Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins
Well things haven’t changed for me much over the last twenty years. I yearned for a Swatch watch when I was a boy, mind decease and I’m yearning for one now. I never actually got one – well, sickness visit web that’s what happens when you’re brought up in a mining village and there are more important things in life, here prostate like food, for example. Anyway, who cares? Swatch have recently launched their New Gent collection – a painfully sophisticated selection of watches for gentlemen who appreciate a discreet, slick timepiece with style.
Illustration by Antonia Parker
To celebrate the launch (and promote it, of course) the Swiss watchmakers have collaborated with some of the biggest fashion magazines to pitch stylists, photographers and fashion editors against each other. The result is a fabulous selection of shoots, published in said magazines, with readers given the opportunity to vote for their favourite.
Without any particular brief, the results are breathtaking and very, very different. Here’s a round up of my faves:
Wallpaper‘s ‘Hanky Panky’ shoot is inpired by the plight of 1970s gay casual-sex seekers to find an ‘appropriate’ match. A fascinating subject, I have actually no idea what the different placements mean (honestly, guv’nor – but Wikipedia does throw some light on the situation) but the team at Wallpaper, overseen by fashion director Sebastien Clivaz, have used the phenomenon to great effect.
This gent, on the left, apparently is a submissive gentleman who is fond of sexual practises such as fisting, piercings, S&M, military sex and masturbation only (somebody needs to make his mind up, love…) You can’t go wrong with a bit of camp cowboy styling.
I love love love Open Magazine’s vibrant colours and hint of eroticism. A pair of flexible friends writhe on top of each other in various poses (but this ain’t gymnastics).
The watches on the models go unnoticed, but this is rectified with backdrops of said watches, blatant in the background. And if that girl can really get a Swatch around her neck, she needs to eat more.
In a shock move, Vice‘s entry is a little subdued, but I love their stark shoot featuring up-and-coming musicians. Lots of different photographs feature, from different angles, with Jeremy Shaw, Polina Lapkovskaja and Hugo Capablanca sporting a couple of watches each…
Cleo’s option makes great use of wonderful illustrations. Chiho’s dreamy water-colours envelop their models, blending with body art influenced by the magazine’s Singaporean roots, photographed by Skye Tan.
Tom’s quirky offering is all about food. 6 models are pictured gorging on a selection of East Asian treats whilst nonchalantly wearing a variety of the watches. I really like the candid format and saturated colours of Dean Lee’s photographs.
I love WAD‘s quirky and eccentric shoot, featuring modern gentlemen in a mix of twee tweeds. These dandies wear a mix of Scandinavian and British tailored items. You don’t see much of the watches, but who cares? These photographs are great!
Kinki‘s offering is probably the most unique, and utilises coloured powders that have been splashed all over models’ faces. It’s a really conceptual shoot and stands out from the rest.
ID Magazine makes use of ‘streetstyle’ photography, using prolific fashion blogger Bryanboy and accessories designer Fred Butler as subjects. The layouts also feature this pair casually going about their businesses wearing armfuls of Swatch watches, as you do.
To see the rest of the entries and to vote in the competition, visit the Swatch website (where you can also check out some of the fantastic videos produced to accompany the shoots!)
- Swatch Watches Over the Rainbow and Be Black, designed by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel
- A Trip to Venice with Swatch
- Don’t Let Britta Filter Through!
- Gavin Bond: Music 21st Century Rock n’ Royalty
- Corinne Day 1965 – 2010