Swatch Goes Wild With Its MoMA Collaboration — Mondrian, Van Gogh, Rousseau, And More!
Among so many things that always remind me of my childhood, one of the most vibrant ones is the characteristic design of Swatch. Each time I walked past the vividly decorated Swatch store windows, I was amazed by all the high-spirited designs and the courage of the Swiss brand. In the gloomy Polish reality of the ‘90s/early ‘00s, stores like Swatch not only stood out from the crowd but also served as a source of inspiration and a reminder to dream big.
However, at the time, as an unaware child, I didn’t realize what Swatch’s strongest point was (or perhaps my sweet spot). Today, it leaves no doubt that these were collaborations. You can’t imagine how thrilled I was when Swatch announced its collaboration with Jeremy Scott who was one of the most controversial fashion designers in 2011. Swatch knows perfectly how powerful brand collaborations can be and has mastered the art of cross-marketing. Very recently Swatch surprised us with its MoMA partnership.
About MoMA Collaboration
Over a month ago, Swatch teamed up with MoMA — the Museum of Modern Art located in Midtown Manhattan. Looking back at Swatch’s previous collaborations with MoMA, I was a bit skeptical but my skepticism immediately disappeared when I saw the entire collection. I believe it to be the best Swatch releases in recent years! The collection features six watches. Each of them represents some of the museum’s finest artworks: The Dream (1910) by Henri Rosseau, The Starry Night (1889) by Vincent van Gogh, The City and Design, The Wonders of Life on Earth, Isamu Kurita (1966) by Tadanori Yokoo, New York (1968) by Tadanori Yokoo, Composition in Oval with Colour Planes 1 (1914) by Piet Mondrian, and Hope, II (1907–1908) by Gustav Klimt. What do you make of that list, eh? Let us know if your favorite artist’s name popped up on it!
In private, I always was connected with art on several levels. Firstly, I went to a high school with a specialization in art history. Later, one of the classes I attended during my bachelor’s degree was about aesthetics (critical reflection on art, culture, and nature). And finally, my very first intern was within the art industry.
I’ve always loved art. I find it both inspiring and relaxing. While I lived in London, I visited The National Gallery very often. Accompanied by a nice cup of matcha latte, museum tours became my Saturday ritual. And, of course, the painting that caught my attention most often was Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Henri Rousseau. For me, choosing the watch inspired by The Dream by Henri Rosseau was a no-brainer.
We are a year into lockdown, and I often find myself missing life’s simple pleasures. Visiting art galleries, dining out, and traveling are no longer options. With nowhere to go, my wrist has become my own private gallery and my watches the art hung upon its walls. My Ladymatic resembles Ophelia by John Everett Millais. The Speedmaster 38 reminds me of any of Henry Moore’s consistent, smooth, and polished sculptures. In the case of Swatch, the mysterious Henri Rosseau’s tiger stares out at me from the dial, dragging me back to the spot on which I first laid eyes upon it. Vibrant greenery adorns the strap while the white MoMA logo and the surreal hour and minute hands make this design even more Rosseau-ish. Pure design.
Robert-Jan’s very Dutch favorites
Perhaps you’ve wondered which models from the entire collection Robert-Jan chose? I profoundly believe his selection was based on his personal experiences as well. As you know, we are based in The Hague. The first thing I noticed when I moved here is that Dutch people love Dutch culture (probably unsurprising, right?). But it is no wonder! So many wonderful historical artists came from The Netherlands. The history of art is dominated by the Dutch Golden Age and, of course, the Dutch Abstract Art. And seeing as the MoMA has almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art in its collection, the new Swatch collaboration could hardly have missed artists such as Piet Mondriaan or Vincent van Gogh.
Team Mondrian (or Mondriaan for any of you who were fans of his before 1906)
This Swatch watch highlights the beauty of the black lines that were so characteristic for the Dutch painter. Therefore the hands as well as the case of the watch are black. I must admit I really love the scope of this style of line and colors.
Team Van Gogh
Certainly, thanks to the rich Dutch culture and the influential contemporary art, the second watch inspired by The Starry Night won Robert-Jan’s heart. As for the most iconic and universally adored Vincent van Gogh’s painting, the watch pays homage to the essence of the Post-Impressionist style more than you think. The concept accents the characteristic brushstrokes, an artificial color palette, and a focus on luminescence. Of all three models, only this one features luminescent hands and hour markers.
Make your Swatch × MoMA!
Choosing the artist you love is not the only way to make the watch just that little bit extra thoughtful. For art lovers, or simply Swatch enthusiasts, the Swiss brand offers a special box. Sounds mysterious? The special box is an exclusive set of all six models available on the market along with a box inspired by the Blade Stair, a prominent architectural feature of the MoMA. Additionally, for the more demanding customers, Swatch has introduced a bespoke game. Contemporary art enthusiasts can customize their watches with one of the new artworks by Beatriz Milhazes. Discover the entire collection on the Swatch website.
I suspect I’m not alone in thinking this collection is so uplifting, fun, and delightful! I believe that watches (as well as art) can make us happier people during these strange times. And this collaboration is the truest evident of it! Will you put your hands on one of the six designs from the Swatch × MoMA collaboration? Let me know in the comment section below!