It was Philippe Starck who told Wettstein to call Enrico Baleri. “He’ll listen to you,” you can almost hear Starck urging. Baleri tells the story that he gave the young Swiss designer 24 hours to come to him with designs in hand. And show up he did, bringing thousands of ideas and sketches that reflected the working mind of a born designer and interior architect.
Very often a designer will show promise with a first design, but will usually follow with designs that are fashionable and trendy rather than solidly unique. This is not the case with Hannes Wettstein. His clarity and functionalism are his strongest points. He is truly a schooled designer who takes a rational approach with everything he does.
For Wettstein, it was the sleek and beautiful chair, “Juliette,” now a Baleri classic, that demonstrated his talent. His latest design for Pallucco, “Speedster,” stands out among the many armchair designs for its unique accessories for several Swiss companies. Clocks, watches, glasses, lamps, rugs and hardware have tempted his creativity as well. As an interior architect his projects in Switzerland and abroad include fashion and furniture showrooms, public spaces, bars and offices.
Wettstein is also known for his contribution to the watch company Ventura. Working in nitrogen-hardened titanium, Wettstein’s Ventura collection includes timepieces that look deceptively simple, although their design, engineering and performance are quite sophisticated.
Since 1991, Wettstein, who resides in Zurich, has been a professor at the Zurich Polytechnic.