Back in 2013, Swatch replica watches UK made a huge announcement at Baselworld that they would be producing and selling a new type of Swiss mechanical watch for a new low price. The watch would be known as the Swatch Sistem 51, be priced at around $150, and use a new type of robotically-produced mechanical movement made from just 51 parts.
While the Japanese and other Asian manufacturers have been producing mechanical watches for much cheaper for a long time, the fact that a Swiss watch maker was entering the “budget mechanical fake watch” market was very interesting. The best way of explaining the purpose of the Swatch Sistem 51 for me was as a means for Swatch to help young people enter the world of mechanical watches with an attractive and budget-priced watch that would allow them to later “graduate” into more expensive and luxurious mechanical watches. Allow me to remind you that watch brands such as Hamilton, Longines, Omega, and Breguet are all under the larger Swatch Group umbrella.
Perhaps the irony of Swatch’s high-volume production mechanical watches produced by robots was that they experienced production delays that led to a slower-than-anticipated rollout of Swatch Sistem 51 watches around the world. It was not until late 2014 that the Swatch Sistem 51 collection was officially available for sale in the USA.
One of the best things you can say about the Swatch Sistem 51 collection is that budget watch lovers could finally have a timepiece that was both inexpensive and fun, while also suitable as a timepiece to get a nod from watch snobs. I used that exact language when featuring the Swatch Sistem 51 watch in our Top 10 Affordable Watches That Get A Nod From Watch Snobs article. So even though there are lower-priced Asian mechanical watches, the “Swiss nature” of the Swatch Sistem 51 allowed for it to live a bit closer to the world of luxury timepieces that helped spawn it. Actually, in truth, the sales success of Swatch is more beneficial to the luxury watch world than vice versa.