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Swatch Stories

The new Plastic Chronos from Swatch

Most people I know have a Swatch story. A stylist friend of mine had the ’80s Pop Swatch, the one that detached from its band and became a button. My grandmother always wore a white one, which translated effortlessly from the golf course to the bridge table. An actress I know took her obsession the furthest. In addition to her own collection of Swatches, she’d constantly gift them to family and friends. Their distinct personalities made them life markers in the same way that a certain perfume or dress defines an event or era.

The highbrow to mainstream to counter-culture appeal of the Swiss timepieces comes from their sophistication—a result of clean design and European heritage—their versatility and their attainability. There is always an element of fashion via artistic collaborations, like the brand’s current partnership with Manish Arora, or iconic elements, such as the early-90s Swatch guards adopted by the hiphop scene. Finally, there are the continually updated classics, with elevated designs and color combinations that manage to make plastic chic. Swatch’s recent release, a summer incarnation of the Plastic Chrono, is the perfect example—and was the catalyst for my trip down memory lane.

Its band, mimicking a metal one, communicates a signature irony while the stark contrast between white and a bright keep it current. And in the era of iPhone clocks, a watch needs to do more than just tell time.

One Comment

  1. Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    We went to Switzerland when I was five, and I was so stinking excited to pick out my Swatch. You could mix and match pieces of the watchbands then, and I think I chose half green and half silver, maybe the face had some blue and red. It was hot hot hot. I didn’t know how to tell time, but who cared?

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