Swatch Sistem51 Under $200 Automatic Watch Now For Sale

Swatch Sistem51 Under $200 Automatic Watch Now For Sale

Swatch Sistem51 Under $200 Automatic Watch Now For Sale   watch releases

The Swatch Sistem51 watch collection is finally out for sale (in some places). Are you excited? If you don't know what it is allow me to explain. At Baselworld 2013, the Swatch Group announced what is probably a major breakthrough in watchmaking; a new automatic mechanical movement that is completely assembled by machines and is priced around 100 - 200 Swiss Francs. We first covered the Swatch Sistem51 watch here upon its debut.

We first thought the retail price was about $100 but then it turned out to be closer to $150. So we are simply saying between 100 - 200 Swiss Francs as we aren't sure about the final price at this time. As of publishing time Swatch hasn't put the price on their website. UPDATE: In Switzerland at least the retail price of Swatch Sistem51 watches is 150 Swiss Francs. Also, the watches are only currently available for sale in Switzerland. Swatch has announced that the first four models of the Sistem51 collection will be slowly released around the world in 2014. The Sistem51 is actually already delayed as it was supposed to be available for global sale at least a month ago for the 2013 Holiday shopping season. Yes I know, surprise surprise, delays in the Swiss watch industry.

Swatch Sistem51 Under $200 Automatic Watch Now For Sale   watch releases

The watch itself is pretty much a standard Swatch. We aren't even sure of the actual size of the case. I would imagine around 40-42mm wide or so and the cases are plastic. Further, it is in the Swatch Original's collection. The dials of the watches look mostly like star charts. There is a reason for that. There are six "points" on the movement that are a distinctive feature. These six points have been highlighted on the dial and look a bit like a constellation. So Swatch went with that theme and ran with it for the design. Each of the four Sistem51 watches have the six dots in red on the dial.

So the real appeal is in the movement. Why all the hubbub around a new inexpensive mechanical movement? Well first of all it is very inexpensive. The Swatch brand proper isn't without its mechanical watches, but they are few and far between. Plus, this is a brand new one for a very low price. The movement is an automatic and made up of only 51 parts (hence the name). Further, the movement is completely assembled by machines (no hands) in a hermetically sealed container (no water or dust shall enter). Swatch Group apparently has 17 patents protecting the movement. Last... the Sistem51 is 100% Swiss Made.

28 comments
furkan arslan
furkan arslan

how much does system 51  and  how is the clock  in turkey .. .  do you recommed for me?


xwschan
xwschan

I've just picked up a black and a red in Geneva Airport enroute to London. These are good looking watches. No, they are not Breguets or Blancpains, and they don't pretend to be. To appreciate the Sistem51 is to understand the ironic genius behind its complex simplicity. This is still a purist watch. In case I am being mistaken as a 12yo whose idea of horological appreciation comes in the form of flik-flaks, my work day timepieces are the GP93500, 5207BA, GO pano-lunar, Zenith Doublematic, Pequignet RR, weekends with the Omega PO Chrono, and I've the 7727BB on order.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

Those who think the Swatch Sistem51s are attractive watches, be they of my generation, probably also thought Jerry Lewis was funny.

JasonNguyen
JasonNguyen

Can't wait to see these watches in the flesh at a Swatch shop next year. Initial designs are perfect for the targeted demographic. As mentioned by others, it'll be interesting to see if this movement trickles to any of the other "higher" brands in the Swatch line up with classier cases/dials with high fit and finish. Interesting times ahead for sure. 

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

Mark Carson: That is utterly brilliant. Or do I mean criminally brilliant?

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Subversive Idea Department:

Swatch is making ETA movements harder to come by and more expensive when you can get them. The ETA 2824 (three hand plus date automatic - see where this is heading?) movement alone costs more (even at wholesale) than this entire watch. Just buy Sistem 51 watches, tear out the movements, toss the plastic case and put the movements in decent cases with non-Stargate dials and life goes on for smaller watch brands. Not my personal plan, but makes you wonder what "Swiss Automatic Movement" will really mean in the future.

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

OK, interesting development for the general watch buying masses. Not so interesting for those who know what $200 buys you in Japanese watches. Look at what you can buy from ORIENT with that money. MAKO, BAMBINO, RAY and more. 

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

What if people start to suggest that the only difference between mass-produced watches generated by Swatch and mass-produced watches generated by Rolex is that one has a case made of plastic and the other of steel [or thin  gold alloy]? What if the in-house movements in these things actually keep better time than in-house movements made by IWC  --- by no means a far-fetched possibility?

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

It's fascinating that they can produce these that cheaply.  The dials though... I don't care for any of them. They all confound readability and just are not attractive. The blue one is especially distracting.

I think they'd have much better success if they weren't so hung-up on being "avant garde". Make conservative, good looking automatic 3 handers for $150 and I'll buy several. With the gummi-bear colors and connect the dots dials, SWATCH can keep 'em all.  The all black one isn't horrible, but what's wrong with numbers, or indices positioned where they make some sense?

I'm obviously not one of the "cool kids".

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

It's an interesting product.  The designs look OK.  There are far better automatics available for the price, but for the target demographic these are ideal.  Teenagers will be wondering where the usual battery hatch is; hell, they'll think it's magic - what was once old will be new again.  I can't be the only one who sees the irony in one of the few 100% Swiss-made mechanical watches also being among the cheapest.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

I think a good investment might be to purchase several of these and keep all of the original documentation. I foresee them increasing in value.


Oh, and I also think I might wear the black or blue one...just for giggles.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I know I'm buying one. My local Swatch boutique is fairly down to Earth with me - they tell me that if Sistem51 is what I want, to come back in the fall of 2014. I can wait, but now that they are officially on the street I will likely find one on the 'tubes and purchase it remotely. 


I don't particularly find it (or most other Swatch watches) all; that attractive, but I do believe this is an important advancement in the industry, and the price is very forgettable, so it's a no-risk venture.  

Ryan B
Ryan B

These are just downright ugly, and for $150 - $200 there are many better mechanical starter watches out there to choose from that are not made of plastic.

TheMaven
TheMaven

I am very excited about this launch.  What an amazing design and production feat.  Only Swatch.  Very very cool stuff!  

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

Dammit. I'm going to have to get back to my ophthalmologist again. My "floaters" have returned: seeing spots before my eyes.

xwschan
xwschan

Just in case anyone thought I was joking about buying myself some plastics :-)

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@JasonNguyenGood observation Ang Nguyen - Swatch is ALL about marketing. The reputation  of the Swatch Watch brand is substantial. This will join the other product offerings by Swatch in public sales approval. 

Also, the "trickle-out" of this movement technology is, I believe, inevitable,

This is undoubtedly a plan in the early stages.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@MarkCarsonOr, just buy the Sistema movements and put 'em where you want 'em. I look for this manufacturing technique to be updated and improved quite shortly. 


28.8k on the way?

somethingnottaken
somethingnottaken

@DangerussArt I don't like the designs either, but they do suit the Swatch brand image. I expect it's just a matter of time before these movements show up as an alternative to quartz movements in inexpensive and conservatively styled Tissots. We might see these movements at the low end of the Hamilton, Certina and/or Mido lines too.

Hacker4748
Hacker4748

@Ulysses31

"There are far better automatics available for the price"

Can you perhaps give some examples? I'd be really interested. Thank you.

JasonNguyen
JasonNguyen

@Fraser Petrick @JasonNguyen Thank you for providing  your thought provoking insight, 12 year old girls can now feel validated by their purchase decisions from your commentary.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@DG Cayse No doubt the 3 Hz frequency is what enables them to have that 90 hour power reserve. I agree that 4 Hz would be nice, but if it is accurate enough and has the almost 4 day main spring, maybe I don't care. I expect Swatch to sell a gazillion of these before making changes such as upping the frequency.

At their presentation at BaselWorld  2013 they mentioned that the pinions can be placed at dozens of locations on the main plate so  I do expect variations (like sub-dials) in a number of locations in the future. I guess that implies chronographs, power reserve indicator or small seconds, etc. down the road.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@Hacker4748@Ulysses31 I'm primarily talking about the cheap oriental automatics, Japanese or otherwise.  You get a tasteful metal build and good reliability for a very fair price compared to what is offered here, though as I already pointed out, the target demographic is clearly different.  Someone after a Seiko 5/Superior/whatever isn't really looking for a plastic and resin watch in the first place.  The prices have increased over the years as they do, but a few years ago I got a very handsome Seiko 5 that caught my eye for less than $60.  While what a person considers "better" is clearly subjective, it isn't much of a stretch to say that solid build quality and materials are part of that equation, and while an all-plastic watch is novel, it is only really novel because of the movement rather than the case and strap.

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