© 2019 by The Young Horologist

Why EVERYONE should own at least one Swatch...

February 2, 2019

All of you reading this will I am sure, have owned a swatch at some point in your life? I would hazard a guess at it being somewhere between the ages of 6 and 15? When you were presented with your first watch in its frosted plastic rectangular box, and you wore it every single day, getting the battery changed as and when. I imagine a lot of you, despite maybe having a fairly significant break in your Swatch ownership, probably own one now? All those years later. Whether its a cheap 34mm three hander, an elaborate chronograph celebrating the Olympics, or even a Sistem51 (A Hodinkee collaboration perhaps) I believe that Swatch really should have a place in everyones collection.  

 

But first, for those of you who are not familiar with Swatch (I was not before I did the research for this article!) lets have a brief history lesson about this legendary brand. Swatch was started in 1983 by a gentleman called Nicolas Hayek. Funnily enough it was started in retaliation against the 'Quartz Crisis' and the Japanese and Chinese trying to destroy the traditional Swiss mechanical watchmaking industry. The name Swatch came from a shortening of the phrase 'Second Watch'. This is because Swatches were and always have been intended as casual, disposable accessories, instead of tough, long lasting everyday watches. Swatch used quartz movements all the way up until 2013, and still do! However it was at Baselworld that year that Swatch introduced their first Mechanical watch, the Sistem 51. It will not surprise you to know this watch, and more specifically, the movement, are not at all traditional; keeping to the mantra of Swatch. It is a fully automatic movement, made and assembled entirely by machine, and composing just 51 parts. Hence the name. Although this means that come the point of it needing servicing that will be pretty tricky (as the case is completely sealed), this allows Swatch to differentiate itself from its stalwart quartz technology, whilst still sticking to its mantra of making casual, disposable accessories! These watches were, and still are, a massive hit! And have even sparked two collaborations between Swatch and a certain online watch publication called Hodinkee!  

 

If you have as much money as Hayek did, why not buy a worldtimer... instead of wearing FIVE watches at the same time... 

 

There are very few brands that have true legendary status, beloved by everyone. Swatch is definitely one of these, and these are a few of the reasons as to why I think that is... 

 

1. Inexpensive

 

If I asked a group of people to name me the cheapest watch companies in the world in terms of value, not build quality; I think two names would come out more than others. They would be Casio, and Swatch. This is one of the reasons why Swatches are so brilliant. Because a lot of them are powered by cheap Quartz movements, and come often in resin or plastic cases, this means that they are incredibly cheap! This means that no matter what your watch collecting budget may be for the month or year, the chances are for the price of a meal out for you and your other half, you could afford to buy a swatch of some description. 

 

                                  One of my favourite swatch models, clearly playing tribute to their Swiss heritage... 

 

2. INCREDIBLE variety 

 

Due to these fantastic watches being a) so inexpensive and b) so incredibly popular, it has meant that the range of models is just ridiculous.  At their core, Swatch have seven main ranges. Which compared to other watch companies, really does not seem like a lot. But when you consider the sheer volume of different variations within each of those sub-categories, the range of different styles they have becomes staggering. If you do not believe me please pause reading this article and go onto their website and have a quick look... I mean its not in the same league as the amount of 'Limited Editions' that Omega produce, but then again I cant think of another brand that presents the same level of value, as well as the same amount of variety as Swatch. Now it is impossible for my to give examples of all the varieties of Swatches available, but hopefully the photos throughout this article give you a rough idea. For me, the thing that I love so much about the variety that Swatch offers is that it is such an easy way of expressing yourself and accessorising an outfit or occasion. 

 

 

                                  If these four photos do not say variety to you, I do not know what will... 

3. Design 

 

Swatch watches, more than watches from any other brand, are true design icons, and even in some cases art forms. Over the years there have been so many collaborative pieces released with famous artists, or pieces inspired by famous architects, buildings, paintings, the list goes on! There is no other watch company in the world who takes a blank watch and slaps a piece of art on them. To paraphrase Swatches website, some people refer to swatch watches as 'a blank canvas on the wrist'. The neat thing here is that Swatch has taken art of out galleries, leaving the pretentiousness at the door, and put it on the wrists of ordinary people.  There have been a number of notable collaborations with artists over the years, the most recent being one of my favourites. This is the Mickey Mouse Collaboration with Damien Hurst. These watches went down like a house on fire, and it is easy to see why. 

 

                                  The most recent 'art collaboration', the Damien Hirst x Mickey Mouse project... 

                                  The two Hodinkee x Swatch Sistem51 collaborations... 

 

This was just a bit of a fun article this week geeks. Having worn my LRS (little Red Swatch) last weekend, it not only made me realise how much I love such a cheap watch, but how awesome they are as a brand. If you were not aware of how awesome Swatch are already, hopefully this article has given you some idea of how amazing this brand is. And if this article makes you go out there and buy one, even better!!! Send us photos as we would love to see what we might have caused! 

 

As always thank you for reading and continuing to support what we are doing. We have got some exciting things in the pipeline which you will start to hear about in the coming weeks. If you are not signed up to our mailing list, please sign up. Links to our social media's are on the home page, we put at least two photos up a day on our instagram and that is where we are most active, so follow us on there for regular content! 

 

Felix Arnold 

Editor and Co-Founder 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Brilliant watch to hand down to your children! 

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