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Swatch in 1995

1995

Highlights

The “Directors Set” is the working name of the Swatch Art Specials launched as Cinema Set. Three major movie directors design their Swatches; Akira Kurosawa, Pedro Almodóvar and Robert Altman.

  

Launch of C-Monsta, the 1995 Swatch Summer Special. Specially packaged in a garish green bathing cap, the Swatch Scuba features a nobbly red rubber strap. The Special is issued in a limited edition of 30,000 pieces.

  

In Budapest (Hungary), Nicolas G. Hayek presents a check for USD 1 million to Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee. The funds represent a share of the proceeds from the “IOC 100” event and are destined to be used to promote youth sports projects.

 

Swatch attends the worldwide launch of Windows 95 on the Microsoft Network, as a platinum partner of Bill Gates.

 

After Jean Michel Jarre and Philip Glass, the third Swatch MusiCall melody is created by Paulo Mendonça, a crossover funk musician and composer of the first 7-tone MusiCall melody.

 

The Art of Swatch exhibition opens in Chicago, Illinois (USA).

  

Swatch presents its New Artist Collection. Six artists – five from Europe and one from Japan – participate in the first collection, with each artist creating a model issued in a limited edition of 50,000. Two thousand plexiglass boxes are available to serve as frames to link the medley of watches together in a many-hued image – an image containing the widest variety of concepts employing different forms, colours, and ideas. Contributing to the collection are the Spanish multimedia artist Antoni Miralda, UK dancer and choreographer Lindsay Kemp, Italian artist Riccardo Licata, Japanese typographic design artist Hajime Tachibana, Swedish artist Bengt Lindström and Dutch artist Corneille Guillaume Beverloo.

  
The Swatch Irony Collection is expanded, with the Chrono and Scuba stainless steel and aluminium models.

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The first Swatch Valentine's Day Special is called For your heart only.

  

Nicolas G. Hayek speaks at the United Nations headquarters in New York (USA) and presents the Swatch UNlimited, commissioned by the U.N. to mark its 50th anniversary. YA∕YA Young Aspirations∕Young Artists, a group from New Orleans (USA), designs colourful chair-covers for the assembly hall.

  

1995

Art

Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese filmmaker, director,screenwriter, and editor who made over 30 films in the course of a 57-year career. His inimitable and unforgettable cinematic style and considerable accomplishments have earned him the admiration of audiences and filmmakers all over the world. Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of the cinema (his films have been widely imitated), Kurosawa is remembered for, among others, “Rashomon”, “Ikiru” and “The Seven Samurai”. He received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990.

The eye of the camera, the eye of God, the eye of the artist behind the camera. Themes of grand scope are suggested and peeked at through the teal, iris-like dial at the centre of Kurosawa’s Eiga-Shi (GZ141). Fringed with bronze- and silver-coloured rays that look like eyelashes, the dial is a small, intensely-hued blue-green circle set within the white circle of the watch face. Blue and flag-red run along the 12 and 6 o’clock sides of the strap, each with a neat clear line running lengthwise and dividing the fields of colour. Beautiful and simple, this watch by the master filmmaker is lyrical and full of mystery.

  

EIGA-SHI_GZ141

Pedro Almodóvar is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer. His prolific output and frank, poetic voice have made him one of the most well known and critically acclaimed filmmakers of his generation. Almodóvar’s stories revolve around complex, dramatic narratives, and his style is saturated with pop culture. His choice of music, sense of humour, strong use of colour, and exploration of sexual identity are some aspects that distinguish his work. Personal history, passion, and the family are frequent themes of his appealing, fresh films.

Despite (GZ142), the Swatch Art Special by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, is a pretty, feminine watch, soaked with colour and elaborated with graceful flourishes. executed in lightweight plastic, the design has something of both high Spanish Baroque and Art Deco. The dial features interlocking, swooping white patterns set against a green and red background. Generous feathers of bright blue sit within the white forms. The strap is set with mosaic-like beading that calls to mind some extravagant church floor or tiled Spanish courtyard. Despite offers a rich and decorated look perfumed with the style of an essential and vibrant artist.

  

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Robert Altman was an American film director known for his naturalistic cinema. Two of his films, “MASH” and “Nashville”, were chosen for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Over the course of his long and fruitful career, Altman directed 33 feature films. Notorious for his creative departures from standard practices of the Hollywood industry, Altman’s signature approach blended documentary with fiction. His work has great diversity, ranging from adaptations of operas to mockumentaries of American presidential campaigns. Simple, spare and handsome, the minimalist elegance of Robert Altman’s Swatch does indeed give one Time To Reflect (GZ143).

Featuring nothing but these words, stylishly scripted across the minute and hour hands, the still, silvery dial offers a meditative reminder to take time for musing. The entire watch is done in a mutely luminous light grey, suggestive of mirrors and reflection as well as the classic palette of black and white films. Altman’s signature and the word-laden hour and minute hands emerge in black like titles from a cinema screen.

Bare, clear, and thoughtful, this work speaks in a whisper with a look as classy as Altman’s movies.

  

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British actor, dancer, mime artist and charismaticmchoreographer Lindsay Kemp founded his own dance company in the early 1960s. Among his students were pop icons and musicians who later collaborated with Kemp on films and performances related to their music. Kemp has also staged and performed in highprofile pop star concerts. His performance style blends eastern elements such as Butoh with mime, burlesque and drag. Fascinating and colourful, his work earns steady critical acclaim.

Flowers (GK207) is as full of glitter, glamour, and shimmer as a spotlit stage. Dreamy and performative, the piece sweeps across the wrist with floral grace. In this effortlessly chic watch, Kemp employs the transparent Swatch plastic to create an ethereal mood, and lines the strap with drawn moments of whimsy, stardust, eye-shadow blue and hand-scrawled words. At the centre of the piece, a handsome face looks back at the wearer from underneath a hand-written “Amore,” stretched across the top of the dial. Light, elegant and fantastical, this window into the artist’s imagination is as breathtaking and poised as his acclaimed work in his native medium.

 

Italian artist, writer, and designer Riccardo Licata works in mosaics, engraving, and painting. In the 1950s he took part in two Venice Biennales and has since exhibited in many eminent museums and collections around the world. He is known for his experimental engraving techniques, his masterful use of the medium of mosaic, and elegant stage and costume designs done for ballet and theatre productions in the latter part of his career. Licata’s work is found in prestigious museums of modern art from Rome to New York and Stockholm.

Enchanting Forest (GL106), Licata’s design for Swatch, is inked with rows of tree-like fi gures, each of which shines with calligraphic elegance. These sea green, sky-blue, and twilight-purple silhouettes are lined on the left with red shadows, a visual touch that implies a setting or rising sun, low to the horizon to the right of the image. This suggestion of light-and-shade brings a sense of the outdoors to the arboreal scene.

 

Bengt Lindstroem was one of the best-known contemporary Swedish painters. Born in 1925 in Northern Sweden, where winters are long and dark and summers are short and continuous, Lindstroem’s work is characterized by his intense handling of darkness and colour. Decisive, fearless use of paint, often wielded in the service of rendering faces caught in unexpected distortion, gave him his distinctive look. Lindstroem is also well known for his public works, especially his sculptures, one of which is featured at the Midlanda Airport in Sweden.

Temps Zero (GB166), heartily coloured in cadmium red, yellow, black and blue, has the visual advantage of snapping up attention through sheer intensity of colour. The dial has the hint of a human face, an implied bridge of the nose and two orbs that could be eyes. With its ambiguous central image, the watch could equally be pure formal composition, resounding with a beauty that only subtly references the light and forms of the natural world. With abstract grace and poise, this Swatch Art Special is an audacious balancing act of form and colour, a truly modern painting at the wrist.

 

Dutch painter and printmaker Corneille was a founding member of the European Expressionist Movement known as “CoBrA”, and was one of the most dynamic Expressionist painters of the group. Corneille is known for his use of brilliant colour, partial abstraction, and his choice to look for inspiration to children’s art, art created in hospitals, African art, and folk art rather than to the tradition academic canon. He was also an accomplished lithographer, manipulating the medium to create powerfully dark and surreal images.

Vive La Paix (GK206) is as sweet and lazy as a summer day. Painterly images of birds and the sun float in white on a deep azure strap like clouds passing across the sky. A brilliant and shimmering hue, the strap is rendered in signature Swatch plastic, with a clear plastic case around the dial. The dial, an easy field of cornflower blue, is empty of numbers except for a 3 at the right. To the left sits a friendly print of a hen in the sun, a warm scene from a country farmyard.

This Swatch Art Special from Dutch artist Corneille seems made of whimsy and summer, the perfect complement to a dreamy afternoon.

 

Hajime Tachibana is a Japanese graphic designer and musician. Tachibana achieved cult status in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the lead guitarist for a short-lived, widely influential Japanese New Wave music group. The band earned the admiration of the Japanese music and fashion worlds, and its songs, widely held to be seminal works in the canon of Japanese pop, have been covered by Western and non-Western bands alike. Tachibana is also widely known as a designer. His design work is distinguished by his typography and elegant use of graphic elements.

In Graphickers (GK208), Hajime Tachibana plays a clever melody on the keyboard of typography, using printed, stretched, coiled and distorted fonts as visual elements in the design. The strap is clear plastic, so that the type and words – “Swatch Graphickers” – pop against whatever background is placed behind the watch. The white dial is inked with an intricate, tangled design of black lines that almost look like traces of some object’s trajectory, a record of movement. Lines that curve and twist suggest shell-like, architecturally structured forms. The b&w palette is perfect for this minimalist designer, whose urbane tastes defi ne his point of view.

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1995

Club

Swatch adapts to the changing marketplace and renames The Club - ”Swatch The Club” – all over the world.

 
Point of View (GZ146)
Look – no hands ! That’s right, the 1995 Club Watch, the creation of eminent Swiss artist and graphic designer Karl Gerstner, has no hands to tell the time. Gerstner replaces them with rotating circles, each with a point, the little one shows minutes, the big one hours, and the bright red dot that circles the charcoal dial draws attention to the seconds as they pass. Time marches on, says Gerstner with this artful piece, so let us make the most of life !

POINT_OF_VIEW_GZ146
1995

Olympic

Launch of the second Olympic Games Collection, For Honour & Glory.

 
Swatch Art Clock Towers in Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Hong Kong, Lausanne, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Sydney and Beijing serve as heralds of the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

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1995

Sport

Swatch pursues its commitment to the growth of Beach Volleyball and becomes main sponsor for 3 years of the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships presented by Swatch and O’Neill. The Tour consists of 5 stops in Greece, Switzerland, Italy, France and Czech Republic.

 

Swatch returns to the snowboarding scene with the Switzerland Live Snowboard Cup at Covent Garden in London (Great Britain), the first in-city snowboard big air.

  

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With mountain biker Hans Rey (SUI) a new discipline is added to the Swatch Proteam.

 

Swatch announces the first Boarder-X World Tour for the season 95∕96 and launches the Swatch Access in Laax (Switzerland) during the Finals of the Swatch Boarder-X Tour, optimizing time with loaded functions like admission tickets or simply an electronic wallet.

  

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1995

Product Line

SWATCH SOLAR
The brand’s reputation for innovative technology finds expression in a solar-powered Swatch.

SWATCH IRONY MEDIUM
The amazing versatility of stainless steel is revealed in the expanding Irony line, here in a medium size (33 mm case diameter).

SWATCH IRONY SCUBA
Combines the popularity of stainless steel with the cool allure of a diver’s watch.