Watch Insider: My Top 10 Swatch Watches Of The Year

There are three main features that make the Sistem51 noteworthy. First, like the original Swatch quartz watches, it has only 51 components, whereas most mechanical watches have upwards of 100. Also like the original Swatch, its assembly is entirely automated. Finally, it will cost just $150. The four models are Sistem Red, Sistem Blue, Sistem Black and Sistem White. The red and blue models have translucent plastic cases and black silicone straps with accent-color stitching. Their dials are black with a red or blue central seconds hand, respectively. The bezel is in black plastic with white Super-LumiNova hour markers. Through the caseback, a transparent crystal rotor is visible, as well a printed “star-burst” pattern. The Sistem Black has a black leather strap and a different printed pattern on the dial. Its back features a “vortex” pattern. The Sistem White has a more minimalist dial design with brightly colored dots and no hour markers on the bezel or the dial. It comes on a white silicone strap.

Swatch Sistem51 - blue
Swatch Sistem51

Swatch designed the Sistem51 from the ground up: it uses no components from other watches, and the company has applied for 17 patents for its design. Each watch is constructed on a 20-meter-long assembly line in a clean-room environment, then hermetically sealed. No human intervention is necessary. Even the regulating of the movement, traditionally a time-consuming manual process, is hands-free: a laser adjusts the movement to an accuracy of +/-7 seconds a day. A truly amazing watch and a worthy add-on to our top 10 Swatch watches list.

What are your personal top 10 Swatch watches? What do you think about the Sistem51? Let me know in the comments of this post. We will update our list whenever a new Swatch watch is introduced that is worthy of being added to this curated selection.

This post has originally been published in March 2014 and has since been updated.



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  1. David Jenkins

    Love the article, as you know now, no love for the System 51, and I’m not sure when you published this article, but what about the new Big Bold Jelly? Or, my favorite new SWATCH, the skeletonized Endless Wave? LOVE this skeletonized watch with the movement pieces painted, and limited to a 1000 watches, so cool! Cheers!!

  2. I’m in love with your watches. I really adore unique watches and own quite a few. I would like to know the prices.

  3. Forsberg

    I agree with Hormazdiyaar. I had a Swatch in the 80’s and now I have owned a Sistem 51 black for 6 months. The watch is in my rotation and one notice is that when it just lay face up it will go faster with ca 15 sec a day but on the wrist it’s only 2 to 4 sec a day. But I don’t agree that it’s the novelty of the decade. It’s still a plastic watch with plastic scratch glass. In this price range you can get for example a steel Seiko with mineral glass and not so much plastic in the movement…. But still it’s a very nice watch in its class :)

  4. Bert Allen

    The System 51 is simply spectacular.

    It’s inexcusable to not be in every serious watch collector’s wardrobe.

    Feather weight. Marvelous comfortable band. 90-hour power reserve.
    Accurate. Maintenance free. Immune to magnets.

    And, a dynamite low price point.

    What are you waiting for?

    • David Jenkins

      Um, plastic pallet fork and plastic escapement wheel. Most people that have bought it 1-2 years ago report power reserve greatly degrading, becoming inaccurate, and it cannot be serviced or regulated. I suggest the earlier auto SWATCH’s with a repairable all metal ETA movement. Nuff said. And I do love SWATCH’s! Have over 50 of them.

  5. Peter

    I love my Sistem51 Blue. I have several expensive mechanicals, but I find myself wearing the 51 almost daily. It’s just a fun watch, and it gets a lot of nice comments and questions from others who see it on me. All around great watch for the money.

  6. Monico Rabara

    The Sistem51 is a fun Swatch to use. I have collected different models of Swatch watches since the 90’s and no watch afficionado should be without one in his collection. If you are afraid to mess up with a Rolex, Panerai, Breitling, Omega, or any of the less affordable (or delicate) models, don’t be afraid (or embarrassed) to strap a Swatch on your wrist.

  7. Hormazdiyaar

    My favourite is the 51. I only collect mechanical Swatch watches with the exception of the first Swatch and Goldfinger.

    • WatchTime

      Great comment, Hormazdiyaar. We have just updated the post and the Sistem51 is now included.

    • ateli3r

      I started collecting swatch since in Japan. My favourite is the swatch first automatic RedHead and of course Goldfinger is the best..
      System 51 is interesting but prefer wait for Irony system51

  8. Great review but with the Sistem51 finally being sold widely in 2014 including it’s USA launch this summer, it’s the first Swatch on my list. But, I loved the way your earlier review of it is the first link showing up on this page!

  9. Trent

    I can’t believe I am going to say this but I actually like the orange one. (blushing)

  10. Robin Henry

    Swatches are quite nice and as you say, affordably priced. My wife has had two or three and bought one recently for work. She is a midwife and finds the plastic easy to clean and maintain in a hygienic state. They are also stylish for anyone who is interested in being colour coordinated etc.

    They remind me of the watches the Australian Army used to issue that were plastic, military green, commonly referred to as “Mickey Mouse” watches. Occasionally there were stories of the watch bodies popping out of the watch cases.

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