Swatch SISTEM51 turns the world upside down – the front tells the time, the back tells the story
Thirty years ago Swatch introduced a simplified, Swiss made quartz wristwatch with only 51 parts. The world’s first plastic watch was made not by hand in the traditional Swiss manner, but on a fully automated assembly line. The small number of parts and automated assembly made quality Swiss watches accessible, for the first time, to millions of people. Thirty years later, Swatch has done it again: sustained investment in research and development, innovative thinking, advanced engineering and simple creativity have turned the watch world on its head. The «lucky number» of Swatch – 51 – yesterday a point of arrival, today a point of departure!
SISTEM51. The protagonist of the story this time is an automatic (self-winding) mechanical movement made from a total of 51 parts. The parts form five separate modules, which are welded into a single unit centered on a single screw. Conventional mechanical watch movements have at least twice as many parts; some of the more complicated, high-end models have more than six hundred, assembled by hand over weeks or months by master watchmakers in their ateliers.
SISTEM51 is the first and only mechanical movement with fully automated assembly. The high-tech escapement has no regulator; the rate is set at the factory with a laser, making the manual rate adjustments normally required by a mechanical watch unnecessary. The movement, which features a 90 hour power reserve, is made of ARCAP, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc with exceptional anti-magnetic qualities. All parts are hermetically sealed within the case: no moisture, dust or foreign elements can interfere with performance, assuring a very long life and sustained accuracy over time (+/- 10 seconds per day).
SISTEM51 is transparent. A distinguishing feature of Swatch from the outset, transparency is built into SISTEM51. Automatic movements are driven by an oscillating weight; the oscillating weight in SISTEM51 is a transparent disc that rotates freely around the one central screw, offering fascinating views of the mechanics within. The oscillating weight and visible surfaces of the five movement modules are all printable, further enhancing the potential to add a creative soul to the back of this new watch, and of course to open new ways for collaborating, as the brand has done for thirty years, with contemporary artists to create exceptional art for the wrist.
SISTEM51 was conceived, developed and built entirely and exclusively in Switzerland, and in less than two years. Undeniably disruptive of the status quo in the Swiss watch industry, it was made possible by significant continuous investment on the part of Swatch Group in research and development and in key companies in Swatch’s industrial environment. 100% Swiss made, SISTEM 51 is a provocation, an audacious challenge to invest, like Swatch, in the future of the Swiss watch industry. SISTEM51 is the epitome and the ultimate celebration of Swiss Made as a state of mind, standing for absolute quality of innovation, a provocation on a continuing path of tradition and research.
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