Skip to main content

Swatch in 1999

1999

Highlights

February – Launch of the Georges Pompidou Center Collection in Paris (France). Renzo Piano, the architect who designed the Center, creates the watch Jelly Piano. One other new model – La Sirène et le Marin by Pierre et Gilles – is added to the collection. Swatch creates the largest cultural billboard in the world – and drapes it over the Georges Pompidou Center of Contemporary Art in Paris, thus earning the brand an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. In this exhibition with a difference, over 3,000 square meters are filled by all sorts of people wearing watches from the Swatch Artists Collection. The scaff olding for the billboard weighs 150 tons and takes sixteen mountaineers ten days to erect.
In March, people travelling with public transport in Tampere (Finland) can use three Swatch Access Tampere watches as bus and tram tickets.
In April, beatnik is launched from the Russian space station MIR. A replica of “Sputnik”, the Russian satellite whose launch in 1957 kicked off the space age, beatnik carries messages left on the Swatch web site. Swatch donates batteries meant for the beatnik to the cosmonauts aboard the MIR. A few days later, at the European Space Agency’s control centre in Darmstadt (Germany) the press follows the adventures of the Swatch satellite on its mission to meet the Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque. Fourteen Swatch.beat Spacewalk models mark the occasion.
In April – over 12,000 fans follow the launch of the Swatch.beat line live on the net in a disco in Antwerp (Belgium).
The new Swatch.beat Access to the Internet draws the admiration of customers at the Swatch Megastores in Paris (France), New York (US) and London (UK) and the Swatch Store in Geneva (Switzerland), as well as Swatch Group shareholders at their annual general meeting.

In June, Swatch’s Italian Internet site is on the point of collapse due to a storm of visitors. Reason : the most .beat competition of the year.
In June, Swatch dedicates a Swatch.beat to the Italian singer Vasco Rossi.
In June, the Swatch.beat line is launched at a magnifi cent ceremony in Singapore under the motto “YNOT2K” (why not 2 K ?), which Swatch recommends for the new millennium. Special music and choreography – Swatch Soundancevision – inspired by Internet Time.

In June, Swatch participates in and sponsors the last Life Ball of the century in Austria. All proceeds are donated to AIDS research organisations. Swatch gives five Golden Jelly Skin models to four well known fashion designers – Vivienne Westwood, Paco Rabanne, Rosemarie Le Gallais (Creative Director of Daniel Swarovski) and Jeremy Scott – who transform them into unique works of art which are subsequently auctioned on the Internet. The highest price obtained is CHF 15,555 (Vivienne Westwood) and the total amount raised is CHF 52,766.
July – in Soestdijk (Netherlands) the President of Swatch, Nick Hayek, presents a cheque for USD 580,000 to his Royal Highness, Prince Bernhard. This sum, raised through sales of the Swatch Access Adamastor, will be used for the WWF project to preserve the fauna and flora of the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique.

4th July – Independence Day in the USA sees the launch of the Swatch “Empire State Building” in special packaging modeled on this famous New York skyscraper.
In July, a new Swatch Access model christened Umbria Jazz ‘99 opens the doors of the 25th Jazz Festival at Peruggia in Umbria (Italy).

February – Launch of the Georges Pompidou Center Collection in Paris (France). Renzo Piano, the architect who designed the Center, creates the watch Jelly Piano. One other new model – La Sirène et le Marin by Pierre et Gilles – is added to the collection. Swatch creates the largest cultural billboard in the world – and drapes it over the Georges Pompidou Center of Contemporary Art in Paris, thus earning the brand an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. In this exhibition with a difference, over 3,000 square meters are filled by all sorts of people wearing watches from the Swatch Artists Collection. The scaff olding for the billboard weighs 150 tons and takes sixteen mountaineers ten days to erect.
In March, people travelling with public transport in Tampere (Finland) can use three Swatch Access Tampere watches as bus and tram tickets.
In April, beatnik is launched from the Russian space station MIR. A replica of “Sputnik”, the Russian satellite whose launch in 1957 kicked off the space age, beatnik carries messages left on the Swatch web site. Swatch donates batteries meant for the beatnik to the cosmonauts aboard the MIR. A few days later, at the European Space Agency’s control centre in Darmstadt (Germany) the press follows the adventures of the Swatch satellite on its mission to meet the Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque. Fourteen Swatch.beat Spacewalk models mark the occasion.
In April – over 12,000 fans follow the launch of the Swatch.beat line live on the net in a disco in Antwerp (Belgium).
The new Swatch.beat Access to the Internet draws the admiration of customers at the Swatch Megastores in Paris (France), New York (US) and London (UK) and the Swatch Store in Geneva (Switzerland), as well as Swatch Group shareholders at their annual general meeting.
In June, Swatch’s Italian Internet site is on the point of collapse due to a storm of visitors. Reason : the most .beat competition of the year.
In June, Swatch dedicates a Swatch.beat to the Italian singer Vasco Rossi.
In June, the Swatch.beat line is launched at a magnifi cent ceremony in Singapore under the motto “YNOT2K” (why not 2 K ?), which Swatch recommends for the new millennium. Special music and choreography – Swatch Soundancevision – inspired by Internet Time.
In June, Swatch participates in and sponsors the last Life Ball of the century in Austria. All proceeds are donated to AIDS research organisations. Swatch gives five Golden Jelly Skin models to four well known fashion designers – Vivienne Westwood, Paco Rabanne, Rosemarie Le Gallais (Creative Director of Daniel Swarovski) and Jeremy Scott – who transform them into unique works of art which are subsequently auctioned on the Internet. The highest price obtained is CHF 15,555 (Vivienne Westwood) and the total amount raised is CHF 52,766.
July – in Soestdijk (Netherlands) the President of Swatch, Nick Hayek, presents a cheque for USD 580,000 to his Royal Highness, Prince Bernhard. This sum, raised through sales of the Swatch Access Adamastor, will be used for the WWF project to preserve the fauna and flora of the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique.
4th July – Independence Day in the USA sees the launch of the Swatch “Empire State Building” in special packaging modeled on this famous New York skyscraper.
In July, a new Swatch Access model christened Umbria Jazz ‘99 opens the doors of the 25th Jazz Festival at Peruggia in Umbria (Italy).
In July, Start of the countdown to the new millennium in Singapore on a gigantic Swatch.beat in the presence of the Minister of Industry and Trade, George Yeo. Swatch creates a pair of Special Millennium watches for Singapore.
In July, the famous Italian football club AC Milan celebrates its 100th anniversary with a Scuba, the “100 x 100 Milan”, christened in style at the San Siro stadium at a match between old and new players.
In July the new Beat Aluminium range uses sleek metal to give this watch the appearance of a planet yet to be discovered. The three new members of the Beat family are Floating.Dot, Virtual.Wave and Webstream. Functionality and entertainment are combined with plenty of room to manoeuvre on two levels thanks to the specially designed double Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology. All models display local time, a second time zone and Internet Time, which is the same all over the world.
The Indian television star Meghana Reddy is chosen as Swatch’s ambassadress to India.
At the prestigious Clio Gala award ceremony in New York (USA) Swatch receives fi rst prize in the “Best Internet Site for Customers” category.
The www.swatch.com site is visited by half a million surfers every year.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Swiss charity organization “SOS Villages d’enfants”, Swatch creates the SOS Kinderdorf, part of the proceeds are used to finance the construction of a new SOS children’s village in Gopalpur, India. This gents’ model is launched during the Bucharest Young Symphonic Orchestra’s tour of nine Swiss towns, sponsored by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ruth Dreifuss.
The world’s first Euro-converter watch is produced by Swatch. Called Converter, this Scuba model features 11 rotating bezels, each of which indicates a different currency.
In September, the new Swatch.beat Aluminum line is presented to the press during a spectacular event set against the Rhône Glacier in the heart of the Swiss Alps. A nocturnal laser show and an ice grotto are only some of the features of this unforgettable and extraterrestrial launch.
In October, the famous Italian skier Deborah Compagnoni designs the Fiocco, a Swatch Access watch for Bormio, a popular alpine resort in the
Valtellina region of Italy.
In October, Swatch’s publicity spot entitled “At this moment” is awarded fi rst prize in the “clothing, accessories and fabrics” category of the 23rd Key
Awards, the famous Italian fi lm fair. The prize is presented at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, Italy. In October, Swatch Stores around the world celebrate
Halloween with the new Swatch watch called Geisterstund.
In November, the Astra, formerly one of the most prestigious cinemas in Europe and situated right in the center of Milan (Italy), is converted into a Swatch Store. The Swatch Skin Paved in Silver is launched to mark the opening.
In December, the 99 X-Mas Special is called Mille Stelle.
December 31 : For the third time running, the largest clock in the world is a main feature at the open-air Swatch Soul City in Vienna (Austria). Over 10,000 spectators come to enjoy the start of the new millennium at the big Wheel in Vienna’s famous Prater Park.
Millennium Bug threatened with extinction ! With its trademark tongue-in-cheek humour, Swatch launches an urgent plea to save the millennium bug. Hoping to preserve this rare species, Swatch uses state-of-the-art technology to create a special .beat watch (limited to 30,000 pieces), named Still working. The Millennium Bug is held inside the watch in the safety of a shockproof case that guarantees its survival until midnight on December 31, 1999. Midnight comes and goes with the watch “still working” !

1999

Art

Jelly Piano (GZ159), Renzo Piano’s design for Swatch, is a celebration of the pure allure of watchwork machinery. Rendered in cool, collected transparencies that recall architect’s vellum, the work pulls the curtain back from the diminutive, fascinatingly precise mechanisms of
timekeeping, off ering the connoisseur a private viewing of the watch’s interior workings. Thus exposed, the works recall Piano’s own designs for the Beaubourg. As poised as the artist’s most celebrated structures, this urban and urbane work of art is reminiscent of sharpened
pencils, rolls of blueprints and tiny cardboard models, traditional tools of the architect’s trade.

The siren song of this sun-drenched Swatch is truly irresistible. Sea-blue stripes promenade down the sand-coloured strap, reiterating the costume of the sailor who, alongside a golden-tressed mermaid, poses alluringly amid sea-spray and sunshine in the centre of the dial. Sexy and salty as the French duo’s popular photography, the compass-framed design by Pierre et Gilles is inked with a photograph that has been hand-painted and retouched, in the artists’ signature method of combining painting with photography.

All in all, La Sirène et le Marin (GZ161) by Pierre et Gilles is a magical piece, a memento for collectors of seashells, art, and fashion watches all. The work was commissioned to celebrate the post-renovation re-opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2000.

1999

Club

March, the World Cup Ski competition winds up the season in Sierra Nevada (Spain), where Swatch is
official timekeeper. Club members attending see the launch of the Club Watch Space Dreams amid sun, snow, lots of fun and a surprise visit by Nicolas G. Hayek. The highlight of the event is an unforgettable
show entitled Space Dreams by Fura del Baus. June, Swatch Head Offi ce welcomes a hundred Gold
and Pioneer Members invited by Swatch The Club International. The highlights of the two-day event are
the presence of the Swiss artist Matthias Winkler, who personalizes each case for the Swatch “Zeit” model he has designed, and a fashion show by the Swiss designer Antoine C, including fabrics used to make the
Swatch straps. August, the second Swatch The Club Special, Sun & Moon, is launched in Sintra (Portugal) with manyMembers happy to see the total eclipse of the sun. November, the Hawaiian island of Maui (USA) is the
setting for the 16th prestigious Swatch “Aloha Classic” windsurfi ng competition. Participating Club Members
enjoy an unforgettable experience.

November, Swatch The Club Switzerland presents highness of Zermatt to the press and Gold and Pioneer members. This new model provides access toall the ski lifts serving this famous Swiss resort.

SUN & MOON (SDZ105)
Conceived as a companion piece to The Club Watch1999, Sun & Moon features a moving lunar disk on a midnight blue dial. Every 12 hours, the lunar disk eclipses a luminous sun set at 6 o’clock. The midnight blue strap shows the phases of a total eclipse of the sun, below the words Follow the Light. Sun & Moon is produced in a limited and numbered edition and delivered in special packaging built in the image of a moon. Launched at a special event on the Monte da Lua (Mountain of the moon) in Sintra, Portugal.

Space Dreams (GZ160)
All about stars, planets, moons, heavenly bodies and the mysteries of deep blue space, the Club Watch 1999 is an invitation to dream Space Dreams. On the starry strap at either end are two views of the moon – a crescent hanging in the night and a luminescent image of the surface. On the dial is a planet, earth perhaps, or an unknown moon, or even some creature from outer space, keeping a watchful eye on Club Members as they dream…

1999

Olympic

As Official Timekeeper for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Swatch announces a world first in sports timing during the regatta held in Sydney Harbour (Australia) – the site where sailing competitions are to be held during the Games themselves. Thanks to the DGP (digital geo-positioning) system used by Swatch’s engineers and timing experts, it is now possible to record false starts in relation to the actual starting signals.
Swatch adds another model to its Olympic Collection – Nova, designed by the Aboriginal Australian sprinter Nova Peris-Kneebone.
15 September : At a magnificent countdown party in Sydney (Australia), Swatch celebrates “only 1 year to go” – until the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

1999

Sport

The Swatch Boarder-X Tour 98∕99 kicks off in Soelden (Austria) in arctic temperatures and continues in Val di Sole (Italy) for the Boardercross World Championships.
For this occasion, Swatch launches a special Boarder-X Swatch Access Scuba (Boarder-X, SHB103).
The Tour then continues to Bear Mountain (USA), Copper Mountain (USA) and The Canyons (USA).
The final event of the season takes place in Laax (Switzerland) from April 8-11 and includes live music, DJ’s and spectacular performances by the Swatch Proteam.

After the overwhelming success of the 1998 Swatch Fusion among the athletes and media, Swatch decides to pursue the collaboration with Wave Loch and launches the Swatch Wave Tour, a mobile version of the watersport installation that allows the world’s top surfers, snowboarders and skateboards to try numerous tricks and maneuvers on the first portable and artificial 3-meter high wave. The World Premiere event takes place in Munich (Germany) with Swatch Proteam skateboarders Andy Macdonald (USA) and Tony Hawk (USA), snowboarder Steve Klassen (USA) as well as surfers Conan Hayes (USA) and Rush Randle (USA). The second stop takes place in Florence (Italy), with the International Surfing Association (ISA) holding the first-ever team competition, the “Swatch∕Reef Junior Challenge”, foreseeing that this technology could finally bring wave riding to the Olympic Games.
To support this new discipline, Swatch produces a special Swatch.beat Access (Cutback, SXW100) that loads “surf tickets” on an integrated microchip and offers entry to the wave.

Swatch steps into Bicycle Motocross (BMX) and becomes title sponsor of the BMX World Cup, which consists of three qualification races on three different continents : Orlando (USA) hosting the American World Cup Qualifier, Doetinchem (Netherlands) for the European Qualifier and Penrith (Australia) for the Pacific Qualifier ; the BMX World Cup season concludes with the Final in Petit-Couronne (France).

Swatch is Official Timekeeper for all the disciplines of the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg (Canada), including archery and athletics (track and field), basketball, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, water polo, wrestling and many others. On this occasion, Swatch produces a special watch (Panamerican Games, GK150PACK).

The Swatch Switch McTwist (SHM100) is designed by Swatch Proteam member Tony Hawk. The Swatch Proteam 1999 includes a new discipline, basketball, with player Carlton Myers (ITA). The rest of the Proteam members are : skiers Francine Moreillon (SUI) and Hans Petter Buraas (NOR) ; skateboarders Tony Hawk (USA) and Andy MacDonald (USA) ; snowboarders Nicolas Francis Abena (CMR), Ueli Kestenholz (SUI), Fabrizio Bonacino (ITA), Andy Finch (USA), Pilavakis Nillard (USA), Steve Klassen (USA) and boardercross expert Shaun Palmer (USA) ; mountain bikers Hans Rey (SUI), Sari Jørgensen (SUI), Kirt Voreis (USA) and Thomas Frischknecht (SUI) ; surfers Rochelle Ballard (USA),
Christian Fletcher (USA), Bill Bryan (USA) and Randle Rush (USA) ; kayaker Arndt Schaeftlein (GER) and Beach Volleyball teams Paul & Martin Laciga (SUI), Jørre Kjemperud & Vegard Hoidalen (NOR), Laura Bruschini & Annamaria Solazzi (ITA) and Tom & Paul Schroffenegger (AUT).

1999

Product Line

SWATCH.BEAT ALUMINIUM
Swatch goes digital with an LCD (liquid crystal display) and a totally new concept of time. The day is divided into a thousand “beats”, and Swatch HQ in Biel, Switzerland is the meridian where every day begins at midnight. The current Internet Time is shown by @ plus three digits, ranging from @000 to @999.
The case and bezel are made of aluminium.