Swatch Art Peace Hotel Groundbreaking

The Swatch Group Ltd., the top producer of finished watches, and the Jin Jiang Group, one of China’s leading hotel and travel groups, held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China.

Nick Hayek, CEO of The Swatch Group Ltd. said in a statement that the hotel is a “symbol for the continuous development of the Swatch Group brands” throughout the world. “We continue investing heavily not only in our production facilities or our distribution network, but also into new innovative projects such as this one. This ceremony reflects the confidence of the Swatch Group in the solid future of all its brands, despite the turbulences on the financial markets.”

The South building of the historic Peace Hotel is located at Bund 19 at the intersection of Nanjing Road and the Bund, Shanghai’s former financial district and today its most famous landmark. The project is expected to be completed in 2009 prior to the Shanghai EXPO (May 1 till Oct. 31, 2010), where the hotel “will welcome the arts and working artists from around the world, becoming once again a focal point of Shanghai’s vibrant cultural life,” the Swatch statement said. 

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

During 2009, the Swatch Group will open to the public one of the most legendary buildings in Shanghai and in China, the Peace Hotel South Building. A joint-venture acquisition with the leading Chinese

Jin Jiang Group, a hotel and tour operator, holds a 10 percent share in the venture.