Mickey Mouse Goes Pop With Swatch And Keith HaringWritten by Alvin Wong
Irresistible pop-art treatment from three giants of contemporary culture.
Although Swatch has never shied away from making watches with maximum mass appeal, it is certainly no opportunistic, bandwagon riding schmuck. Instead, the brand that is the horological equivalent of a Top 10 pop smash hit has always also opted to do so with a bit of quirky and out-of-the-box ideas; one of the most endearing – and enduring – being its collaboration with artists like Kiki Picasso and David LaChapelle.
This time, Swatch has commissioned the Keith Haring Studio for a collection of Mickey Mouse-themed tickers, depicting the iconic cartoon character with Haring’s trademark use of vibrant colours, repetitive lines and stylised shapes. In fact, this is the second Swatch collaboration with Keith Haring. The first was in 1986, when the artist designed four watches for the opening his Pop Shop in New York.
At once familiar and whimsical, the three Disney Mickey Mouse X Keith Haring Swatch watches brim with fun and pop art-edginess. The ‘Eclectic Mickey’ (S$283), shows Mickey Mouse on the dial, as if from an encounter from a fevered acid dream, rendered in Haring’s famous black and white line drawing style. There is also a maxi version of the watch, priced at S$745.
‘Mickey Blanc Sur Noir’
Just as exuberant is the ‘Mouse Marinière’ (S$149), sheathed in red and white, inspired by the colours of Mickey’s shorts. Those who fancy a more subtle Haring treatment, however, can check out the ‘Mickey Blanc Sur Noir’ (S$186) a neatly black offering with a portrait of Mickey on the dial, punctuated ever so slightly with skeletonised canary yellow hands and strap loop. Art gallery-inspired Mickey Mouse masterpieces fit for the wrist. Who’d have thought?
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.