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 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.