Among modern artists, few produced work more recognizable than Keith Haring. A pioneering purveyor of street art, Haring had experienced a remarkably productive period between 1978, when he arrived in New York City to study art, and his death in 1990. In that short time span, he made not only some of the most recognizable images of any artist of his generation, rising to fame in the process, but played an important role in raising awareness around AIDS, the disease that took his life at the age of 31. Haring and Swatch partnered on a limited series of watches in 1986, which are now among the most collectible Swatch watches ever made. Now, thirty-four years later, Swatch is once again working with Haring’s foundation, and has added a certain well-known cartoon mouse into the mix. These are sure to be collectible. Let’s take a look.
What we have here are three Mickey Mouse watches, a watch genre unto itself, but in the immediately recognizable style of Keith Haring. These, of course, are not original Haring designs, but have been created using his aesthetic, and have been signed off on by the Keith Haring Studio, lending the project the authenticity it needs. It should probably be noted that Swatch as a brand is known to have a tremendous respect for artists, collaborating not just with Haring, but with the likes of David LaChapelle, Kiki Picasso, and others over the years, providing art enthusiasts the opportunity to own original design work by notable artists for the price of a Swatch at retail (the secondhand market is another story).
There are a total of three watches in the collection. “Mouse Mariniere” is a smaller (34mm) watch dominated by a red and white striped dial. This watch is inspired by Mickey’s shorts, and features a black and white image of the mouse that is etched onto the crystal. “Mickey Blanc Sur Noir” is a simple portrait of Mickey’s face in the Haring, in black and white, with yellow skeleton hands to tell the time. “Electric Mickey” is a dramatic expression of Haring’s signature style of curved line-work, used to create a surreal Mickey image on the dial with solid yellow hands providing an accent. These latter two watches are in Swatch’s 41mm case. All feature quartz movements.
No pricing information is available at this time for the Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring collection, but they’ll be available via Swatch on January 7. If you’re a collector, be sure to keep an eye on the Swatch website for additional ordering information.