Starting in November 2019, Watches of Switzerland is hosting Sneaker Time, an exhibition that explores the current culture of collectability and rarity with 15 pairings of unique timepieces and iconic sneakers.
If you’ve ever felt guilty about your obsession with watches, you should definitely take a look at what’s been happening in the sneaker market. Shoe collectors, or sneakerheads, have to deal with impossible-to-get limited editions, waiting lists and occasionally counterfeit products. Sound familiar? Even worse, they don’t get to send in their pieces for a case refinish after a couple of years. The birth of sneakerhead culture dates back to the 1980s and can be mostly attributed to basketball, specifically to Michael Jordan and Nike’s Air Jordan line of shoes released in 1985, and the popularity of hip hop music (which, for example, had an immense impact on Adidas’s recent success, thanks to Run-DMC and the group’s single “My Adidas”). Last summer, a pair of 1972 Nike “Waffle” running shoes became the most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction, fetching $475,500 at Sotheby’s (who teamed up with sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods).
Enough reason for Watches of Switzerland to bring sneaker culture to its SoHo boutique (60 Greene St., New York City). Developed in collaboration with Hypebeast, a leading online platform for men’s contemporary fashion and streetwear, and the premier sneaker and streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods, the exhibition features combinations such as the impossibly rare Nike “Paranorman” (only 800 made and currently valued at $4,000+) paired with a radical new “Drop” watch (priced at $75,000) from HYT that takes the company’s skull model to an over-the-top colorful extreme. Pulling a page from the cult sneaker playbook, HYT created only five of this watch and “dropped” the first one at the “Sneaker Time” exhibition’s opening night party at Watches of Switzerland on November 7 (and running through December 2019). Other combinations include a Fragment x Air Jordan 1 concepted by the godfather of streetwear, Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, paired with the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Limited Edition timepiece, as well as an Adidas Originals Pharrell Williams Hu NMD paired with a Jacob & Co. Epic X Chrono HYPEBEAST Edition timepiece.
The Sneaker Time exhibition, which runs through December 2, 2019, debuted in the newly designed Lower Level of Watches of Switzerland’s SoHo flagship. With its custom built Death & Co. cocktail bar and exclusive library, the space has already become a hub for watch connoisseurs and collectors. To build on that, Watches of Switzerland brought in comfortable lounge seating and workspace for guests, while also introducing a series of exhibitions, installations and rotating pop-ups for smaller, emerging watch brands. The new Lower Level also now features an expanded collection of sought-after vintage watches.