Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Forever Young... I wanna be forever young...... (Swatch Irony)

It's a Swatch...... Swatch Irony Chrono Blue

History and background on Swatch 
(Summarised from Wikipedia and Collectors Weekly article "Swatch Wristwatches)

The name "Swatch" is a contraction of "Second Watch". All the while, I thought Swatch stands for Swiss Watch. Swatch was ETA's answer to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers during the aggressive growth of Japanese companies such as Seiko and Citizen in the 1960s and 1970s and to re-popularize analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity.

ETA's approach was affordable wristwatch that could be mass produced, even if that practice went against the very tradition of Swiss watchmaking, in which timepieces were assembled by hand. To keep up with the competition in Asia, ETA got its quartz movements down to thicknesses of 1.98mm, then 1.68, then 1.44. As it turned out, these technological achievements paved the way for the Swatch.

The Swatch was unique to Swiss watchmaking in a number of ways. First, it used fewer parts, 51 compared to 99, with 29 components instead of 55 used in the final assembly. Second, once assembled, the watch would not be repaired. Except for the battery, it was a closed system, so reliability was key. Compared to conventional watches, a Swatch was 80% cheaper to produce by fully automating assembly and reducing the number of parts. Finally, the watch used inexpensive materials—hard plastics for the cases, soft jelly-like plastics for the wristbands.

And then there was the branding. Swatch deliberately targeted their new product to a new generation of customers. Swatch was introduced with a new concept of watches as casual, fun, fashionable, and relatively disposable accessories. The launch of the Swatch watches in March 1983 was marked by bold new styling, design and well-orchestrated marketing. Swatch also has vast variety of designs to capture each and everyone's heart. 

Knowing me... knowing you....

This is my first ever Swatch. I have never been a fan of Swatch watches, maybe I am a little bit too old schooled. The problem with me, when come to Swatch, is it is disposable. Swatch watches are not mean to viva forever. It has a life span. The most after 10-15 years, it will no longer in working condition. You need to throw it away and buy yourself a new one. You can't repair it, no matter how much sentimental moment you have with that Swatch of yours. I love to cherish the wonderful moment with my watches. For example, Ya I wore this Rado Diastar original during my convocation; or I wore this watch while timing my wife's first labour contraction; I was wearing this Omega Speedmaster while being issued a ticket by traffic police..... 

Then why a Swatch in my collection???? Ahemmmm actually I bought more than just one that incident night. I even bought a Swatch Automatic, but that will be in much later post. Apparently a Swatch watch collector who want to migrate to Australia, need to dispose off his collection of more than 300 Swatch..... He was selling very very cheap. The one I posted here, I bought it for RM120. Apart from Swatch, I also bought 3 Seiko Quartz chronographs from his collection. All his collections were new old stock. All comes with box and signed papers. 

This is a handsome looking, battery operated chronograph. This watch was named Telly with product number of YCS4020. It was designed in 2003 and was released as 2004 Spring Summer Collection. The high contrast between the matt finish aluminum case, black dial, white hour hands and red second/ sub-second hands make it stands out among the peer. Apart from chronograph function, the watch also has a date and a tachymeter. This watch used the 4 jewels ETA G10.211 movement. The same movement is used in Tissot Quartz Chronograph like the PRS-516 and PRC-200. ETA movements have always been associated with superb accuracy and durability. The watch is water resist to 3 Bar. The advantage of Swatch, it is very light weighted and is mainly made of plastic. So those with severe metal reaction, can seriously think of Swatch. 

Yeap, the battery is outside for easy replacement. You no need a watchmaker to replace your battery. All you need is a 20 cents coin.

The blue strap is soft and highly flexible which make the watch very comfortable to wear. With Swatch you enjoy the built quality of Swiss, but paying the price of Asian made watches.

Revised Photo November 2017

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