Collecting watches is essentially a very personal pursuit. By that I mean that one’s taste dictates which watches are chased, acquired and lusted over. There are always exceptions such as those who buy a watch simply as an investment vehicle, but we’ll leave those buyers aside for now.
I know watch collectors who spend all their free time hunting for watches that cost a couple of hundred quid and I also know collectors who rarely buy watches that cost less than half a million. That’s the beauty and the catholic nature of watch collecting; it literally takes all sorts. One brand that is as accessible to all as it is feverously collected is Swatch.
I remember as a skateboarding teenager I would wear two at a time, complete with the Swatch Guard over the front of the watch – not to protect the watch if I fell off said skateboard, but more because it was the cool way to accessorise your Swatch.
I didn’t think much about Swatch again since those teenage years until quite recently and for two distinct reasons. The first was in 2018 with the launch of the Damien Hirst limited edition Mickey Mouse Swatch watches. As soon as I saw that watch I had to have it and managed to snag a Mirror Spot Mickey and I was and still am delighted with it.
It’s still a hot watch with the Spot Mickey selling for £1500 and the Mirror Spot Mickey at over £300 according to completed listings on eBay. The second time Swatch entered and then stayed in my mind as a collector proposition, was the 200-piece collection that Phillips sold in 2019. And now New York artist Keith Haring’s take on Mickey is available on a Swatch. What’s not to love?
Keith Haring was both an artist and social activist and truly believed that art should be accessible to everybody and hidden away in high-brow galleries and collections. Not dissimilar in many ways to today’s cult hero Banksy, Haring created his work in public spaces as graffiti on the street and subways of New York.
Swatch has an established pedigree of creating wearable art now and bringing it to the masses and so this latest collaboration is perfect. In fact, the first collaboration was way back in 1986 when Haring designed a range of Swatches featuring some of his most famous designs. These watches are now some of the most collectible Swatches and command hefty prices when on the far occasion they appear for sale.
Mickey Blanc Sur Noir
Mickey Mouse was often featured in Haring’s work and so for the 2021 edition, Keith Haring Studio has worked with Disney to take the late artist’s interpretations and create a collection of three watches with Swatch: Eclectic Mickey, Mouse Mariniere and Mickey Blanc Sur Noir. Additionally the Eclectic Mickey is available as a Maxi version in the form of a two-metre wall clock…literally a work of art for your wall!