Swatch Founder, Nicolas Hayek


Cosmesis Swatch Watch (1990)

Designed by artist Alessandro Mendini.

“The Swatch Group introduced their first collection of watches on March 1, 1983, and since then, they have produced a large range of different quartz watches. The company began as a way of rebuilding the Swiss watch

manufacturing business, which had lost ground to Seiko and other Japanese watch companies during the 1960s.

Swatch’s first collection of watches, unveiled in Zurich, Switzerland, introduced a very bold style and design. The watch mechanics were simpler and required fewer parts, a design which made the watches both easier to work on and more efficient to manufacture. It was this innovative new design that helped put Switzerland back on top of the watch market.

Swatch – a name which comes from combining the words “second” and “watch” according to Chairman Nicolas Hayek, launched a very aggressive marketing campaign alongside its new line of watches in 1983, and it was this campaign that allowed the company to easily sell 1 million watches that year. This campaign also saw Swatch reaching its peak in the United States during the 80s. In the US, the Swatch fad quickly caught on. In fact, the brand was so popular that people often wore two of them or used a Swatch to hold up their ponytails. Swatch even started making some very different kinds of watches, like the Pop Swatch, a Swatch that could be attached to shirts or vests. Artists also stepped in to create very unique, very trendy Swatch backgrounds and bands.

Swatch also gained popularity within the hip-hop community. In marketing to this community, Swatch created watches with interchangeable faces and bands. Swatch owners could quickly and easily change their watches look, color, and overall fashion statement by changing the cover and attaching it to a new vinyl band. Day-glow, neon colors, and pastel bands were all the rage.” – James Dunn

Below is a selection of some of our favorite swatches, in memory of Swiss Swatch founder, Nicolas Hayek.

19 February 1928, Beirut – 28 June 2010.


White Memphis LW102 Swatch Watch (1984)


Serpent GZ102 Keith Haring Swatch Watch (1985)

Designed by Keith Haring.


Orange Painted Time GK378 Swatch Watch (2002)

Designed By artist Stephen Dean.


Grey Memphis GM100 Swatch Watch(1984)


Tonga GL100 swatch watch(1986)


Jelly Piano GZ159 Swatch (1999)

Designed By Renzo Piano.


Eiga-Shi GZ141 (1995)

Designed by Akira Kurosawa.


Sam Francis GZ123PACK Swatch Watch (1992)

Designed by Artist Sam Francis


Tennis Grid LW100 Swatch Watch (1983)


Cigar GK250 Swatch (1997)


Agatic Agatac GK280 swatch watch (1998)

Designed by Agatha Ruiz De La Prada


1996 Dotted Swiss Chicago Democratic convention Logo Swatch watch


Silver Patch GN132

Designed by Ugo Nespolo.


Nikolai LW116 (1987)


Poncho GM122 Swatch Watch (1994)

Designed By artist C. Marino


Lots Of Dots GZ121 Swatch

Designed By Alessandro Mendini.


Point Of View GZ146PACK Swatch (1995)

Designed By Karl Gerstner.


Classic LB107 (1985)


Neo Quad Swatch (1985)


ScoobADoo GV102 swatch watch (1989)


Olympic Portraits GB178 (1996)

Designed By Annie Leibovitz.


Fox-Trot PWBR102 (1989)


Black Magic LB119 Swatch (1988)


Anglomania GW134P (2001)

Designed By artist Vivienne Westwood.

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