When Swatch announced the Sistem51 at Baselworld 2013, watch enthusiasts took note. The mechanical, machine-made wristwatch was lauded for its simple movement architecture (51 components anchored to a central screw) all hermetically sealed against potentially damaging environmental elements. While the introductory models featured a linear, constellation-esque pattern on the dial, these new versions (excepting the pink watch) are more conservative in design. Luckily, the Sistem51 will still be offered at a reasonable price of $150.
We won't get too deep into technical details in this post; for that, we recommend reading our hands-on review of the Sistem51 here. In summary, notwithstanding its plastic construction, the Sistem51 marks a step forward for Swatch in terms of product concepts and production techniques.
In addition to the "Sistem Chic," the "Sistem Cream" offers a much more restrained take on the Sistem51. The black dial is no doubt influenced by Bauhaus-style watches, with stylized sans-serif Arabic numerals and a clean, linear layout. Arabic numerals for the minutes are placed at the outermost portion of the dial. The movement is decorated with a dotted pattern, reminiscent of the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
This model takes on a deep teal hue with accents of orange for the hour indexes, which extend all the way to the bezel. The orange theme continues to the hour and minutes hands, as well as the to the background of the date wheel at 3 o'clock. The movement, visible through a clear case back, is decorated in a teal and orange sunburst pattern.
Perhaps the most conservative offering in this new collection is the "Sistem Chic." Other than the red constellation pattern on the white dial, the design is pure, with black Arabic numerals for the hours. A railroad track-style scale is positioned on the inside of the dial, and surrounds the date aperture (positioned at 6 o'clock, unlike the other models) in an elegant way. Turning the watch around, however, reveals a movement decorated in a hypnotizing black-and-white pattern.
The loudest of the lot, the "Sistem Pink" features a deep blue dial with a pink illustration of the structure of an atom. White dots, on both the bezel and dial, replace hour numerals or long hour indexes, as seen on the other models. The case is in translucent pink plastic, matching a pink silicone strap with blue buckle.
With its translucent blue case, the "Sistem Class" is perhaps the least loud of the colored cases. White Arabic numerals for the hours rest against a black background, complemented by white dots around the bezel.
The new collection will launch on February 23 at store.swatch.com and will also be available at all Swatch stores in the United States. For more information, visit Swatch online.