Discussion Swatch Sistem51 - Not just another Automatic Wrist Watch

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Aug 21, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    main swatch.jpg

    Even though the Sistem51 was introduced in 2013, and went main stream in 2014, it is pretty hard to take a manufacturer that makes watches like those above, seriously.

    However to understand what makes the Sistem51 so interesting, we need to take a quick look at the history of the company called Swatch (which stands for Second Watch). Bet you didn't know that.

    During the 70s and the 80s, the Japanese Quartz movement was taking over the world. Seiko created the first Quartz Wrist watch and soon the Swiss also followed suit. However a plethora of other manufacturers in Japan soon flooded the market, and the Swiss could just not keep up with the competition.

    Swatch was created more out of a necessity to survive and compete with the best, than to establish a new order. However the approach was innovative and pretty unconventional at that time. In 1983, they went into manufacturing low cost (comparatively), Swiss made Quartz watches, in plastic/glass/metal that were as good as the Japanese counterparts, if not better in some instances. Sales were a hit with over 3.5 Million sold in the first few years. Swatch was here to fight.

    The first quartz movement that Swatch created had 51 pieces, cost over 80% lesser than a comparable Automatic watch. Not only was the watch designed in Switzerland, the watch was manufactured there as well, using assembly line manufacturing techniques that reduced production times and cost.

    And Swatch was here to stay.

    Though I've never liked them too much, there are a few pieces that stand out from time to time. I do have a Swatch, which is a Quartz Chrono in an Aluminum body/strap. I like the light weight of the watch, but not the scratch prone-ability.

    Moving on, Swatch blew the world of horology away at Baselworld (Comic Con for Watch lovers) in 2013 by introducing the Sistem51.

    What makes the Sistem51 unique is that not only is it an Automatic watch, but -

    - Made exactly from 51 parts - in tribute to the first Quartz watch

    - has only one main screw that held the whole assembly together

    - hermetically sealed to be never opened

    - priced at approximately USD150$ - affordable for an Automatic

    - Manufactured and assembled entirely by robots on an assembly. Even the balancing of the rotor was done by computer (generally done by watch maker).

    - made with a design life of 20-25 years. Never needing service, you would simply discard it once it ran into any trouble.

    - the mechanism was made of an metal alloy called ARCAP, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc, that is highly Anti-magnetic.

    - Which helps the watch keep a time keeping standard of -7 /+ 7 seconds. This very nearly meets the COSC standard of -4 / +6 seconds per day. (COSC certifies Automatic and Quartz watches in Switzerland for their time keeping accuracy.

    - To put this into perspective, this is an accuracy of 99.994%

    - The mechanism has a power reserve of 90 hours or nearly 4 days. Compared to this, my Seiko manages barely 24 hours and the Rolex would go maybe upto 48 hours.

    Swatch has currently 17 Patents on the Sistem51.

    The line up comprises of 8 models currently. All come only with a silicon or leather strap (as shown).

    Sistem51 01.jpg

    From L-R - Sistem Incognito, Sistem Navy, Sistem Pink, Sistem Class (leather band)


    Sistem51 02.jpg

    L-R - Sistem Tangerine, Sistem Green, Sistem Cream, Sistem Chic (Last 3 Leather).


    Sistem51 03.jpg

    L-R - Sistem Black, Sistem White, Sistem Blue and Sistem Red.

    I'm somehow inclined towards the Sistem Class or the Sistem Navy.However the Sistem Blue/Red have interesting indications on them. The White markings on the dial indicate the solder points for the mechanism inside.


    The Red points on the dial indicate the jewels for the running and smooth operation.

    Thankfully the watches are designed in a sober, acceptable manner. Online reviews indicate that these are not too heavy, and make for a very good second or weekend watch.

    Another aspect of the design is the back of each watch. The entire movement is visible, since the flywheel that charges the main spring, is set concentric to the mechanism. It rotates about the edges, exposing the mechanism and the spring. Some of the Sistem51 watches have a pretty hypnotizing design that matches the movement of the wheel.

    Here are some shots of Black, White and Blue -

    swatch_sistem51_2.jpg











    swatch_sistem51_4.jpg

    swatch_sistem51_3.jpg


    At 150$ or about 10,000 INR, the Swatch Sistem51 makes for a very good entry point for anyone watch/time piece enthusiast or collector looking at bringing in a unique piece to his/her collection.

    What this watch lacks in choice of material (plastic/silicone/leather), it more than makes up with the technological marvel that the Automatic mechanism housed within it is.


     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  2. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Should gift one to my sister.
     
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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Great idea. It's a gift that would last years.
     
  4. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    In UK, they just have 8 models.
     
  5. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    The last 4 are available in the US shop. I have to check locally what models are available here. Probably eBay there in UK?
     
  6. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    I checked their main site and Amazon.
     
  7. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Ahem.. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440342635.078624.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440342651.962475.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440342665.384934.jpg
     
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  8. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    you are a watch ?#@*&%!^$~
     
  9. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    A detailed look coming soon. ;)
     

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