watch opens the doors to one of the world’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art with the Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection. Six iconic masterpieces from the Parisian landmark are reimagined as statement watches, including works by Frida Kahlo, Amedeo Modigliani, Robert Delaunay, Vassily Kandinsky, and Piet Mondrian.
Time is what you make of it, and Swatch believes there should be more time for art in people’s everyday lives. Since 1985, the brand has issued a long line of exclusive Swatch Art Special watches. And in 2018, the brand took it to the next level with its Museum Journey series, where museums grant Swatch access to their masterpieces to make the most iconic artworks in the world attainable for everybody. So far, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and now the Centre Pompidou have opened their doors to Swatch.
The synergies between Swatch and Centre Pompidou are clear. Both are on a mission to make art accessible for all. They are revolutionary, Swatch for bringing art to wrists and the Centre Pompidou for bringing art to the masses. Vibrant colors and transparent details are the signature hallmarks of the Swiss watch brand and the inside-out building made of steel, primary-colored tubing, and the renowned “caterpillar” glass-enclosed escalators snaking up the side that enable passers-by to view the art inside.
The Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection is the latest in a long line of collaborations that started in 1985 with the unveiling of the first Swatch Art Special watch with Kiki Picasso at the museum. In 1999, one of the building’s architects, Renzo Piano, translated the architectural signature into the Jelly Piano watch. That same year, during the renovation of the Centre Pompidou, Swatch created the world’s biggest outdoor billboard. It featured the iconic statement “Vous aussi, vous êtes notre musée,” which translates to “You too, you are our museum” and made the Guinness World Records.
Swatch reimagines six masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, complete with its signature hallmarks and unexpected details. The result? A collection of wearable artworks that bring a splash of colour and culture to every day:
- PORTRAIT OF DÉDIE, BY AMEDEO MODIGLIANI - The watch celebrates the Italian artist whose iconic portraits captured the face of early twentieth-century Paris. Swatch includes the artist’s signature on the Gent strap, a metallic finish on the dial, and an unexpected pop of solid pink on the case, buckle, loop and hands.
- CAROUSEL, BY ROBERT DELAUNAY - The watch takes inspiration from the artist’s third version of the painting after he destroyed the first two versions. Delaunay sought to depict movement through color; something Swatch was adamant about capturing. The special cut-out dial with different colors printed on the calendar wheel ensures a dynamic element to the design of this Gent watch.
- EIFFEL TOWER, BY ROBERT DELAUNAY - The watch reimagines the artist’s famous corner angle depiction of the Paris landmark in all its glory. The proportions of the Gent watch remain true to Delaunay’s original, while the dial, strap and hands feature vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and blues.
- THE FRAME, BY FRIDA KAHLO - The watch sees Swatch reimagine one of the artist’s most famous self-portraits as a mirror image perfectly split between the six and twelve hours of the dial. The Frame’s bright festive colors feature on the NEW Gent watch front, perfectly offset by the pink base and underside of the strap.
- RED, BLUE AND WHITE BY PIET MONDRIAN - The watch pays tribute to the founding father of geometric abstraction, whose influence is most notable in the realms of fashion, architecture and design. Swatch has ensured that the exact tonalities of the original artwork are depicted on the New Gent, complete with a matt black dial and oversized hands.
- BLUE SKY, BY VASSILY KANDINSKY - The watch continues the artist’s fascination with the color blue. Swatch reproduces Kandinsky’s deep and textural painting technique to the New Gent design and features many intriguing characters that inhabit the original painting.