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INTRODUCING: Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection

Six pieces of wearable art inspired by iconic masterpieces from the legendary Paris museum.

Not all watch lovers are wealthy, uncultured braggarts whose sole purpose in life is to seek validation with wristshots of RMs and ROs on their socials, okay? Well, at least this is not what Swatch will have us believe.

A trailblazing anomaly of Swiss watchmaking, Swatch occupies a special place in the hearts of horology buffs. From playing a vital role in the renaissance of luxury mechanical watchmaking (the brand’s success in the early 1990s funded the revival of several important high-end brands, including Breguet and Omega); to cementing its place as the most democratically priced and famous Swiss watch brand for the masses; to endearing itself to legions of collectors with its extensive assortment of cultish collectibles, Swatch has truly shaped modern watchmaking in its own indelible way.

Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Vassily Kandinsky (Blue Sky)Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Vassily Kandinsky (Blue Sky)

The brand’s knack for bridging what’s considered high-brow and popular appeal is best exemplified by its range of art-inspired watches. Since 1985, when Swatch launched its first ‘Swatch Art Special’ collection designed by French artist Kiki Picasso at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the brand has not stopped collaborating with artists and museums of all stripes to make fun and affordable watches that offer a window into the world of art (more about it here).

This year, Swatch takes us back to where it all began with a new collaboration with the Centre Pompidou. The special edition collection, known as the ‘Museum Journey’ series, follows similar partnerships with the likes of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It comprises six watches inspired by artworks by Frida Kahlo (The Frame), Amedeo Modigliani (Portrait Of Dédie), Robert Delaunay (Carousel and Eiffel Tower), Vassily Kandinsky (Blue Sky), and Piet Mondrian (Red, Blue And White).

Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Piet Mondrian (Red, Blue And White)
Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Piet Mondrian (Red, Blue And White)

Whether you are a fan of these artists, a Swatch collector looking for something special to add to your stash, or a simply shopping for a colourful and quirky watch, the Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection has much to offer. Each artwork is carefully replicated on the watch, its key motifs and images transferred onto the dial and strap. Despite the limited real estate, the watches manage to evoke the spirit of the original paintings. Whether the minimalist lines on the model featuring Mondrian’s Red, Blue And White, or the exuberant colours and self-portrait on the watch featuring Kahlo’s The Frame, the Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection is a veritable selection of art-inspired watches that are fun and evocative in equal measure.

Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Robert Delaunay (Carousel)
Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection, Robert Delaunay (Carousel) 

Our favourite is the model that depicts Delaunay’s Carousel. The artwork’s swirling net of circles and curves sheathes the entire watch while, underneath the dial, a coloured disc rotates and presents a different hue over the passage of time via an open arc at three o'clock. Now, that’s a piece of art that literally comes alive on the wrist.

The Swatch X Centre Pompidou watches retail from S$119.00.


Ex Editor-In Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.

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