Swatch collection fetches $1.8m

Swatches designed by Kiki Picasso (above) and Keith Haring (left) were part of the collection that was auctioned on Tuesday.
Swatches designed by Kiki Picasso (above) and Keith Haring were part of the collection that was auctioned on Tuesday. PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Swatches designed by Kiki Picasso (above) and Keith Haring (left) were part of the collection that was auctioned on Tuesday.
Swatches designed by Kiki Picasso and Keith Haring (above) were part of the collection that was auctioned on Tuesday.

ZURICH• • A collection of almost 1,000 Swatch timepieces fetched 1.3 million Swiss francs (S$1.8 million) at a Sotheby's sale in Geneva on Tuesday, the second seven-figure auction of watches this year by the inexpensive Swiss brand.

The lot, which includes almost 380 prototypes, sketches, cases and dials, was offered by Marlyse Schmid and Bernard Muller, who were early designers for Swatch in the 1980s, the auction house said.

Sotheby's estimated that the lot would fetch more than 1 million francs.

The success of Swatch Group's namesake brand, a mass-market plastic watch that kept factories running, helped revive the Swiss watch industry after it faced a loss of 60,000 jobs in the 1970s and 1980s.

The industry had underestimated the threat of quartz watches, which were cheaper and more exact.

In April, a collection of more than 5,800 Swatch watches went under the hammer for HK$46.7 million (S$8.6 million) in a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong. That lot included pieces of Swatch-related artwork by Keith Haring.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'Swatch collection fetches $1.8m'. Print Edition | Subscribe