Heinz Peter Schwerfel
The Swatch is a perfect object for an analysis of contemporary design. Inside it hides an innovative technology that allowed it to markedly reduce the costs of production and to manufacture in enormous quantity. But its almost immediate success was due to a perfect fit between the object and its time. The outward appearance of the Swatch reflects the 1980s — a period marked by easy money, optimism, advertising, and cut-rate consumption. Through clever slogans and a carefully designed look, the Swatch made itself the symbol of individuality, and especially of the personalised time and the speed that more than anything characterised that decade.