Swatch & MoMA - Travelling Without Moving

Written by:Andrea C.|

The day is here: today, Swatch ‘s long-awaited collection for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has finally arrived. This is the brand’s latest instalment in their collaborations with art museums, and the first featuring the famed American institution!

The Swatch x MoMA Collection

Six different timepieces for six different masterpieces, reimagined to sit conveniently on your wrist.
Obviously, the paintings will be ones which currently reside in the MoMA. Swatch narrowed these down for their recognisability as well as historical significance and for the emotions that they convey.

In the photo below, you can see all 6 timepieces. In order from left to right:
The Dream (1910, Henri Rousseau); Starry Night (1889, Vincent van Gogh); The City and Design, The Wonders of Life on Earth, Isamu Kurita (1966, Tadanori Yokoo); New York (1968, Tadanori Yokoo); Composition in Oval with Colour Planes 1 (1914, Piet Mondrian); and Hope, II (1907-1908, Gustav Klimt).

MoMA & Swatch

Although it’s the first American institution to feature in Swatch’s campaign with art museums, it’s not actually MoMA and Swatch’s first encounter. In the 1990s, the museum had Swatch manufacture a handful of MoMA-themed pieces, starting a fruitful relationship.

Below is one of the watches which came from this first partnership: the hands bear the name of the legendary American museum, making it a very sought-after piece even today.
As you can see, this first collab is very different to the latest one.

As with their collaborations with other institutions, Swatch was faced with a challenging task: to remain faithful to the mastery and artistic flair of the paintings, but to also successfully encapsulate them into a wristwatch at the same time.
In their own way (one which only Swatch knows how), they’ve made these timepieces small, “Warhol-esque” works of art…

The Collector’s Edition

You can buy each timepiece individually, but the 6-watch Swatch x MoMA collection can also be purchased, in its entirety, in this sort of “chest”. This incredible idea really caught our attention and interest, because it’s much more than just a box.

Only 2021 of these (limited) collector’s editions will be sold, and we expect they will sell out fast.
Aside from containing the artwork-timepieces, the whole “packaging” has been clevery designed and inspired by the “Blade Stairs”: an integral architectural feature of the historic museum.

We are really pleased to say that this collector’s edition really encapsulates the motive behind the enitre MoMA collaboration. They are allowing us to travel without moving – discover new things, things which are difficult to reach, and bringing them to us.

Swatch is taking us to an icon of New York City (somewhere I think many are wishing we’d rather be) and letting us discover its architecture and its contents, and – if you think about it – they’re letting us do what we would otherwise not be allowed to do if we were there…. since the pieces of art are on our wrists, we can get up close and personal to them!

Here at IWS, we’re the first to welcome partnerships between horology and fine art, so we’re huge fans of this collection.

Our favourite… and yours, too!

If we had to choose one, we would pick the Mondrian in a heartbeat.
However, why in the world would we limit ourselves to just one? Or better yet, why choose from 1 of 6?

As if 6 models weren’t enough to satisfy the majority of its clientele, Swatch seems to have gone the extra mile here. They’ve scoured MoMA’s archives, and are allowing customers to configure their Swatch using even more artistic masterpieces in a separate collection, exclusively through the “Swatch X You” platform.

Beatriz Milhazes’ works were chosen for this line: Suculentas Beringelas (Succulent Eggplants) (1996), O Espelho (The Mirror) (2000), and Meu Bem (My Darling) (2008).

Have a look below at one of her works, and see if you can spot the Swatches! How many can you see?

Whether you like them or not, you can’t not appreciate the idea behind this collection, and how well it has been carried out. The two parties couldn’t have picked a better time to collaborate: an era when the only travelling you can do is with your mind, and not your body.
Well done Swatch x MoMA!

-Translated by Patrick R.


Andrea C.
Cheif Editor
Engineering student and watch enthusiast. He has lived for quite some times now the world of events and exhibitions. He has prior experiences as an editor and he is now responsible for the online magazine at IWS.

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