This unpretentious, democratic aspect is precisely what speaks to some Swatch aficionados. Hill enjoys how this contributes to the design of the watch, but also the spirit it embodies. As he puts it, “Men's mechanical watches can sometimes be quite large, and quite flashy, so it's nice to wear something that's unassuming, simple, discreet. I also like how democratic they are: inexpensive, widely available, it's a Swiss watch for everyone.”
Auro Montanari, otherwise known as John Goldberger, an established collector and watch scholar owns a respectable collection of them, despite having “never worn a Swatch.” As he puts it, “I have only made a couple of shots with a few interesting later models in matching locations on Instagram.” Montanari goes on to describe Swatch watches as “the last real innovation in the history of horology.”
For Montanari, the brilliance of Swatch can be distilled down to four separate innovations. “First innovation, a simple quartz wristwatch with only 51 parts, assembled with full automation. Second, the design process, a rigorous and continuous interaction between concepts and knowledge. Third, the innovative marketing. And fourth, the global distribution.” Beyond what we’ve already discussed, he highlights another key aspect of Swatch’s success: the fact that they managed to distribute their watches all around the globe. With the umpteen iterations, there was appeal in every possible market and the smaller than average size meant that it was not exclusionary to anyone.