Swatch Watch


With designs to suit everyone’s individual style, Swatch is the watchmaker that puts the fun into fashion timepieces. Famed for colourful and creative designs, appealing price-tag and exciting collaborations, it’s no wonder that Swatch is one of the world’s most loved and successful watch brands.

26 March 2021 Editor - H. SAMUEL

What is a Swatch?

Playful, well designed, and long-lasting, Swatch watches are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a stylish but affordable casual watch. But how did these snazzy designs become a cult phenomenon? Well, it all started in 1969 with the Japanese invention of the quartz movement and the ability to bring low-cost but incredibly accurate watches to the masses for the first time. Swiss businessman and watchmaker, Nicholas Hayek, embraced this new technology and founded Swatch in 1983. Right from the get-go, Hayek committed to creating a fashion-forward range of analogue, quartz-operated, Swiss-made watches that oozed fun and personality.

When Swatch watches went to market, their playful designs and the brand’s provocative nature took the watch market by storm. Their biggest supporters? Young, fashion-loving men and women who wanted accessories that showed their individuality and style. This led to the trend of ‘watch wardrobing’, which saw multiple Swatch watches being purchased to suit different outfits, events, and seasons. So popular was Swatch that many stores had to limit buying to one-watch-per-customer, and there are even tales of shoppers returning in disguise to try and get their hands on a second watch. Exciting collaborations further fuelled Swatch-mania, with famous collections being designed by the likes of Kiki Picasso in 1984 and Keith Haring in 1986.

To this day, Swatch maintains its innovative, ‘anything goes’ design style, and their watch faces have been brought to life with everything from sketches and cartoons to photos and paintings. However, it’s not just good looks that makes Swatch an ever-popular watch choice. Swatch has an excellent reputation for producing high-quality and long-lasting watches that are as comfortable as they are stylish. The brand is also committed to analogue timekeeping, giving their funky designs an even more retro feel. Within the Swatch range there is something for everyone, so as well as the many statement styles on offer, there is also a choice of more stripped-back, sophisticated designs.

What does Swatch mean?

Many people believe Swatch stands for “Swiss watch”, but it is actually short for “second watch”. Whilst previously people had one special watch, Swatch saw a market for casual, colourful, and cost-effective designs that allowed people to build a collection to suit different occasions – in the same way you’d accessorise with scarves or bags. The name was chosen to give a nod to how fashion and casual watches would exist alongside traditional timepieces, rather than replace them.

Where are Swatch watches made?

Switzerland is world-renowned for being a watchmaking powerhouse, so it’s little surprise that every Swatch watch, and its parts, has been proudly made there since 1983. When they were first manufactured, Swatch watches were considered a technical breakthrough as they are made up of only 51 parts, compared to the usual 90+. And to this day, it’s their super-efficient manufacturing and simplified mechanism that ensures costs are kept low but the quality is never compromised.

Where to buy Swatch watches?

H.Samuel is delighted to stock a wide range of ladies’ Swatch watches and Swatch watches for him. Many of the designs are unisex to offer even greater choice. From the bright and the funky to the sleek and the understated, you’ll be sure to find the perfect watch to suit your style. With so many striking designs to choose from, we know that narrowing down your options can be challenging. If you need some inspiration, then here are a few of our favourite collections:

Swatch Checkpoint Blue Unisex Rubber Strap Watch

Looking for a statement streetwear style? If so, a design from the Big Bold Chrono collection could be perfect for you. With an eye-catching 47mm dial and sports-luxe good looks, these stylish pieces are sure to turn heads for all the right reasons.

Swatch Wakit Unisex Red Strap Watch

If a stripped back, vintage watch in exciting colourways and made from bio-sourced materials sounds right up your street, then check out the Swatch 1983 collection. This nostalgic collection is a re-launch of the original designs that went to market in 1983, but with all plastics replaced by materials sourced from nature. Innovation at its finest!

Swatch Joe's Smile Unisex Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

Swatch Core Originals are known as the ‘heart and soul of Swatch creativity’ so you’ll be sure to find designs in popping colours, innovative materials and eye-catching styles, as well as some sleek, sophisticated timepieces. There really is something for everyone.

Swatch Lost Moon Unisex Black Glitter Strap Black

The Swatch Essentials range showcases Swatch’s design prowess. Featuring skeleton cases, super slim SKIN models and everything from sparkling leather to vintage look textured silicone straps – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Swatch Disney Mouse Mariniere Red Silicone Strap Watch

Legendary American artist Keith Haring, whose pop-art and contemporary street-art pieces are world-famous, first collaborated with Swatch back in 1986 when he created what are now the most collectable and highly valued Swatch watches ever made. Inspired by the artist’s life-long passion for Mickey Mouse, Swatch has worked with the Keith Haring Foundation to bring three iconic watches to Disney fans in the form of the Mickey Mouse X Keith Haring Collection.

How to change a Swatch battery

Some Swatch watches are powered by an ‘automatic movement’ which means they don’t have a battery. Instead, your natural movement is used to power the watch, so you’ll simply need to strap it on to get it ticking. If you have a traditional battery-powered design, the battery should give you 3 – 5 years of everyday use. Even though changing the battery in most Swatch designs is very straightforward, it may affect the manufacturer’s warranty if you cause accidental damage in the process. Therefore, it’s best to pop into your local H.Samuel or Swatch store for a battery replacement.

How to replace Swatch straps

Want to give you Swatch a fresh new look? Simply check the model of your watch and then be sure to order new Swatch watch straps that fit the same model. Replacing the straps on most models is very straightforward, and all you’ll need is a pin remover that is around 1mm thick to push out the solid pin that holds the strap in position. Be sure to safely store the pin whilst you get the new strap into position. Then, push the pin back into position, so it holds the new strap in place. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, visit us at your local H.Samuel store with your replacement straps, and we’ll be happy to help.

Finding the right Swatch watch for you

Swatch is all about finding a watch that suits your personality. Something that you can enjoy time and time again – because, as Swatch’s famous tagline says, ‘Time is what you make of it’. So, whether you are a lover of retro styles or you are simply looking for a good quality casual watch at an attractive price, Swatch watches are great all-rounders.

With so many unique designs to choose from, picking the perfect Swatch watch for you or your loved one can be tricky. If you need a hand narrowing down your options or have any questions about the range or specific products, book an in-store or virtual appointment with one of our friendly experts who’ll be happy to help.