Today, I’d like to speculate on future collaborations between Swatch and the brands that exist under the Swatch Group umbrella. Nobody saw the MoonSwatch coming and even fewer people (I don’t know how that would even be possible) saw the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms coming. Blancpain, one of the oldest watch brands in existence founded in 1735, celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the iconic Fifty Fathoms in one of two ways: first, an trio of expensive and limited edition models (the three “Acts”); second, a plastic and playful version of the Fifty Fathoms that turned out to be a much more affordable option. Given that the Swatch Group is comprised of 17 brands, what could a future Swatch collaboration look like? Let’s speculate.
How to Imagine Future Swatch Collaborations
The point of this exercise is to figure out which, amongst the dozens and dozens of iconic models the 17 brands have released in the past eight decades, would make a good candidate for a future collaboration. The MoonSwatch and Blancpain x Swatch Fifty Fathoms are both sports watches. One could imagine that Swatch would continue on this path given that the watches they make emphasize unique technologies the Swatch group has created. Whether it be the bio-ceramic cases from Swatch or the System 51 caliber, also from Swatch, which powers the Fifty Fathoms. So we must look for iconic models which were recently revived or which never went out of production.
Both the Omega Moonwatch and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms are iconic and never went out of production. Moreover, given that the trend of the past five-ish years has been to recreate past references, it’s easy to imagine that any future and possible collaborations between Swatch and another of its member brands would follow the same logic. This is how I came up with the three speculations you will find below. I would love to hear your thoughts about them and which other models you believe we could see from the Swatch group in the coming months. So, please leave your comments at the end of this article.
The Swatch x Tissot PRX
In this context, we could imagine a plastic version of the PRX with a novel quartz movement, matched with a rubber strap made of recycled ocean plastic. The Swatch bio-ceramic case is supposed to be good for the environment, as are straps made of recycled materials. That said, some pointed to the fact that the System 51 movement is the complete opposite of being environmentally friendly given that it cannot be repaired, only replaced. Anyway, I’m digressing here. The PRX in its quartz version is rather affordable (roughly $400,) so a plastic version of it would be even more affordable by costing half of that. Lots and lots of people have become interested in the integrated bracelet sports watch trend and Swatch should find a way to cash out on it.
The Swatch x Hamilton Khaki
There is not a more iconic field watch than the Hamilton Khaki. And although there exist many versions that can be found for around $200 on the pre-owned and gray markets, I can already sense that Swatch would create a plastic version of it for $100 or less. A bit like Timex created a plastic version of their MIL-SPEC field watch in 1982 (so did Benrus), which would present multiple advantages: cheap to own and even cheaper to make, lightweight, durable, and probably easy to produce in various flashy colors. To make this model even more of an instantaneous success, Swatch would equip it with the System 51 to reduce the production and sale costs even further. Speaking of entry-level Swiss watches, there wouldn’t be something this affordable and iconic on the market.
The Swatch x Mido Commander
Given the fact that the first two Swatch X collaborations birthed a chronograph and a diver, and that a Swatch x Tissot collaboration would create an integrated bracelet sports watch and the Swatch x Hamilton collaboration a field watch, we are missing one type of watch that would look good and make sense in plastic: a dress watch. Therefore, I picture a collaboration between Swatch and Mido to create an affordable variant of their Commander line of everyday watches. The advantage of such a model would be its everyday nature, perhaps which would require something other than plastic for the case, and its functionality given a quartz movement with day + date complication.
Evidently, the point of the Swatch X collaborations is to democratize historical Swiss brands by making fun, no nonsense, affordable versions of their most iconic—and popular for those who have the appropriate budgets—models. I won’t even bother telling you how much a professional MoonWatch or Fifty Fathoms retail for today (alright, $7,600 and $10,000 respectively), but it's probably above your budget and mine. The MoonSwatch retails for roughly $250 and the Fifty Fathoms for $500, both of which are within reach for a broader swath of watch enthusiasts. In that spirit, I feel that my proposed three potential collaborations will match what we saw happen in the past two years and would fill gaps in the types of watches Swiss brands make which many can’t afford to buy.Featured image: www.wired.co.uk