Right from the start, Swatch has been connected with contemporary art. Like the pop art of the modern times, Swatch watches were inspired by popular culture, and Swatch itself soon became a canvas for world famous artists, musicians and fashion designers.
In 1984, famous French artist Kiki Picasso was asked to design the first-ever Swatch Art Special watch. He elaborated a project in which every one of the 140 pieces of the limited edition was unique.
American painter Keith Haring was one of the first major artists to collaborate with Swatch. His 1986 Swatch Gents, “Modèle avec personnages”, “Mille Pattes”, “Serpent” and “Blanc sur Noir” are now collectors’ items.
The ongoing relationship between Swatch and art has generated a fascinating series of Swatch Art Specials designed by artists from a broad range of disciplines – painters, filmmakers, fashion designers, videographers, photographers, conceptual artists...
Some of the most famous include Andrew Logan (1985); Jean-Michel Folon, Tadanori Yokoo (1987); Valerio Adami, Pol Bury, Pierre Alechinsky (1988); Mimmo Paladino (1989); Alessandro Mendini (1990); Chérif & Silvie Defraoui, Niklaus Troxler, Not Vital, Felice Varini, Alfred Hofkunst (with his amazing “Swatchtables”), Massimo Giacon, and Matteo Thun (1991); Igort, Sam Francis (1992); Vivienne Westwood (1992 & 1993), Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (1993); Mark Kostabi, Kenny Scharf, Mimmo Rotella (1994); Akira Kurosawa, Pedro Almodóvar, Robert Altman (with the set “100 Years Cinema”), Nam June Paik, Corneille, Bengt Lindström (1995); Bridget Mutji, Yue Min Jun, Arnaldo Pomodoro (1996); Renzo Piano, Pierre et Gilles, David La Chapelle (2000); MoUvEmEnT Dada (2003–2004); Blue Man Group (2006); Norma Jeane (2008); Billy The Artist, Ted Scapa, Grems, Matthew Langille (2009); Ivan Navarro, Cassette Playa (2010); Jeremy Scott, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Markus Linnenbrink (2011), Mathieu Mercier, Birdhead, Hideaki Kawashima, Uma Wang, tattoo artist Tin-Tin, musician Moby, Fred Butler, Lorenzo Petrantoni (2012), former artist-in-residence at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel José Carlos Casado (2013), Olaf Hajek (2014), Eva & Adele, Sigrid Calon, Joana Vasconcelos (2015), Tobias Rehberger (2016).
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is the brand's latest commitment to art and continues this tradition - As the real luxury in life is Art.