Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Tempus Fugit and Swatch exhibition in Cite du Temps in Geneva

| By Frank Geelen | 3 min read |

Two weeks ago we told you about an art exhibition in Geneva. Not just an art exhibition, because there are probably many in the city of Geneva, but one related to watchmaking. Graffiti artist Magaldi Xavier exhibited his interpretation of mechanical movements in the Cite du Temps.

The exhibition of Magaldi Xavier has ended, but a visit to the Cite du Temps might still be a good idea… Tom Hanx, one of our valued readers, went there, wrote a report and made a lot of photos. Not only from the graffiti art, but also from some very rare vintage Swatch models.

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Cite Du Temps (City of Time) is a unique building in the heart of Geneva, a stone’s throw from the lake and overlooking the Jet d’Eau. Being in the middle of a bridge right where the river Rhone begins its journey from Lake Geneva, the building is also the venue for many horology related events. Locals seldom slow down, as the Geneva Electricity and Waterworks company has an office on the side of it; tourists are often looking the other way, at the lovely lake and surrounding buildings with famous brands on their top.

Many a brand have hosted parties and private viewings over the years, some making headlines like the anniversary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the failed robbery attempt. It is home to a permanent Swatch Exhibition, tracking the history of the brand from 1983 to present day. Those interested in the brand will be happy to know that (almost) all models are on display, categorized in year cabinets, including a few crazy rare prototypes, which have never been for sale.

As Monochrome already reported, the second floor hall recently invited watch and art afficionados to enjoy the small exhibition of Xavier Magaldi titled Tempus Fugit.

On a gloomy Saturday morning I packed my photogear and went to visit it. Cite Du Temps is open for visitors and easy on families – the cafe inside is a good place to enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee while waiting for the more passionate of the family to enjoy the exhibit. If you are lucky with the weather, there is also a sun deck attached to the bridge, so one can also enjoy the fresh air and the view.

Walking in the small hall on the second floor for the Xaview Magali exhibition, one might argue that this dislay is a personal statement more than anything else – you can see how the artist’s grafitti and watchmaking roots blended on the canvas. The earthy colors translate tradition and the watch detail sketches open the window to a watchmaker’s mind. It translates the soul of mechanical watches in a very appealing way making one wonder – which piece inspired this one? Is this the fusee chain a Lange und Söhne Pour le Mérite? Or a metaphore for the belts of a Devon Works?

Do you see resemblance with the sapphire dials of a Vacheron Quai De L’Ille here?

The Yin and Yang of a watch…

Hope you enjoyed this little tour – if you have questions, you can ask on twitter.

About the author: Based in Geneva freelancer, Tom Hanx is the onscreen alias of a passionate watch maven, who is following all things horological, trying to make sense of it all and buy a few watches in the process. Continuously working on his photography skills and watch knowledge, meeting new and exciting people in the watch world every day. You can find Tom Hanx on Twitter @Tom_Hanx

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