Swatch, the watch that saved the Swiss watch industry celebrates its 30th birthday

In the 1980s the future for the Swiss watch industry was not bright. Cheap Japanese quartz watches dominated the markets. With the launch of the first Swatch collection all the sudden Swissness again became a quality label.

The plastic watch Swatch proved that Swiss quality watches were not dead yet. In these days the Swiss watch industry slowly started to recover and label Swiss made again gained ground. The demand for both type of watches, mechanical and quartz, slowly started to increase…

So I think it is not wrong to say: The Swatch is a watch that changed the world and not only the Swiss watch industry.

On March 1, 1983, the first 12 models made their debut. Looking back now, they seem unlikely heroes, but events soon revealed their true identity: they were the avant-garde, the shock troops of a revolution named Swatch.

Today, after three decades of sly wit, audacious innovation, playful provocation and inexhaustible joie de vivre, Swatch has every reason to celebrate. Those first 12 watches from 1983 have been followed by millions, and now there is one that brings it all back to mind — the impossible, incredible story of Swatch:

To celebrate the first 30 years Swatch launches the new model Gent “SWATCH Est. 1983”. It features a transparent plastic case and strap and a skeleton dial offering a clear view of the movement within. Key components are highlighted in gold; on one, a golden driving wheel, the word CELEBRATE appears twice, in black. And printed in gold on a broad silver band are all those extraordinary years, from 1983 to 2013.

Let us look at the dial… Each year brings back memories of one or another fantastic Swatch watch: a POP, Scuba 200, heavy-metal Irony, colourful Gent, seductive Skin or high-tech Touch — not to mention those amazing creations by artists, athletes, fashion designers and — who could possibly forget? — the first Swatch watch you ever owned …




If you wonder what the poster does here, here is the explanation…

Italian artist Lorenzi Petrantoni has taken a giant leap of imagination back to 1983. His poster evokes a world filled with mind-bending events, a world where …

• Swatch launches the impossible watch: plastic, 51 parts, under 50 Swiss francs
• Rock stars Kiss perform live without make-up for the first time
• Michael Jackson’s Thriller sells 50 million copies
• Space Shuttle Challenger makes its first flight
• Star Wars: Return of the Jedi roars through cinemas around the world
• Return of the Swiss: Swatch makes 1 million watches in one year.





More from Alexander Linz
Interview with Peter Stas, Co-Owner of Frédérique Constant and Alpina @ Baselworld 2015
Peter Stas presented a connected watch with Frédérique Constant and Alpina. I...
Read More
0 replies on “Swatch, the watch that saved the Swiss watch industry celebrates its 30th birthday”