Robert & Durrer Exhibition Winterthur 2011



Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, 28-AUG to 23-OCT-2011

From 28-AUG to 23-OCT-2011, a great Swatch related exhibition took place at the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur in Switzerland:  The Swiss designers Jean Robert & Käti Robert-Durrer presented their design work from the last 30 years.  Unbeknownst to many Swatch collectors (even for us hardcore collectors :-) is the fact that Jean Robert and Käti Robert-Durrer were responsible for the product appearance and the design of the Swatch collections during the years 1983 to 1989, so they both were really one of the major factors for the success of the Swatch watches in the 80s!  They have designed about 360(!) Swatches which went into production and more than 1000(!!) Swatch watches in total (some models never made it into the shops, see some examples below).  So now, we finally know who designed all those great 80s Swatch watches such as X-Rated, Nautilus, Grey Memphis, etc. etc!

Jean Robert and Käti Robert-Durrer have also worked for other well-known Swiss Brands such as Fogal (for about two decades!) and Hanro (Carla Bruni used to model for Hanro in the 80s!). And for many other clients such as several museums in Winterthur, Zürich etc.

I was lucky enough to attend the finissage of the exhibition on 23-OCT, so here are some impressions from the event:


A walk through the exhibition with an introduction by Claude Lichtenstein (curator from Zürich) and later with more detailed comments by Jean Robert and Käti Robert-Durrer:


Käti Robert-Durrer and Jean Robert

And as pictures speak much louder than words, here are some detailed pictures from the Swatch section of the exhibition.  I'll leave it to you to discover the prototypes and variants!


These are the actual design sheets for the watches!  GREAT stuff....


I wonder if an "F-Rated" Swatch would have been as popular, probably not :-)


"special models for the press and different events"


Unfortunately, the Original Jelly Fish is quite yellowed :-(


"different designs, not produced"


One of the reasons that some models were never produced was "cost of production was too high".  Only for X-Mas specials there was a budget for a more complicated/expensive model.  So this is possibly the reason that the following watches were not realized:


"6 presentation designs, one model chosen and produced" (I don't recognize one... :-)



Jean Robert and Käti Robert-Durrer were so friendly (and patiently) to sign a few of my 80s oldies :-)


some snippets from the Swiss press

A great and unique exhibition that really was worth the trip to Winterthur! 

Update 06-DEC-2016:  Jean Robert passed away in DEC-2016 at the age of 71.  I think that I know who took the picture in the newspaper report...

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