Swatch Partnered With Chinese Designer Uma Wang Earlier This Year
Following previous collaborations with designers like Jeremy Scott, Manish Arora, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Shanghai’s Uma Wang, artists Keith Haring and Kiki Picasso, and musical artist Moby, the art-obsessed Swiss watchmaker Swatch has rolled out another artsy timepiece — this time with Ji Weiyu and Song Tao of “China’s Hottest Photographic Duo,” Birdhead (鸟头).
The latest addition to the Swatch & Art series, Birdhead’s collaboration, the “New Gent Ma-jestic Bird” appropriates a black-and-white print from the Shanghai-based pair’s book, Birdhead 2006, Xin Cun. Priced at HK$800 (US$103), the New Gent is limited and numbered to 1,888 pieces, of which only 40 pieces are available at the Swatch Flagship Store in Hong Kong’s Central district. Featuring a monochromatic wristband and face with quirky orange hands, the New Gent encapsulates Birdhead’s ongoing preoccupation with the medium of photography and the various ways in which photographic processes can explore and document the passing of time.
From Birdhead, via the Wanderlister:
Photography is Birdhead’s major creative medium. Our work is based on shooting numerous photographs inspired by our daily lives, and we strive to understand ‘the meaning of time’ implied by photography. From the moments we shoot the images, to the process of developing the negatives, enlarging film in the darkroom, and through the printing of the actual photographs, we explore the notion of time elapsing.
As Jing Daily noted last year, Swatch has made a massive marketing push in China in recent years, lending its name to the restored Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai and choosing the city over New York, Paris or London for the global launch of its Kidrobot collection last summer.
Moreover, Swatch’s interest in partnering with Chinese artists in particular is a trending tactic seen employed by many brands in recent years, among them Absolut, Ruinart, Johnnie Walker — which has previously worked with director Jia Zhangke on two “Yulu” campaigns and with artist Ma Liang on its recent Moon Festival campaign — and Coach, which collaborated with artist Zhang Lan on a limited edition “Year of the Dragon” collection earlier this year.