Paco arriving in style!
Afterwards, we had a nice dinner at the
hotel. During the dinner, Skander (head of Swatch The Club)
introduced the new gold members to our group. Eleven new gold
members had been selected (out of approx. 250 applications!).
Unfortunately, only five gold members could make it to Venice.
Here is new gold member Pedro from Portugal with Antonio and Skander
from the Club:
One new gold member even flew in from
South Korea! Among the six new gold members who were not in
Venice were collectors from Brazil, South Africa, Italy, and other
Later, Skander announced the procedure for
the traditional Swatch kiosk: A long rope with 99 little locks
was affixed near a window. Each collector had to pick 'his' lock
with the little key that we had received before at the welcome
desk. Each lock carried a little number so we then knew our
'position' for the kiosk queue...
And finally, before dessert, it was time
to unveil the new Gold & Pioneer
Event 2009 special called Golden
Groove (GZ206). Enid from Swatch The Club explained the
details to us:
As in the last years, it is a special and
unique swatch. This time, it is a
black gent Golden Groove
in a black plastic packaging with gold imprint. On the back of
the strap, the watch has an imprint
"Gold & Pioneer Event 2009". Production code is "922", so
it was made in the last week of May, 2009! The swatch is limited
only 200 pcs, numbered xxx/200 on the packaging. Each watch
and packaging is unique as little gold splatters were 'splashed' on the
watch and packaging:
On monday morning, we left early for a
looooong bus ride to (surprise!) Croatia. This was a trip of
about 240km, passing through three countries (Italy, Slovenia,
Croatia). So you ask: Why on earth a bus trip to
Crotia? The reason was the Swatch kiosk: Due to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances
(ROHS) Directive, it is not possible any longer to sell older Swatch
watches in the European Union (EU). So Swatch had to bring both
watches and collectors outside of the EU :-)
After about two hours or 150 km of our bus ride, we made a stop at the nice Castle of Duino. This castle has a long and interesting history and is nowadays the private residence of the Princess della Torre e Tasso (von Thurn und Taxis). Among others, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke lived there for several months.
queueing for a welcome drink
After enjoying the beautiful view, we got a small introduction by the Princess della Torre e Tasso:
Two more hours on the bus later (and some
time waiting at the slovenian / croatian border), we arrived in Umeg,
Croatia, at the Kabola winery
which was reopened a few years ago by Marino Markežić.
Cold drinks, snacks and other refreshments
were waiting for us while the gold & pioneer members entered the
swatch kiosk during the afternoon.
If you are curious about more details from
the kiosk, you can check out a few pictures at www.swatch.stawi.de.
Lazing on a sunny afternoon... (we had a little rain later :-)
After the kiosk was over and all
collectors needs were satisfied, the buses took us to the beautiful
harbour of Novigrad. We had a very
nice dinner at the harbour restaurant.
...shopping for something bigger and faster than Swatch?
After the dinner, the buses took us back
to Venice (about four hours bus ride again), and we arrived at about
1:30am in the morning. I am not sure if this long bus rides make
sense (probably not), so I hope that next years Swatch kiosk will be
closer to the event location. That probably means that the
G&P event will have to take place in Switzerland (ROHS...).
This would not be too bad in my opinion (and would save Swatch a lot of
hassle transporting the watches etc.)
to read part 2 ("Walking through Venice and CreArt
press conference") of my Venice report.
Back to Stay tuned to Swatch.