While Swatch has become synonymous with the MoonSwatch in recent years, the brand still produces a wide assortment of different models, and it remains a company that is equally embraced by both watch enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. While the term “affordable” often gets tossed around the watch industry and can even be attached to timepieces that cost upwards of a thousand dollars, Swatch is very much a brand that caters to the general public, and its products are items that people can enjoy for their fun and often lighthearted designs, without worrying about factors such as prestige or value retention. For its latest new release of 2023, Swatch has brought stainless steel cases to its Big Bold range of watches for the very first time since its debut in 2019, and the new Swatch Big Bold Irony series offers large and colorful skeletonized designs at a price point that still comes it well-below what the brand charges for its ultra-popular MoonSwatch.

Given the “Big Bold Irony” name of these watches, you can correctly assume that they are not small timepieces, and their cases measure 47mm in diameter by 13.3mm thick. That said, their overall profile is more-or-less a circle, and having a short lug-to-lug distance means that they will ultimately fit a much wider variety of wrist sizes than a traditionally shaped watch with the same case diameter. The “Irony” part of their name implies that they are premium models with metal cases, and rather than being constructed from BioCeramic or plastic like other models from the series, the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches feature cases that are made from sandblasted stainless steel. That said, their crystals are made from the brand’s Biosourced resin like the majority of its other modern watches, and despite having cases, crowns, and bezels that are made from stainless steel, the new Big Bold Irony models weigh just 108 grams, which is quite a bit lighter than you might expect based on just their case size and materials. 

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Aside from the update in case materials, the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches otherwise follow the same format as the other models from the collection, and they feature thin fixed bezels, Swatch’s proprietary notched style of lugs, user-replaceable battery doors on the caseback, and crowns located at 2 o’clock, which is done to help keep them out of the way and from digging into the back of your hand. Despite the rather sporty overall appearance of these new models, water resistance for the new Big Bold Irony watches remains the same as the rest of the collection at 30 meters. While this is certainly enough to protect against daily incidental contact, it is also the same degree of water resistance that is standard on the vast majority of the brand’s other models, and a slightly higher depth rating would have allowed the new Swatch Big Bold Irony models to more easily play the role of summer vacation watches that will likely receive a significant amount of moisture contact. 

While the external cases of the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches are made from sandblasted stainless steel, the brightly colored internal sections that surround the components of the movement are made from BioCeramic, which is essentially a sustainable polymer material that uses ceramic powder suspended within it. The center section of the dial remains open-worked to show off the battery-powered ETA Swiss quartz movement, while the luminous hands display the time against a chapter ring along the periphery of the dial that contains the hour markers and minutes track. The internal BioCeramic component informs the colorway for each of the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches, and in addition to being present on the dial, each of the different versions also features its signature color on both its seconds hand and its textured rubber strap.

At the time of launch, the new Swatch Big Bold Irony collection makes its debut appearance in five different colorways: Dark Irony (black), Azure Blue Daze (dark blue), Bolden Yellow (yellow), Juicy Red (red), and Mint Trim (turquoise). With the exception of the “Dark Irony” version, all of the other four models feature black accents on the minute tracks of their dials and for the border of their colorful straps. The sharp contrast of black against the punchy bright colors creates an inherently sporty overall appearance, and it simultaneously also makes the watches look a bit more elevated than if these same details simply appeared in the same bright colors as the rest of their components. That said, the core aesthetic of the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches is fundamentally casual and sporty, and between their bright colors and skeletonized displays, these new models could almost be described as Swatch’s offerings for the person who wants something in the same general style as a Hublot or a Richard Mille.

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Due to the use of stainless steel for their cases, the new Swatch Big Bold Irony watches are slightly more expensive than most of the other models from the collection, and all five colorways are accompanied by an official retail price of $195 USD. While this places the new Big Bold Irony series towards the upper end of Swatch’s three-handed quartz offerings, it’s important to remember that we are still talking about a price point that is well below most other brand’s entry-level offerings, and these new Big Bold Irony watches are quite a bit less expensive than even Swatch’s fan-favorite MoonSwatch. Although their oversized profiles, bright colors, and skeletonized dials offer much of the same aesthetic as the existing models with BioCeramic or plastic cases, the use of stainless steel promises to deliver a more premium experience on the wrist, while still keeping the price of these new watches below a couple hundred dollars. For more information on the Swatch Big Bold Irony collection, please visit the brand’s website

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