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Swatch & Mathieu Mercier: a cool kaleidoscope of creativity and style
A profound appreciation for contemporary art’s endless innovations has long-since been part of the Swatch ethos. Since as far back as the mid-1980s, when the iconic Swiss watch and jewellery maker first began to collaborate with established and emerging visual artists from around the world, the resulting special collections, limited edition designs and one-off time pieces have always dazzled and delighted Swatch’s global enthusiasts. The Swatch & Art banner, under which these amazing collaborations continue to be regularly unleashed, confirms a noble commitment to creating and promoting ‘wearable art for the wrist’.
Swatch’s latest collaboration with internationally-acclaimed artist, Mathieu Mercier, plays host to an exciting convergence of the cerebral and visual dynamism always proposed by his own work, along with the technical expertise and superb attention to detail characterizing every watch ever made by Swatch.
Mathieu Mercier was born in 1970 and currently resides and works in Paris. Often finding inspiration in 20th Century European avant-garde utopias, his artistic output is pleasingly complex and rich in potential meanings, questioning and deconstructing the aesthetic codes found in areas such as architecture and design. Mercier’s sculptural installations and structures conjure up a fascinating dialogue between 20th Century art and design and mass produced objects from the present. During the past two decades, the artist’s work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group shows within prestigious galleries throughout France, as well as many other noted cultural institutions in locations across Germany, Korea, USA, Italy and Scotland.
Mercier’s New Gent watch design, named The Stone From Your Heart, has been produced in a sleek combination of solid plastic and silicone and is limited and numbered in an edition of 777 pieces, presented in special packaging. Within this special packaging, the watch is displayed upon an elegant circular construction in transparent burgundy-coloured plastic which has the same dimensions as a bangle, and can be worn as a beautiful piece of jewellery in its own right. The watch’s dial features a gorgeous, multicoloured kaleidoscopic print – which references work from Mercier’s own archive – and is surrounded by a solid black plastic 41mm case which is attached to a black plastic silicone strap. The overall effect is multi-faceted, ultra-modern and amazingly stylish.
Mathieu Mercier explains his design inspirations:
“I was very inspired by working with Swatch. I use the notion of time a lot in my shows, as well as clocks in my artworks. Time is fascinating because it escapes any attempts to understand it better. The more you run after it, the more it becomes abstract. The design chosen by Swatch came from a series of paintings I started in 2003. It is a kaleidoscope revealing the artificiality of our pictorial codes and cultural values. I love the simple design of the Swatch and I really consider this little plastic space as a museum.”