As established leaders in the Swiss watchmaking industry, Breitling and the city of Grenchen have their finger on the pulse. And now they are adding color to the equation. With a large-scale graffiti project by the Swiss artist Fabian “BANE” Florin, which is inspired by the meticulous work of watchmakers, they are adding a new highlight to the impressive number of public artworks in Grenchen.
Street art in Grenchen rivals that of a big city. Numerous murals reflect the youthful spirit of the city, which has been recognized by UNICEF as a child-friendly municipality. “For a city of its size, the amount of public modern art is perhaps quite unique,” says François Scheidegger, the city’s mayor. “As a hot spot for technology and industry, Grenchen offers many opportunities and sources of inspiration for street artists. We deliberately want to enrich the city with urban art as a way to highlight its cosmopolitan and modern character.”
Grenchen made a name for itself as a city for watchmaking and has been home to Breitling since the 1980s. The brand has now made an indelible mark on the city with an impressive graffiti created by the popular Swiss graffiti artist Fabian “BANE” Florin as a monument to the industriousness of watchmakers. The work of art is about 100 meters long and 4 meters high and can be found in Léon Breitling-Strasse, adjacent to the brand’s headquarters. The artist was able to experience the work of watchmakers firsthand at Breitling. “Many people are involved in the process of making a watch, and I was impressed by their precision and smooth cooperation. I thus chose the ant as a symbol for all the hardworking people who have shaped and are continuing to shape the watchmaking industry.”
Breitling was immediately taken by the idea. “Street art stirs up emotion,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “It’s a perfect fit for Breitling and the inclusive, casual lifestyle the brand stands for. We therefore genuinely wanted to support the city we choose to call home in this creative project and use the prize money received from the Solothurn Entrepreneurs Prize 2020 to transform our immediate surroundings into a place for encounters. And we love the outcome!” In addition to the graffiti, the project also involves the extensive greening of Léon Breitling-Strasse with exclusively native plants and materials. The plants were deliberately chosen so that blooming occurs gradually and will reach its full splendor in the spring.
The unveiling of the new mural will also provide a taste of the upcoming G-Town Graffiti Festival, which premiers on July 9 and will help enrich Grenchen’s collection of street art with more spectacular works in the years to come.