Historical Swatch Auction

Schmid&Muller Keith Haring Serpent

On November 10, Sotheby’s Geneva held an auction of important watches headlined by the Schmid & Muller Collection, a massive stockpile of timepieces, watch components and design maps dating from the earliest days of Swatch design. Marlyse Schmid and Bernard Muller, two designers who played critical roles in the artistic development of the brand, which arose partially in response to the quartz crisis of the 1970s, accumulated the watches during the 1980s. The collection is comprised of nearly 1,000 watches that were all created during the early years of Swatch, including close to 380 prototypes. Some of the watches even date from a period before Swatch watches were commercially available, making them especially rare, and many of the models and variants had never before been seen on the market. Also auctioned off were pieces by high horology brands including Rolex, Patek & Cie and Bovet Fleurier.

“The pieces which make up the Schmid & Muller Collection are of huge significance,” said Pedro Reiser, department manager for Sotheby’s watch department in Geneva. “This completely unique and historic selection of timepieces, components and designs map out the creative process during the fascinating early years of Swatch.”