Swatch Sistem51: The Coolest Affordable Mechanical Watch You Can Buy
We all know that a watch says a lot about you and how important it is to wear a quality watch that represents you. However, it is very difficult to find a good affordable watch, a watch with a good price, with mechanical movements and from a trusted brand.
Our answer to this equation of three is Swatch Sistem51, an innovative and radically new automatic timepiece that’s purely Swiss and purely Swatch. And it comes with a great price, just $150 for a timepiece with mechanical movement.
Moreover, it is precisely its mechanism that is considered revolutionary, a mechanical movement with entirely automated assembly that created a sensation at the big annual watch show in Basel in 2013, where the watch was first presented.
So, what is so special about it, what exactly did Swatch manage to achieve with Sistem51? Well, it reduced the number of parts in the movement to 51, about half of what a typical automatic watch requires. Everything is held together by a single central screw and the entire package is put together by machine – even the balance is regulated by machine. The movement is made of an anti-magnetic alloy called ARCAP, has 19 jewels, and boasts a 90 hour power reserve. Plus, the whole thing is 100% made is Switzerland.
The idea behind the innovation and the name of the watch is related to the history and philosophy of the Swatch brand. Back in 1983, Swatch launched with the mission of making Swiss watches mass produce-able and available to everyone in the wake of the quartz crisis. By reducing the number of components in a quartz movement from the typical 91 to a much more manageable 51, Swatch was able to fully automate production. This, combined with the brand’s commitment to popular culture, led to Swatch becoming the giant we know today, selling millions of watches per year.
And today, starting with that all-important number 51, Swatch developed the Sistem51, hoping to do for mechanical watch production what they did for quartz production 30 years ago.
There are four colors of Sistem51 available – translucent blue, translucent red, white, and black, with three different dial configurations. The dials are meant to recall the Copernican Revolution, to which Swatch compares this revolution in watchmaking. Each has 19 “planets” or “bodies,” symbolizing the 19 jewels in the movement. The hands as well as the dots in the bezel are luminous for reading in the dark.
Swatch Sistem51 is not just the coolest affordable mechanical watch, it is a piece of watchmaking history, as important as the arrival of Swatch quartzes were in the 1980s. Check it out.