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Swatch in 1998

1998

Art

Born in Greece, Laura Grisi grew up in Rome and emerged as an artist in the lively art community of the mid-60’s. She is based in Rome and New York. Grisi has always tried to break the rules of traditional painting and sculpture, pioneering new forms and new media. In the late 60’s she began to work with natural elements, and later on she made a unique contribution to Conceptualism, starting the fusion of art with the metaphysical notions of Time, Space and Infinity.

“If Space is infinite, I can imagine Time only as endlessly mirrored.” The differences we perceive between past, present and future are related to the classic notion of Time as a serial, homogeneous order. But I think that Time can be considered in relation to infinity in a
different way : future, present and past can succeed each other in a diff erent order. The concept for the Swatch Time 4 (GK271) is based on the hypothesis of a Space whose dimension is perceived as relative to the dynamics of Time : a fourth dimension in which Space and Time mirror each other.

Cisco Jimenez studied art in Mexico and at the Art Students League of New York. Jimenez has exhibited in Mexico, Canada, the United States and Europe since the early 1990s. Before making a splash on the art scene as a painter and sculptor, Jimenez worked as a political cartoonist, where his reworking of pop images to creative and often comic effect earned him a broad following. His drawings, paintings and collage reference pop as well as traditional visual vocabularies of different cultures, including those of African and South American countries.

Stiletto (GK270), is like a party to which tattoos, graffiti, Mexican street graphics, auto-body art, cartoons and punk subculture have all been invited. With his wicked sense of humour and his gift for rendering, the edgy artist brings an arch, one-eyebrow-raised, generous dose of irony to the wrist. The stylish result of this meeting of minds directs attention to itself through a bright cactus-green strap and contrasting coralorange dial, which exhibits a stylized image of the iconic high-fashion ladies’ shoe, surrounded by graffiti stars and pierced by five swords. Funny and hip, this work for Swatch displays a fierce street spirit.

Ágatha Ruíz de la Prada is a Spanish fashion designer and one of the Madrid fashion world’s most beloved personalities. Following her studies at the Barcelona Art Institute she quickly made a name for herself as a designer, and by the time she was 20 was already dazzling the Madrid fashion scene with her unique and colourful creations. Her popularity increased as she became associated with the “La Movida”, in which she played a leading role. Known for her brightly coloured motifs and whimsical use of moons, stars, suns and hearts, she remains a vibrant force in contemporary fashion.

Agatic Agatac (GK280) condenses the intensity of this popular designer’s vision into a small piece of her coloured imagination, barely contained in the classic Swatch format. A series of mosaic-shaped, rough squares of colour, carefully cherry-picked and assembled to evoke feeling, sits along a yellow plastic strap. Almost scratchily inked, the squares have a crayon quality that leaves space in the midst of intensity and summons thoughts of childhood. The dial is inked in the same print, and the hands are a delicate, ladylike pink. The work offers ample evidence of the artist’s gift for colour and her knack for the visually surprising.

Spike Lee is a man with a message, a fact that is evidenced as much by his powerful films as it is by Wake Up (SBZ104), his forceful statement for Swatch. Unusually coloured in periwinkle, grey and gold with a touch of dark ocean blue, this watch features bold text in capital letters printed around the outsized dial, which itself contains multiple sub-dials within the main watch face. The text, printed in an eye-popping white font against gold, issues a call to Wake Up – to come to our senses, seize the day. A watch with a concept, this strong piece has the title embossed along the length of the strap for added emphasis.

Jak Arnould was born in Toulon, France, in 1965. For a long time he lived and worked in Perpignan, where he also had his beloved collection of Swatch watches. His colourful, joyful and very imaginative works have been shown in many contemporary art exhibitions, both group and solo, from France to Italy, New York, Portugal, Norway, Canada and Spain.

Describing his watch for Swatch, Arnould Fashions (GB186), the artists writes : “use one’s thinking and reflection, go to the end of one’s concentration. It’s a matter of exploring the free figurativity which nourishes my own graphic imagination. Head after head, cyclops, byclops, tryclops, and sometimes even further… I let myself escape beyond my own dreams, to create out of them a whole universe of pictorial images, out of which a fragment is picked, to create a Swatch.”

Peter Marco is a New York artist known for his use of opaque, primary colours, bold black lines and playful visual metaphors. He opened “Marcoart”, a boutique∕art gallery in 1992 on the Lower east Side, and his graffi ti-esque designs soon began to attract widespread attention. The summer of 1997 saw him hired by Swatch to paint original murals throughout the West Coast. “Marcomurals” began to pop up in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and Salt Lake City. He later designed a signature art Swatch called Alien Baby (GG175) and attended the 1998 Swatch Asia anniversary party as its guest of honour. He subsequently began making limited edition prints, which were shown at galleries throughout the world. Marco lives and works in New York City, pursuing his personal and professional dreams. As he has so often
proclaims, “The purpose of my art is to put people in a good mood, to brighten their day.” After all, what’s life without a smile ?

Josè Muñoz, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1942, is a painter, especially for cartoons. He studied at the “Escuela Panamericana de Arte” where he took classes in painting, sculpture and drawing. In 1972 he moved to London before fi nally living in Milan and Paris. In collaboration with Swatch he created the watch Furto (GK265).

Joost Swarte, born in 1947 in the Netherlands, is a Dutch graphic designer and cartoonist. During his studies of industrial design he discovered the world of comics and started to draw them. 1971 the launch of his own comic magazine “Modern Papier” took place. Since then he has worked regularly for Dutch comics magazines. In 1980 his work was exhibited for the first time before an international audience. Swarte’s cartoons were subsequently translated into several languages. Dia Animado (GK269), an interaction between time, colour and drawing, was created in 1998.

1998

Club

March, at the final of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Crans-Montana (Switzerland), members of Swatch The Club meet with Nicolas G. Hayek ; all are entertained that evening by Candy Dulfer in concert…
Lucky 7 (SKZ116)
Who would deny the importance of luck in life ? We all wish “good luck !” to our friends and family when they
face the unknown, and although we never can count on it, good luck is always a welcome guest. We do our best
to attract good luck, with talisman rings or rabbit-foot charms, lucky numbers and lucky days. They’re part of
life, and for the Club Watch 1998, Swatch designed the charming lucky 7, a Gent whose black and blue strap
is covered with signs and symbols meant to bring luck to anyone who wears it !

Happy Pig (GZ155)
Luck played a role in the Club Special 1998, whose name in German evokes both the “Gluecksschwein”
(lucky pig) and a “glueckliches Schwein” - the happy Pig that gave its name to this Swatch Special. Produced in a limited and numbered edition, this happy Pig shows his little pink face on the dial, with
dark pink ears and snout, white eyes, white hour and minute hands and a pink seconds hand that ends in a curly-cue. Special packaging to match !

1998

Olympic

10 February : In Nagano, Japan, the French snowboarder Karine Ruby, a member of the Swatch Proteam, is the first woman in the history of the
Olympic Games to win a gold medal for snowboarding (Giant Slalom)…

1998

Sport

Swatch is the Official Timekeeper and Results Provider for the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York (USA). On this occasion, Swatch produces a unique watch for this international invitational, Goodwill Games NY (SHB101).

Swatch launches the Swatch Dual World Series, a new discipline in mountain bike racing in addition to the already existing disciplines of Cross-country and Downhill. Dual is a single-elimination (aka knockout) event taking place on a 500-meter steep course filled with curves, stretches and jumps. Runs take an average of 30 seconds, which makes the style of riding more aggressive and crowd-pleasing.
The 1998 Swatch Dual World Cup stops consist of : Stellenbosch (Republic of South Africa), Nevegal (Italy), Les Gets (France), Big Bear Lake (USA), Snoqualmie Pass (USA), Sierra Nevada (Spain), Kaprun (Austria) and Arai City (Japan), and includes Swatch Proteam mountain bikers Sari Jørgensen (SUI) and Kirt Voreis (USA) as well as part-time mountain biker∕snowboarder Shaun Palmer (USA). At the stop in Nevegal (ITA), Swatch Proteam Sari Jørgensen (SUI) claims the first Dual-Downhill double win in the sport.

Swatch announces a partnership with Wave Loch and creates the Swatch Fusion event in Norway, an artificial wave installation with the world’s best board athletes : skateboarder Tony Hawk (USA), surfer Rob Machado (AUS) and snowboarders Steve Klassen (USA) and Terje Haakonson (NOR).

New sportsmen and women like skateboarders Tony Hawk (USA), Andy MacDonald (USA) and Mike Frazier (USA) and snowboarders Nicolas Francis Abena (CMR), Ueli Kestenholz (SUI), Fabrizio Bonacino (ITA), and Victoria Jamieson (GBR) join the Swatch Proteam 1998. In addition, Rochelle Ballard (USA), Francine Moreillon (SUI) and Sari Jørgensen (SUI) are respectively the first female surfer, skier and mountain biker to be signed to the Swatch Proteam. The two Austrian brothers Tom and Paul Schroffenegger are welcomed as a new Beach Volleyball team. Besides these new members, the Swatch Proteam 1998 consists of : kayaker Arnd Schaeftlein (GER) ; canoeist Claude Stahel (SUI) ; skateboarder Brian Howard (USA) ; surfer Conan Hayes (USA) ; wakeboarder Cyrille Cornaro (SUI) ; snowboarders Gilles Voirol (SUI), Karine
Ruby (FRA), Shaun Palmer (USA), and Steve Klassen (USA) ; mountain bikers Hans Rey (SUI), Kirt Voreis (USA) and Thomas Frischknecht (SUI) as well as Beach Volleyball teams Paul & Martin Laciga (SUI), Efi Sfyri & Vasiliki Karantasiou (GRE), Jørre Kjemperud & Vegard Hoidalen (NOR).

In collaboration with Palmer Snowboards, Swatch founds the Swatch∕Palmer Boarder-X Team : the first team dedicated solely to the Swatch Boarder-X Tour.

1998

Product Line

SWATCH CHRONO-ALARM
Swatch adds functionality to its popular Chrono with a tachometric scale, alarm and date display.

 SWATCH AUTOQUARTZ
A new movement pushes the technology envelope with an automatic mechanism with quartz-movement accuracy.

SWATCH IRONY SCUBA 200
Swatch moves to satisfy divers with a massive stainless steel or aluminum case and ruggedized crystal. Water-resistant to 200 m, shockproof, resistant to magnetic fields, with quartz accuracy and a rotating bezel and minute scale.

SWATCH.BEAT
Swatch goes digital with an LCD (liquid crystal display) and a totally new concept of time. The new “Swatch Beat” unit of time does away with time zones and borders in favour of freedom. 1 day has 1000 “Beats”. Biel Mean Time (BMT) is the universal reference for Internet Time. A day in Internet Time (@000 Swatch.beats) begins at midnight BMT (Central European Winter Time).