The second international 'post-SARS-CoV-2' Swatch Club event took place on 09-MAR-2022 in Paris, France (the first one was in Rome in September 2021).
Swatch had invited 34 Club Pioneer and G&P members (contest winners) from all over Europe (Italy, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, ...) to celebrate the launch of the new Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection in Paris. At 9am, we met at the **** Little Palace Hotel in the Arts et Métiers district of Paris, just in walking distance to the Musée Centre Pompidou. It was great to see everyone again after a "much too long" break of club activities.
...and off we walked the 15 minutes to the Centre Pompidou. Lots of happy smiles while sharing stories about the last two Swatch-ful or Swatch-less years. So much has happened since then.
Click on the image to enlarge
At around 10am, Carlo Giordanetti (CEO Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai) was waiting for us at the entrance of the Centre Pompidou. He had already spent the day before (08-MAR) with the huge launch of the new #SwatchXCentrePompidou collection talking to media, VIPs, bloggers. Swatch was the first company to host a dinner in the building's iconic “caterpillar” walkway, offering unrivaled views of the French capital.
Carlo had to leave soon for another round of appointments with the media. A guided tour of the museum (5th floor) started soon, in four different smaller groups. All of this took place before the official opening of the museum, so it was a great time to explore the artworks in a quieter and not so busy environment. During the visit, we also saw the six different artworks that were used as a basis for the new Swatch X Centre Pompidou collection. It was fascinating to see the original artworks next to the Swatch watch. A lot of major and minor tweaks had been made so that the artworks "fit" on the canvas of a Swatch watch. This is a very creative approach in my opinion, highlighting the topic and theme of the artwork. Did you notice the very special date window on the Gent Carousel, By Robert Delaunay already? It is rare that a Museum has agreed to allow a change in the artwork....
Gent Portrait Of Dédie, By Amedeo Modigliani
Gaston Modot (1918) by Amedeo Modigliani (the original Portrait de Dédie is currently on loan to another exhibition)
Gent Carousel, By Robert Delaunay
Manège de cochons (1922) by Robert Delaunay
Gent Eiffel Tower, By Robert Delaunay
La Tour Eiffel (1926) by Robert Delaunay
New Gent Blue Sky, By Vassily Kandinsky
Bleu de ciel (1940) by Vassily Kandinsky
New Gent Red, Blue And White, By Piet Mondrian
Composition en rouge, bleu et blanc II (1937) by Piet Mondrian (Pieter-Cornelis Mondriaan, dit)
New Gent The Frame, By Frida Kahlo
"The Frame" ("Le cadre") (1938) by Frida Kahlo
Swatch Club had a special reserved room at the top of the museum for a lunch break. So I also used this break to have a look at the 4th floor of the Centre Pompidou for more Contemporary Art.
1024 Farben (350-3) by Gerhard Richter
Für Velimir Chlebnikow: Schicksale der Völker by Anselm Kiefer (very impressive!)
After the lunch break, the bus took us to the Swatch Megastore at Champs Elysées. Shortly after our arrival, a new shop decoration was unveiled...
The Megastore is currently being renovated, so only a fraction of the store is accessible at the moment. The new Swatch X Centre Pompidou Collection was available for sale, including the special free showcase box and black bag (when purchasing all six watches of the collection). No real event special / watch was available though.
It was great to see a special Swatch collector guest (Chantal) from Prague again! She was in Paris by coincidence...
The employee special watch for 2022!
At the end, we walked all 745 stair steps down from the second floor to the bottom. A great experience (it took a bit more than the advertised 10 minutes, though).
But the day was not over yet! A visit to Atelier Des Lumières was the last activity of the day. A wonderful location for a superb dinner, exclusively reserved for Swatch Club. What an experience!
A immersive and unique experience: You definitely should go and check it out yourself if you have not done so already. The artworks (by Cézanne and Kandinsky) truly "come to live". Here is a sample video, professionally filmed...
During the dinner, it was time for a bit of activity, eg. painting and recreating the artworks of the day (but blindfolded!).
So this was only one day but a hugely packed day in Paris. A truly memorable experience! Thanks a lot to the team of Swatch Club for the invitation, we enjoyed it a lot! It was a blast, especially seeing everyone again after such a long break... I truly hope that the next event will be sooner than the last one before :-)
Andreas Wiethoff, 12-MAR-2022