In the eighties (a loooong time ago) wristwatches often acted as a status symbol (and they still do) but rarely as a pop-culture fashion statement until a Swiss company launched the Swatch brand of affordable, fun plastic watches in 1983, changing the industry forever. This shift in strategy was so critical to the company’s success that it changed its name to Swatch in 1998. Today the Swatch Group is the world’s largest maker of wristwatches–and it’s celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Swatch this year. 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.
Do not be fooled however: today The Swatch Group is much more than the original Swatch watches. The company’s brands actually covers every price point in the watch market from the low end (Swatch and Flik Flak) to the very high end (Omega, Breguet, … etc). 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: SWATCH Est. 1983 (SUOZ161). A New Gent, SWATCH Est. 1983 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 . 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. www.swatch.com