Here's why a Swatch critic has bought one and worn it every day this week
It's a bit refreshing
There’s a lot to be said for not being a watch snob.
I’m not talking about accepting Michael Kors and other fashion brand watches, which are simply cheap, often bad, watches with a fashion label slapped on to impress the uninitiated - that's pretension. I’m talking about watches that don’t pretend - Citizens that are just solid, Casios that are well-made tool watches; Swatches that never even pretended to be high Swiss horology; they’re just fun. Surely there’s room for that in the watch world?
I’ve realised this about Swatch. ‘Love the group, hate the brand’ has been my dogma on Swatches for ages, and I’m not signing a blank cheque for their veneration here - some of them are hideous and look like HappyMeal toys - but the Duck Swatch? Why on earth wouldn’t you smirk and add that to a collection?
Unfortunately there’s two reasons why I wouldn’t- it’s not sold in Australia and Ben Welham has one, but my mellowing on Swatch comes at a time when I've started not wearing a watch when just at the desk, day-to-day. I was finding I’d be scraping the bracelet along the desk as I squirrelled about with the mouse, and then because I’d bump the powerboard while listening to Backstreet Boys, I’d go under the desk to fix stuff and end up mashing a very pretty mechanical watch against a dozen things down there. Sure, the watches will handle it, and little scratches on the bracelet in the line of duty is called charming patina - but it just wasn’t that comfortable either.
Thus I was finding myself taking off the braceleted watches when working- and then just not putting them on in the morning. And going watchless is like going without matching socks - wrong, even at home.
Clearly, I needed something rubber-strapped, something thin, something humble. And that’s when I found this elegant little quartz Swatch, which at 38mm, is perfect for my wrist, and being subtle and blue-accented, goes with everything I’d ever wear on an average day. I ordered, it got packaged and sent off 3 minutes later, and arrived the next business day:
I’ve worn it every day this week, bar one. It’s comfortable, it’s so flat it’s hard to bash into anything, and while I don’t find myself listening to its co-axial heartbeat - it’s quartz without a second hand dah - or admiring its pretty face - it’s plain - I know I’m wearing a watch. And I’m convinced I work better with one.
My new view on Swatch? I've got a member watch of the Group, and I've now got a watch from the brand itself. Just because I've got a Swatch doesn't mean I'm going to bash the Omega 'for doing the same thing but far more expensively' or look down on the Swatch; it in turn is everything it promised to be.
The watch world needs less snobbiness and less tall poppy syndrome.