Skagen x Basquiat Wrist Watch Collection: Earlier this year, Skagen announced a special edition in collaboration with the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the famous neo-expressionist artist who died in the late 80s at the age of just 27. Thirty-plus years down the road, then, how does this translate into an collection from Skagen?
The Basquiat cues
The most obvious inspiration here would be the crown that appears on the beaded bracelet, as well as on the caseback of the watch. This was almost an icon for Basquiat, and appeared in a number of his works. What about that dial, and the printed pattern on the locket? That’s actually directly from a 1985 painting, Now’s the Time, that not-that-long-ago sold for quite a bit of change. That title, and the text on the dial, is directly from a Charlie Parker tune of the same name. So, you can go about your day improvising (as a jazz musician) and deconstructing the way things should be done – ala Basquiat.
The Skagen x Basquiat ($155) is technically part of their Gitte collection. With it, you’ve got a slim 38mm case that houses the quartz movement, is topped with a mineral crystal, and features 18mm lugs. Rather than a regular two-hander display, you instead have two clear discs onto which golden pips are set. These discs rotate around, giving you the time at the two circles drawn from Basquiat’s work. It does take a little getting used to, finding those dots and then translating it in your mind. Once you get used to it, though, it’s a clever way to make a functional tool out of something that, really, is a piece of art.
Skagen x Basquiat Wrist Watch Accessories
When the Skagen x Basquiat was originally launched, it had a number of other components: a locket, a beaded bracelet, a ring, and earrings. We had the first two come in (as you can see from the photos), and as we look at the collection on the Skagen website today, it’s only the earrings left on offer.
Still, you may run across the others out there, so let’s talk about them. The bracelet ($65) is a simpler affair, with black beads on a black cord, and the metal hardware on the ends and the cinch being in black as well. This allows the crown – done in a gold town and mother-of-pearl inlay – to really stand out. It’s a simple, clean look, and a way to express an appreciation for Basquiat’s work.
The locket ($85), that is quite a heavy piece of jewelry. Fully metal, with the “Now’s the Time” art printed on both sides of the locket – one in black, and one side in white. So, you can adjust which side for whichever fits your look for the day. Inside, of course, you’ve got the spots to put a few photos. Just bear in mind, as this relies on friction to keep closed, you may see the that the locket can accidentally open itself.
Who’s the Skagen x Basquiat Wrist Watch Collection for?
The obvious answer here is that the Skagen x Basquiat is for those who appreciate the art of Basquiat, and likely aren’t about to own any of his original work anytime soon. Secondarily, fans of jazz could find a delight in the watch as well, being as it is inspired by Charlie Parker. Whatever camp you fall into, you can get the watch in a black dial (as we’ve reviewed) or with a white dial on a mesh bracelet. Pricing is the same for both – normally $155, they’re now on discount for $108.99. Check out the full collection over at skagen.com
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A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview. If you’re on Twitter and/or Instagram, you’ll find me there as @PatrickWatches.