I was introduced to them when we started receiving shipments of SWATCHES from Japan (courtesy of my sons and their new watch business). It has been so fun to open the boxes and see all of the different, unique designs of Swatches. I currently have about fifty Swatches lined up on my desk. I am amazed at the sheer number of Swatches that have been made over the past several decades.
Equally amazing is the way that Swatches hold up over time. I have been putting batteries in my collection so far and have not had a single one not work when I put the batteries in. I really like the girly, flowery, and colorful Swatches like the Astrapi watch made in 2004 for the Athens Olympics. I started researching the connection between the Swatch Company and the Olympics. I found out that Swatch has been involved with almost every summer and winter Olympic Games since 1932, when they were the first official timekeepers. Every olympics since then, they have designed many commemorative olympic Swatches. I believe the Astrapi Swatch was names after a peak in Athens. I wonder if that peak was the location of any of the olympic events? I’ll have to dig a little more.
I was also curious about how the name Swatch came about. I found out the name stands for secondary watch. Swatch started the craze of “watch wardrobing.” The idea that you could own more than a couple of watches was born - in fact you could coordinate a different watch for different outfits. There were so many choices of designs. Swatch sales became as hot as the beanie baby craze. Some people would buy a Swatch, and then go home and change their clothes and maybe hairstyle, so they could go back and buy another one (since there were restrictions placed on how many Swatches you could buy). Even after all of these years, affection for the brand is still strong. In 2015, one of the world’s largest collections of Swatches—5800 pieces—went up for sale and was auctioned for $6 million.
I look forward to digging through the next box that comes full of Swatch treasure. I think I have probably just hit the tip of the iceberg!