Swatch Just Made Basquiat’s Masterpieces Even More Timeless

Jean-Michel Basquiat needs no introduction, and Swatch knows that, so the Swatch x JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Collection serves as a vibrant tribute to the game-changing contemporary artist.

This month marks the release of the fifth capsule collection of the Swatch Art Journey 2023, a project that focuses on the brand’s love of trailblazing artists through unique watch designs inspired by the artists’ work — naturally, Basquiat is part of the mix. Basquiat broke the boundaries of conventional art to put street art and its surrounding subcultures on the map and embraced it as an art form in itself, inspired not only by his Puerto Rican/Haitian roots but jazz, hip-hop, and his home of New York.

Three watches (titled after Basquiat’s pieces) make up the Swatch x JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Collection, filled with motifs, codes, and sketches from his existing works.

Hollywood Africans by Jean-Michel Basquiat channels the 1983 artwork of the same name. The dial of the bright yellow watch features the painting’s trio of figures, which depicts rap musician Rammellzee, painter Toxic, and Basquiat himself.

Ishtar by Jean-Michel Basquiat, named after the Mesopotamian goddess of fertility and war, combines text and Roman numerals on the black dial with the strap covered with historical references and faces pulled from the painting.

The last piece, Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat, has probably one of the artist’s most famous signs on it, the Basquiat crown. Standing boldly on the dial, the crown speaks for itself, while the watch’s final finishing touch is Basquiat’s signature on the bottom strap.

Edgy compositions and the fearless spirit of the artist himself are injected into the timepieces, so it almost feels as though you’re walking around the street with him on your wrist. If you’re undecided on which watch to get, the Swatch x JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT set might the be the way forward for you. These three watches have slightly different details to the main three, but the message is the same — Basquiat was a true genius.

Shop the Swatch x JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Collection here and in select Swatch stores.