HONG KONG - In advance of the sale of Important Watches – Including The Dunkel Collection – Swatch & Art on 7 April in Hong Kong Sotheby’s Malcolm Cossons talked to Carlo Giordanetti Creative Director at Swatch.

A selection of Swatches to be offered in Hong Kong this month.

What is the secret to Swatch’s ongoing successful collaborations with artists?

I think you can sum it up three words: passion, freedom and consistency: passion for contemporary arts and for artists as people who have the power to make the world a better place; freedom of expression and for the ability to make each Swatch a different object; consistency in supporting artists in their mission, which we have done from the very beginning, in 1984 with the first Limited Edition Art Swatch by Kiki Picasso, to today with the amazing Swatch Art Peace Hotel project in Shanghai.

Who are you working with now?

We are developing a fantastic, fun and totally Swatch new project with Eva & Adele, and we are anticipating an amazing collaboration with Tobias Rehberger, and with Joana Vasconcelos. We will also be the main partner of La Biennale di Venezia 2015, and will bring a selection of artists from The Swatch Art Peace Hotel. 

Do you have a particular favourite collaboration from the past?

All of the projects with artists have been interesting and exciting experiences, and extremely enriching for me personally. A few of the unforgettable ones were: Nam Jun Paik, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Phil Collins, David Lachapelle, and more recently Mika. But as usual, the most exciting are yet to come!

If you could work with any artist from history who would you choose to create a watch with? Giotto, Michelangelo, Monet, Picasso, Warhol (who was a Swatch wearer of course!)?

I think it would have been fantastic to see what such a multifaceted talent as Leonardo da Vinci would have done with Swatch!

James Bond Leather Brief Case & James Bond Villains Set.

Having been involved in the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, what is the concept behind the hotel? How important is it for a company such as Swatch to support artists in this fashion?

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is an unprecedented and unique project: an historical building in one of the most iconic spots in Shanghai, completely renovated in full respect of its own heritage, and transformed into a space where artists from all over the world can express themselves in freedom and in peace. The project is built around ideas of a space for creativity and an ever-evolving and interesting collaboration model. It is a site with the power and potential to generate new communities, and in being able to host up to18 artists at any given time it should provide a new experience, be challenging and offer new points of view. Since the opening on November 1, 2011 more than 140 artists have worked there. On October 1, 2014, we celebrated its 3rd anniversary with the opening of Faces & Traces: an exhibition showcasing the traces left by all artists after their departure. It was a fantastic rich kaleidoscope of a show viewed by hundreds of visitors who witnessed firsthand the creative energy emanating from the project.  

Where do you go for inspiration?

Travelling and reading are major sources of inspiration, as well as a curiosity for the arts and any form of communication. But more than anything else: people, people, people.