In watchmaking, Swiss made watches have traditionally been viewed as superior, and rightfully so. Swiss brands have the longstanding heritage and expertise to produce masterpieces of fine engineering, elevating horology to the levels of an entirely different art form. The words “Swiss Made” alone are often enough to command higher prices.
What then can you do if you wanted a piece of Swiss horology, without the price tag? The answer: Swatch.
Swatch is by no means an unfamiliar brand. Many mistake “Swatch” to mean “Swiss watch”; it actually stands for “second watch”. There’s a whole interesting history behind the founding of Swatch, but I’ll save that for another time.
The great thing about Swatch watches is that they come in all kinds of designs; there are some pretty wacky ones and I’m sure you’ll be able to find at least one that interests you. When it comes to design, I must say that Swatch definitely dares to be different.
Today’s review however, will be looking at a simpler piece: the GB753, “Sir Red”. (How did they even think of such a name anyway?)
As its name suggests, the dial comes in a beautiful, deep red, which is really the main attraction of this otherwise simple timepiece. The matte finished dial, produces different tones depending on the angle it is viewed at.
The dial is rather minimalist, with just the words “Swatch” and “Swiss” found beneath the 12 o’ clock marker, and a day date window at 3. I like how Swatch bothered to use a red day wheel to fit in with the colour scheme, while the white date window improves legibility.
The Arabic numerals are well-sized, with accompanying rectangular markers coloured in orange to create some contrast. For some reason, the chosen font gives me a retro-playful vibe; it’s interesting and I like it.
The baton hands are painted with a similar orange as the hour-markers and contain a negligible amount of lume; don’t expect it to glow like some dive watches.
The different elements fit into a cohesive colour scheme, which is always satisfying. While the watch is simple, the dial manages to offer enough appeal while balancing subtlety.
Like most other Swatch watches, the “Sir Red” comes in a plastic construction. The watch measures 34mm across (including crown), 39.2mm from lug-to-lug, and 8.75mm thick.
It is a watch on the smaller side, but will not look out of proportion if you have a smaller wrist. Larger wrists might want to opt for Swatch’s bigger sized pieces.
The watch’s profile is relatively slim, and will fit under shirt cuffs for those looking for an everyday, office piece. Swatch is indeed the watch of choice of several famous wall street personalities. Maybe if you pick this up you’ll be the next Blankfein?
The crystal of choice for Swatch is acrylic, much to the chagrin of some. It is domed, an aesthetic I enjoy. Being acrylic, it will scratch easily. Luckily, Swatch provides free lifetime polishing (this one’s for all the kiasu ones out there); they take a cloth and some magic liquid thing (polywatch), give it a good scrub and voila, it looks just like new. Try it to believe it.
The watch is water resistant to 3-bar, which is good enough for daily life. The battery is accessed via a cover that can be opened with a coin (20 cents works best; I tried). Another bonus is that Swatch offers lifetime free battery changes, so whenever your watch is out of juice just head on down to the nearest Swatch store. *kiasu squeals*
The strap is made out of black coloured silicone. It’s soft and comfortable to wear. Being silicone, it’ll probably be quite durable. I would say it’s a step above your generic Casio watches, which use silicone/rubber bands as well.
Most Swatch watches use a quartz movement. I wasn’t able to find any information online about their accuracy, but just being a quartz movement will make it more accurate than most automatic watches. You won’t need to worry about it much; plus its Swiss made! That’s got to count for something. Right…?
One thing to note about the watch is that it has a rather loud tick. As I write this review, I can actually hear it ticking from where its placed on my desk. Some people don’t mind this, but I’d definitely advise you against putting this by your bedside. From what I read, this is a common issue for Swatch watches, possibly due to the use of a plastic case construction, or something related to the movement.
New, this model will cost you $99; if you don’t mind secondhand however, I’ve seen these go for anywhere between $30 to $60. Swiss made at a bargain.
The “Sir Red” is really a classic Swatch piece, simple without frills. The plain black strap and case gives the watch versatility to be worn in any situation, while the red dial adds a nice touch to keep things interesting.
Some people feel that Swatch watches are overrated – you could arguably get a Casio that can do the same, if not more for less. If Swiss made is your thing however, and you’re looking for something a bit on the lighter side of horology, why not? If Wall Street wears it, so can you.