1983 Swatch was founded by Ernest Tomke. He wanted to show the world Swiss was still in the game of watchmaking. These days the market was flooded with cheap Japanese quarts driven watches. This event was celebrated in 2013 with the launch of the Sistem51. Now the second generation is released with some new models this time not only in plastics, but in steel.


Ernest Tomke, CEO at that time, designed the first series of swatch watches. A Swiss-made plastic watch with a fully integrated and in-house built movement. Fully automatic assembly made it 80% cheaper and the movement contained only 51 parts. Nicolas G. Hayek bought Swatch in 1985 and founded the base of what is known now as the Swatch Group. The Sistem51 is the celebration of 30 years Swatch Group. Swatch designed an automatic movement containing only  51 parts instead of at least 91 parts and shocked the watchmaking industry during Basel World 2013 again! People were talkin about a game changer and as soon as they came out I bought the Sistem Blue. I still have it and wear it during holiday’s or travelling.


This review is a bit different, because is this case it really is all about the movement. So today we have a look into the Sistem Blue, the Fly and the Boreal. All different of course, but with the same movement. The blue is what I would like to call,the mother of Sistem51. Blue plastic case, plexi crystal rubber strap and a sea-through case back with a very nice transparent a peripheral bi-directional rotor. All in blue so it matches really nice. The red dots on the dial represent 6 of the jewels and the white dots the weld points of the movement. The recent series of this year contains more stainless steel cases instead of plastic. The Boreal has a 42 mm stainless steel case and bracelet, plexi crystal and see-through case back. The fly has a the same figures only is equipped with a leather strap. All series have simple hand sets with minute, hour and second hands and a date window at the 3 o’clock position.


So the unique part of this watch is the movement. A 51 parts and hacking movement with a power reserve of 90 hours. Yes 90 hours!! I bet your Rolex is out of power reserve a long time before your 150 dollar automatic Swatch is. The Sistem51’s movement is made entirely from a material called ARCAP. This alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc has anti-magnetic qualities, which prevents the movement from needing adjustments over time. Ass mentioned the Sistem51 is made of only 51 parts, spread around 5 modules and linked one to another by only one central screw. The movement is fully manufactured by laser guided machines, without human intervention, even to adjust the accuracy of the balance wheel and the escapement. The movement can not be serviced as it is hermetically sealed. Swatch claims that it needs no service for at least 20 years. Well these ar features I am really exited about. No services every 5 years, automatic movement with 90 hours power reserve, 51 parts…..wow! And it is great to look at the back. A transparent rotor allows you to see the full movement. FYI, Swatch states it has an accuracy of +/- 7 seconds per a day. That is a rate  very close to the COSC requirements of -4/+6 seconds per a day.


I think every watch collector or watch lover owns a Swatch. At least they should have. But if you are still in the market for an automatic Swiss made watch with features of the 1.000 dollar brands, this is one to keep in mind for  sure. For less than 200 dollar you will buy a  watch with high end features and with great a choice in different models, plastic and stainless steel. Now stop reading, and go buy one!


Swatch watches