In the 1980s Swatch, then a largely unknown Swiss brand pushed back the attack of Japanese quartz timepieces on the that country’s analogue watch industry with their colourful plastic watches which went on to become an iconic fashion accessory around the world. The success of these quartz timepieces helped Swatch become one of the largest watch groups in the world over the next two decades, and ironically, also fuelled the comeback of the Swiss mechanical watch industry.
Swatch’s new 1983 Sistem51 relives the tradition of the first historic watch. It is made from exactly the same number of parts as the original – 51, but from bio-sourced materials extracted from the seeds of the castor plant. The watch is machine-assembled, and all the parts are held together with just one screw. As a result, it cannot be opened or repaired. Even the packaging is eco-friendly, made from paper foam, a material sourced from a mix of potato and tapioca starch.
Here’s our video review.