Is it possible, something actually new from Swatch? Like, genuinely new and not just a change of skin/color? It does appear so! After what seems like a zillion years, Swatch finally took a leap into unknown and revealed its latest creation – the Swatch Touch. Except it is not that groundbreaking or actually new. We have seen our share of touch screen watches over the last couple of years, but this particular Swatch is derivative of a Tissot’s T-Touch technology. Not that is something wrong with it, after all, Tissot is part of the Swatch Group (that’s a nice way of saying Tissot is owned by Swatch) and when your boss says: “Gimme!”, well, you gotta give. Slightly disappointing, but I guess we should all be grateful it isn’t yet another collection like Full Blooded.
What happened to Swatch exactly? Does anyone still remember the time when they used to make trends, and not just follow? Perhaps it is the curse of all mega-brands, when you reach a certain size, it is unwise, no, dangerous, to change. Deviate but a little from that course and it is curtains down for you. Just look at Rolex. Ever wonder why there is no news about Rolex here at Watch Allure? Because there is no news about Rolex. Anywhere. Unless you consider the new dial color or 1 mm larger case news. To their credit, Swatch did try now and then not be a one-trick pony. Remember the beat time? The Swatch’s effort back in 1998 (prehistory, in internet time!) to introduce a universal internet time, which would eliminate the timezones altogether by dividing the mean solar day into 1000 units or “beats“. One beat is 1 minute and 26.4 seconds long. Accompanying this not-to be the revolution in timekeeping, Swatch released Swatch .beat, a series of cheap digital watches that kept beat time as well as ordinary time. The benefits of this time system should be obvious to anyone, except it wasn’t. This noble effort failed quietly, went out without a bang and drifted into obscurity. (Sadly, I might add). These days, it appears the only place you can see the beat time is the official Swatch web site. Lesson learned! People don’t want revolution, just give them more of same, got it!
As for Swatch Touch, there is a slight variation to T-Touch – there is no buttons at all, everything is available via touch screen. There are 6 digital functions in total, you swipe through to access each one: 2 time zones (t1 and t2 on monochrome display), date, chronograph, alarm, timer and beep (your guess is as good as mine). The very ugly font serves as communication medium and integrated backlight should ease the use in lower visibility conditions.
For a price of 149 dollars, you would be better off with iPod Nano and some of myriad nano straps available.