Swatch Watches

Swatch Watches to the Max

Swatch Watch with GuardUnless you were a complete loser, you had at least two or three Swatch watches when growing up in the 80s. If you were really cool, you had a dozen or more and you wore two or three at the same time. I mean, if one is totally rad, then two must be, like, tripendicular, right?

Swatch launched its first watches in March of 1983; this Spring marks their 30th anniversary. The name, created by Nichole Lopez (so sayeth Wikipedia) comes from “second watch” as these new watches marked a totally novel approach to watches as fun and casual accessories.

Swatch watch wall clockEverything Swatch

And this new concept really took off. Swatch watches weren’t just watches – they were part of 80s culture. Everyone had them and there were stores established dedicated to selling nothing but these highly-coveted timepiece accessories. They came in every imaginable color and design so your Swatch watch said volumes about who you were. Were you the sleek black and white design or the crazy colored ones with the geometric graphics? In fact, Swatch watches were accessories that had accessories of their own. They sold Swatch watch “guards” that went over the face of the watch. After all, you wouldn’t want to scratch the face of your Swatch.

If you were really into Swatch watches, you could buy Swatch watches called Swatch Pops that allowed you to attach your watches to your clothing, Swatch wall clocks that were giant swatch watches that you could hang on your bedroom wall (check out this one – at right), and some people even bought Swatch watches to wear as ponytail hair bands. Yes, a costly hair band, but a bitchin’ hair accessory nonetheless.

Vintage Swatches are Collectible

If you still have a few of your old Swatch watches, you may be surprised to find out they’ve become quite the collector’s item. Yes indeed, serious Swatch enthusiasts never let the trend die and now they pay top dollar for the Swatch watches of yesteryear. Bottom line is this – if you still have your Swatch watches and you want to wear them, do so with. If you have them and you have no use for them, sell them to a collector and you can make a pretty penny for those 80s Swatch watches you have lying around.  Check ebay for the market values of your particular vintage swatch model.

80s Swatch Watch   80s Swatch Watch   80s Swatch Watch

New Swatches Available

And, the really good news is that you can still buy great, new Swatches to add to your collection. There is a huge Swatch store right in the middle of Times Square in New York and one on the Champs Elysees in Paris. I picked up this sweet new Swatch watch last year in Tampa. The construction and cool factor is still there, just like it was in the 80s—but, I think I’ll stick to one at a time this go ‘round.

Swatch watches today

Author: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a web design business.

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  1. Hello. I am on a scavenger hunt and was hoping you could help! I need a picture of two or more swatch watches set to the same time as each other with a piece of paper in the picture that says 2014. If you would be able to help please email the picture to Thank you for your time!

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  2. I still have all my Swatch watches from the 80s, and all work and look great. I have 12 of them. The new Swatch watches aren’t as nice in my opinion-no more multicolored or jelly ones like back in the day. I’ll keep wearing my vintage ones, thank you.

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    • Agreed! I have both my original one as well as a new one. While cool, the new one just doesn’t have the extra oomph that the 80s designs had.

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  3. Today I went to the Swatch store for the first time ever, as I’m sure you recall, the store didn’t exist in the 80s. The salespeople told me the bands were interchangeable and always have been. I don’t remember this. Do you remember?

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  4. You’re right about how the design speaks volumes about you, and I would add that just by choosing to wear a swatch you’re already making a statement. Personally I have a couple of “high value” watches that I wear to work, but just bought a swatch yesterday to wear casually as it always reminds me how good I felt wearing one in the early 90s. Swatches are simply cool without trying too hard.

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