Big News: Swiss watch makers Swatch and Kidrobot – the world’s premier designer and retailer of limited edition art toys and apparel – have joined forces to create a unique collection. Kidrobot for Swatch is a collection of eight watches – in the classic Gent Original format – each accompanied by a complimentary Dunny (a collectible bunny-like vinyl toy).
The watches and accompanying 3inch/7.6 cm Dunnys were custom designed by eight artists from widely varying backgrounds around the world – Frank Kozik, Jeremyville, MAD, Tilt, Tara McPherson, SSUR (Ruslan Karablin), Gary Baseman and Joe Ledbetter.
The artists and their designs:
Frank Kozik: Swatch-Ski Instructor
Despite admitting he can neither ski nor play tennis, Spanish-born artist Frank Kozik compensates for this with his work, which is always graphically compelling. Originally making his name by creating full-colour silk screened posters for various legendary rock bands of the 90s, Kozik rose to the challenge of collaborating with Swatch with his usual energy and creativity. “I wanted to make the designs as clean as possible,” he explains. Kozik’s sense of humour jumps off the dial of his bright yellow Swatch-Ski Instructor, which shows a moustachio’d white Dunny with hard, black eyes. Frank’s Dunny also comes in a special 20-inch high version.
Jeremyville: Swatch-The So Far Away
Dividing his time between two studios – in New York’s SoHo and Bondi Beach in Sydney – Jeremyville is an artist, product designer and author of international repute. In addition to writing Vinyl Will Kill in 2003, the world’s first book on designer toys, he has exhibited in the US, France, Beijing and Italy. Jeremyville’s design for Swatch features a character named Ibbity Pop – featured in his forthcoming book, The So Far Away, which features a lost pet in a different part of the world and time zone. The watch is appropriately called Swatch-The So Far Away.
MAD: Swatch-Shout Out
With over 13 years of experience as a professional illustrator and toy designer, Kansas-born MAD boasts an impressive resume filled with collaborative projects for global brands as well as promotions, packaging and character designs. He constantly develops unique toys, T-shirts and art. “With all the craziness being thrown at us in the world, sometimes words aren’t enough,” he explains about his designs for Swatch. “Sometimes you just need to scream. This design pulls elements from my various illustration artwork and transforms it into an overall pattern that we can all relate to at times.” Swatch-Shout Out reacts in wordless, but expressive protest to the craziness of the world around us.
Tilt: Swatch-Love Song
Born in Toulouse, France, Tilt has been a self-confessed graffiti fetishist since his teens – daubing his debut tag on a skateboard ramp before making his mark on local trains and streets. Now based in New York, his paintings are influenced by his extensive travels and exhibited all over the world. They routinely feature ‘bubbly’ curvaceous forms inspired by his love of beautiful women. Tilt’s design for Swatch “illustrates the lyrics of a famous French rock band form the 80s called Telephone – the story of a man who wants to go to NYC with the girl he loves.” Tilt’s work for Swatch is called Swatch-Love Song.
Tara McPherson: Swatch-The Eyes are Watching
“Taking one of the coolest characters from my Gamma Mutant Space Friends, Carina the 3-Eyed Space Kitty, and putting her on the watch was a perfect fit to me,” says New York-based artist, Tara McPherson, when discussing her collaboration with Swatch. Famed for her internationally exhibited work – which explores people and their quirky ways – the characters she paints exude stylised innocence combined with steely wisdom. Her watch for Swatch, called Swatch-The Eyes are Watching, presents a pensive and observant kitty.
SSUR©: Swatch-Tic Tic Boom
Russian-born artist and designer, SSUR© (real name Ruslan Karablin) is based in New York where his work – despite no formal training – has been well respected in the city’s art and design scenes since he first began to make waves there in the late 1980s. He cites “responsibility, respect, tolerance, justice and peace” as his recurring creative themes and drew further topical inspiration from “politics and protest, current events and camouflage patterns” when realising his concept for Swatch. All these elements find expression in his evocative Swatch-Tic Tic Boom.
Gary Baseman: Swatch-Midnight Magi
Fashion, toys, magazines and TV have long been rich resources of inspiration for pop culture-obsessed artist Gary Baseman. Both his raw-yet-playful illustrations for Cranium and the Emmy-winning Teacher’s Pet have unleashed this LA-based talent’s otherworldly and humorous aesthetic into the public consciousness. For Swatch, Baseman cites his self-created character of The Midnight Magi as the catalyst. “The Midnight Magi is always in the shadows,” he reveals, “restraining your darkest nightmares from destroying your sweetest dreams…”. His watch for Swatch is called Swatch-Midnight Magi.
Joe Ledbetter: Swatch-Bengali
“Taking such an iconic design as the Swatch watch and turning it into a lovable character was a challenge and great thrill,” says LA artist Joe Ledbetter. Having formerly worked as a graphic apparel artist, Ledbetter began honing his distinctively mischievous and upbeat painting style back in 2003 and has since exhibited his work extensively in prestigious galleries around the globe. Influences typically include classic animation, graphics, trips to the zoo, nature documentaries and his two cheeky pet cats –His Swatch-Bengali is characteristically light-hearted.
The eight Kidrobot for Swatch models are only available at selected Swatch retailers – either separately, in which case each model comes with its complementary Dunny, or as part of a special Kidrobot limited and numbered edition of 300 sets. Each set comprises the eight Kidrobot watches in the collection and its matching Dunny. Kidrobot for Swatch will be available in Swatch stores nationwide in September.
Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!
We’ve got 2 Kidrobot for Swatch watches (including Dunny) to be won plus a Swatch voucher to give away – that means there’ll be THREE very lucky winners.
All ya gotta do is enter through the form below. Good Luck!
Oops! We could not locate your form.
Deadline for entry is 5pm this Friday the 9th of September.
The competition is only for those living in South Africa.
Connect with Swatch South Africa on facebook, HERE.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Ferdinand de Bruyn – Kidrobot for Swatch watch and Dunny
Andre Pereira – Kidrobot for Swatch watch and Dunny
Louise Peacock – Swatch voucher
Congrats! Swatch SA will be in touch shortly!