Huge collection of Swatch watches to go under hammer in Hong Kong

By Laura Mannering, AFP

HONG KONG–One of the biggest private collections of Swatch watches in the world will go under the hammer in Hong Kong this week and is expected to fetch more than US$1.3 million. Credited with breathing new life into the ailing Swiss watch industry after its launch in 1983, Swatch quickly became a cultural phenomenon with its multi-colored plastic designs and largely affordable price tags. The massive collection of more than 5,800 Swatch watches �X including limited editions by artists including Kiki Picasso and Keith Haring, as well as a James Bond 40th anniversary collection �X will be sold as a ��superlot�� at Sotheby’s on Tuesday. It is the pride and joy of Luxembourg-based Paul Dunkel, 68, who has spent more than two decades tracking down almost all the watches Swatch created in its first 25 years.

And it is clearly a wrench for the retired insurance broker to say goodbye to the collection. ��For me, it’s not possible to continue (collecting). It’s so much work. The young people must continue,�� he told AFP.