Swatch single-handedly saved the Swiss watch industry during the so-called ‘quartz crisis’ in 1980s.
And since its inception in 1983, the Swatch Group has grown into one of the world’s leading watch companies.
It owns Tissot, Omega, Longines, Rado and Breguet among others.
The brand itself has launched dozens of new models every month since 1983.
Some of these were serious watches, some were funky and some were downright mad. And that’s why we love them.
It’s a long list and features vegetables, lightning bolts and geometrical figures, and I thought it’d be interesting to put together five of Swatch’s craziest ever releases.
1. Swatch x Alfred Hofkunst ‘One More Time’ (ref. PWZ100, PWZ101, PWZ102) – 1991
Designed in the early 1990s by Austrian artist Alfred Hofkunst, the Swatch PWZ100, PWZ101 and PWZ102 – sometimes called the ‘Swatchetables’ are inspired by a sliced cucumber, a pepper and a (sunny side up) egg + bacon.
It’s hardly wearable, and yet the collection became iconic.
The collection is hard to find in the pre-owned market these days, and it’s pricey, usually priced at $500 or more.
2. Swatch Halloween Special ‘Hot Stuff’ (ref. PMB103) – 1995
Swatch regularly releases new models for Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Halloween and they’re always interesting.
This particular piece, dubbed ‘Hot Stuff’, was launched in 1995 for Halloween and it features an arrow-shaped strap and a little devil on the dial.
Unlike other timepieces in the list, it is relatively easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
At the time of writing, there’s one available on eBay, priced at $65 + shipping costs.
3. Swatch x Jeremy Scott Lighting Flash, Winged Swatch and Swatch Opulence (ref: SUOZS02) – 2011
Exclusively available as a three-piece collection back when it was launched in 2011, the Swatch x Jeremy Scott ‘package’ featured three intriguing timepieces – all three with their quirky and unique features – from the watch with ‘wings’ (literally) to the Lighting Flash, the one with the lightning bolt-shaped strap.
I managed to find a full-set collection on eBay, priced at around $830. Ouch.
4. Swatch ‘Orb’ by Vivienne Westwood (ref. PWZ104) – 1992
A decadent, elegant timepiece, coming in with an ark on the dial and a papal and British royalty cross on top of the case as well as on the Pokémon Orb-shaped box.
It was first revealed in 1992 and is, by definition, a collectible item.
I don’t see why, or how anyone would actually wear this.
I’ve found a few as-new models on eBay, the cheapest of which is available starting from around $170 (auction).
5. Swatch ‘Dodecahedron Collision’ (ref. SUOZ144S) – 2012
This dodecahedron-shaped thing was launched ten years ago, it is limited to 777 pieces and it’s a lot smaller than it looks in the picture, measuring ‘just’ 41 mm.
It is also the most expensive watch in the list.
It’s still technically available from the Swatch.com website but when I tried to go through with the transaction, the website would get stuck, which makes me assume they simply forgot to remove it or kept it there for ornamental purposes only.
It’s available on eBay though, priced around $1,300.