Swatch Group and Jin Jiang Group Sign Joint Venture

Swatch Group

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Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, and Shanghai, China, April 19, 2007. Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaker, and Jing Jiang Group, China’s leading hotel and travel group, announced they have signed a joint venture agreement. The Joint Venture, of which the Swatch Group holds ninety percent and the Jing Jiang Group ten percent, is focused on the development of the Peace Hotel South Building, one of Shanghai’s (and China’s) most celebrated monuments. The Peace Hotel is situated at the intersection of Nanjing Road and the Bund, the historic former financial district and Shanghai’s most famous landmark. Over the course of a long-term commitment to the historical heritage of the city and its cultural monuments, the Joint Venture will undertake to restore the South Building, located at Bund 19. Under the leadership of Swatch Group, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel project presents a unique concept of a retail environment and a hotel where only artists live and work. It foresees an international center devoted to contemporary art, culture and hospitality. Restoration work is expected to begin shortly and to finish by mid- 2008. On completion of the restoration, which will cost more than $US 30 million, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel will be opened to the public. The Joint Venture between Swatch Group and Jing Jiang Group will constitute a long term cooperation of at least twenty years between both parties.

The conceptual approach and objectives of the Peace Hotel project were presented by the Joint Venture partners: The South Building of the Peace Hotel, built more than a century ago in 1906, today enjoys protected status as a cultural monument. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel project calls for the historic building to be restored by experts in the field, with due respect paid to the cultural heritage of the building and its status as one of Shanghai’s most significant and well known monuments. The building’s facade and characteristic architectural features, including period ceilings and pillar decorations, will be restored to their original splendor; its interior will be adapted to accommodate a broad range of functions in accordance with its proposed role as a world-class center of contemporary art, culture and hospitality where art is the ultimate luxury.

A key point of the Swatch Group proposal calls for gifted artists from around the world, including China, to be invited to spend a limited period of time in the hotel, to work in open studios there, and to exhibit and offer at auction a representative selection of their art in the dedicated hotel venues. Once identified by a commission comprising international experts and members of the Joint Venture Board, the artists will be offered a chance to participate in the vibrant life of this unique artistic and cultural environment. Visitors to the Swatch Art Peace Hotel will be able to observe the artists at work. Exhibitions showcasing work by leading contemporary artists from China and abroad may be mounted on the 2nd floor. The top floor of the building will host an auction house in a multimedia space that can be used for auctions, movies, concerts, press conferences and various other public and private events. A restaurant is also planned for this floor. On the roof terrace, guests may admire a panoramic view of the city from the bar; one of the building's two trademark domed towers will serve as an exclusive "Love & Peace" setting for quiet candle-light dinners.

The Swatch Group’s close association with contemporary art and artists will be highlighted and complemented by a Swatch Art boutique and lounge and by the presence of numerous works of art on site. Dedicated boutiques on the ground floor will host the Swatch Group’s most prestigious brands, including Breguet, Blancpain, Omega and others. Each of the brand boutiques will be designed to complement and enhance the period decor and cultural ambience of the Peace Hotel.

Commenting on the proposal, spokespersons for the joint venture companies emphasized the project’s potential to contribute in a significant manner to the cultural and artistic development of Shanghai. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is expected to draw artists and visitors from around the world and to become the focus of considerable attention from the Chinese and international media. Artists and brands alike will benefit from their exposure to an international public at the most prestigious location in Shanghai, and it is hoped the new centre will serve as an open door to the world, a permanent invitation to engage in cultural exchange. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel project thus represents both a unique cultural heritage and a remarkable statement of Shanghai’s emerging role as one of the most exciting and influential of world cities today.



The Swatch Group Ltd 
Seevorstadt 6 
CH-2500 Biel / Bienne 
Phone +41 32 343 68 33

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