The Manual Wind: Swatch Sistem 51

Swatch Sistem 51

New technology does not only sprout from the high end.  Sitting comfortably under the large conglomerate umbrella of its brand namesake, Swatch takes it’s turn at affordable innovation.  Known for the the fun plastic straps 1980s babies grew up with, this brand has reemerged in recent years.  Fun and affordable Swatch can now add mechanical and innovative to its list of characteristics with its new release, the Sistim 51.

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Made 100% in Switzerland, this totally machine made and assembled mechanical movement yields only 51 parts.  Held together by a single screw, the 19 jewel movement made of ARCAP, an anti-magnetic alloy, withholds a 90 hour power reserve.  This modular movement hold 17 patents and took 2 years to develop.

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As part of the big Swatch rollout, the Sistim 51 is available in four cases; white, black, blue, and red.  There are three different dial configurations as well all resembling a star map.  19 stars on the dial signify the 19 jewels of the movement.  The bezel dots as well as the hands are luminous for nighttime legibility as well as an added fun factor.

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The Sistim 51 will surely become a Swatch collectors item as the first edition of this piece, but good luck finding one.  The pieces have been released in Europe but have just made it to the United States.  Swatch has made these pieces available only at select pop-up shops on either coast; one in NYC’s Times Square and the other in San Francisco.  Priced at a cool $150, Swatch proves innovation does not have to come at a high price.  Now just try getting your hands on them.

See more details on the Sistim 51.