NEW YORK and BIEL, Switzerland, Oct. 20, 2004 — Swatch, the innovative, trend-setting watch brand from Switzerland-based Swatch Group, the leading global watch corporation, has joined with MSN ® Direct, a division of Microsoft Corp., to launch a stylish and colorful new watch known as Paparazzi. With four new multicolored styles, Paparazzi offers wearers exclusive entertainment information and the opportunity to meet celebrities. In addition, Paparazzi owners can access the MSN Direct service to receive personalized information, including news, sports, weather, horoscopes, stock quotes and more.
Nick Hayek Jr. (left), CEO of Swatch Group, and actress Mischa Barton join Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to model the new "Paparazzi" watch line, which can access MSN Direct. New York, Oct. 20, 2004. Click image for high-res version.
The velvet rope just disappeared for Swatch Paparazzi wearers. They will be in the know before everyone else thanks to Swatch City, new, specialized content from Time Out on hot bars, cool clubs, hip locales and free events around town. Also unique to Swatch Paparazzi is the opportunity to register to win a Swatch Meet A Celebrity package.
Swatch Paparazzi offers consumers the chance to meet a celebrity from the worlds of business, sports, music and film. The Swatch Meet sweepstakes unfolds over the next six months and is available to buyers and nonbuyers of the Swatch Paparazzi alike. The first celebrity meetings featured in the Swatch Meet sweepstakes include a tour of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2005 with Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates; a training session with Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis; and a visit to the set of "The OC" with star Mischa Barton. More information about Swatch Meet is located at http://www.swatch.com .
Swatch Paparazzi represents the first Swatch Smart Watch offering automatic content out of the box. The following content is available to every Swatch Paparazzi buyer upon purchase: Swatch City, which offers entertainment news and national news headlines; local weather high and low temperatures; major stock indexes; Swatch Meet; and Swatch News, which relates brand happenings.
"Communication is very powerful. The information you share is one part and the way you communicate it is the other. Swatch Paparazzi offers a lifestyle of communication that is original and fun -- clearly a plus for the wearer," said Nick Hayek Jr., CEO of Swatch Group.
MSN Direct: Sophisticated Technology
MSN Direct offers Paparazzi wearers the ability to personalize channels of information including news, sports, weather, horoscopes, personal messages, calendar appointment reminders, stock quotes, lottery information and more. Subscribers to MSN Direct choose only the information they wish to receive on their watch by visiting the MSN Direct Web site at http://www.msndirect.com . Since MSN Direct was launched at CES in January, the amount of content offered by the service has doubled, and subscribers can choose from a range of pricing options to best fit their needs.
"The introduction of the Swatch Paparazzi watch represents a milestone for Smart Watches and MSN Direct. We are thrilled to work with an industry leader like Swatch to offer specialized content and stylish watches specially tailored for Swatch customers," said Bill Mitchell, corporate vice president of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft.
Of all the functions provided by Paparazzi, perhaps the most evocative is the opportunity to meet a celebrity. Through the Swatch Meet sweepstakes, wearers can register to win the chance to spend time with one of four celebrities representing the worlds of business, sports, music and film. The sweepstakes is scheduled to start Oct. 20 and will run for six months. One winner every six weeks will be selected at random and flown to meet the celebrity of the month, courtesy of Swatch.
About Swatch Paparazzi
The Swatch Paparazzi is available in four vivid colors including orange, red, black, and a blue and beige combination, and all sport an adjustable silicon strap. The traditional Swatch plastic case comes in a new chunky design and an extra-large size. Five function buttons recessed into the case allow the wearer to navigate and control the watch functions. The Swatch Paparazzi is waterproof and comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and a two-year warranty. Swatch Paparazzi retails for $150 at all 40 Swatch stores and is available online at http://www.swatch.com .
About MSN Direct
MSN Direct, part of the Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, is a specialized wireless service that combines technology and fashion to deliver customized and personalized information to people. Those interested in learning more about MSN Direct can visit http://www.msndirect.com .
Swatch is a member of the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch producer and distributor, with over 157 production sites in Switzerland. The Swatch Group is the official timekeeper and data-handling operator for the Olympic Games in Athens, Turin, Beijing and other cities.
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