make something of myself, I realised that I wasn't living in the present but rather in the past and in the future. Ultimately, time wins."

Visual artist MRE (pronounced ‘Mystery’) is best known for his distinct style of motion, exploring themes that blur reality and the surreal. He is also known for brand collaborations – and his impressive client list has also included the likes of Sony, Selfridges & Co, Lacoste and Creed.


The auction is masterminded by The ARX, a revolutionary new art division of Lux Group Holdings, which is designed to offer clients opportunities to acquire and build their own digital art collections, with expert guidance from an ARX curator in residence, and a physical gallery space to display “phygital” works – digital pieces with physical counterparts – for sale via auction.

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