Time for freedom
Swatch honours the creation of the new Human Rights Council with an exhibition in the Cité du Temps

(Geneva, 12 July 2006)

Swatch is honouring the creation of the new United Nations Human Rights Council with a special exhibition in Geneva's Cité du Temps from 12 July to 1 September 2006. Stimulating public awareness of the importance of human rights is a series of thought-provoking images from eight photographers. They interpret the content of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in diverse styles, depicting individuals and situations from all over the globe. A personalised message from Kofi A. Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, describes the role of the Human Rights Council.

To celebrate the first session of the Council, held in Geneva on 19 June 2006, Swatch paid tribute to the work of the United Nations with a special watch. The blue Human Rights Swatch features a large number 19 in white. This symbol refers not only to the historic birthday of the Council, but also to the 19th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specifically addresses the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The watch is the first of a series of Swatch watches designed to stimulate continuing awareness of human rights. Swatch will donate a percentage of the proceeds from sales of these watches to projects dedicated to the protection of human rights.

The relationship between Swatch and the U.N. began in 1992 when Nicolas G. Hayek, President and Delegate of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group, was one of the first people outside the world of politics to give an address in the General Assembly in New York. This event also marked the launch of the "environmental protection" Swatch for the environmental summit in Rio. In 1995, Swatch dedicated a model christened Unlimited to the 50th birthday of the U.N.. Proceeds from the sales of these two watches have gone to a U.N. foundation for environmental, educational and communications projects for youth around the world.

The Pont de la Machine is at the heart of Geneva and has been one of the city's landmarks since the 1840s. It was originally built to supply water to new public fountains but through the ages has become a symbol of the city's industrial development. Since 2005 the building has been in the hands of the Swatch Group and houses the Cité du Temps, a unique, interactive venue for permanent and guest exhibitions. It is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm.

For further information:

Cite du Temps
Susanne Strombom
Tel. +41 22 818 39 00

  Swatch Ltd.
Katy Jolidon
Tel: +41 32 343 9819