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August 15th, 2021
Author: Spiff
Plastic Fever

The Poux influence has sparked exalted interest in the Swiss watchmaker. You cannot get an idea of ​​the enormous amount of messages that we have received and which we greatly appreciate. We knew that the interview could cause a stir, that most likely the other chronos, different from the Grand Prix, had their prominence and increase in value in the market, but we never figured that this, this fever, this hype. We're simply thankful. The first one surprised was me. At times I have even thought to not do it. Very short times, yes. Moments when I dive on the Internet and there are no Swatch vintage chronos that do not involve the removal of any of my organs. It has been in one of these searches where I have found a new target. Few colors and none fluorescent. Vintage or pseudo vintage. Northern Italian businessmen, architects and intellectuals. The black or navy blue Swatch with white dial. Sergio Loro Piana, Luca and Matteo di Montezemolo, Alain Elkann… they all had several things in common. Elegance, of course, and its Swatch, which couldn't be less elegant.

alain elkann swatch

Alain Elkann with double breasted suit and black and white Swatch

When Coco Chanel said that less is more, reason was not lacking. If I had chosen a watch, I would have chosen one of the most classic Swatch models. From the original GB001, the Swiss firm's first watch in 1983, the GB100, GB700, GT402, GN100, GN400 ... also from the same year, to the first SKIN SFN100 or the current GB743, also called Once Again. Plastic clocks that any normcore elegant wardrobe would welcome.

With the GB001, Swatch presented itself to the world with a groundbreaking statement of intent: good, nice, and cheap. And it did it at a difficult time in the Swiss watch industry. At the end of the 70s, Japanese companies such as Seiko, Casio or Citizen had burst into force, offering precise quartz and digital LCD watches with excellent prices, which caused the Helvetians to rapidly lose a large part of their market share. Faced with this situation, Swiss manufacturers had to react, face the crisis and win back customers. Under the leadership of Nicolas G. Hayek, many Swiss watch companies joined, and Swatch was born. Modern and innovative designs, but with much lower manufacturing costs than conventional ones. Plastic and 51 pieces instead of the 91 normally used to make a watch. A true success that has remained perennial even until now, establishing Swatch as the largest watch company in the world and encompassing watch brands such as Omega, Tissot, Longines, Blancpain, Hamilton...

Swatch SFN100

Swatch SKIN Monoblue SFN100

Of all the classics, the XNUMX SFNXNUMX has been the main focus of my search. A photo of the sadly deceased, Sergio Loro Piana, was the architect. From the moment I saw the snapshot, I understood why love is represented by Cupid, son of Mars, the god of war, why he is blindfolded, why his weapons are the bow and arrow, and why there is talk of the mortal wounds of love. One of those had landed on me. Apologies for the exaltation of feelings, this time the architect was Luis Landero. But seriously, I'd seen plastic watches in expensive suits before, but never like this. A perfect binomial. Sergio appeared half smiling, legs crossed, not Sharon Stone style. Light glasses with metal, probably titanium, frames like those made by the Lindberg firm, a perfect brown double breasted suit, Open Walk (although they are not seen in the photo below, he wore them, he always wore them), a navy blue tie and BANG! ! A very flat Swatch in the same tone as the tie, on top of the left cuff of his red and white shirt, replicating the style of his compatriot L'Avoccato. Yes, to make matters worse, with red and white stripes... Excuse me again, I'm an Atletico de Madrid fan. I admit that I have had impulses to copy the two icons and wear my watch like this, but I have not yet fallen. I'll tell you if I finally relinquish the throne. The photo and look had all the ingredients to be unfaithful to Poux and his fluorescent Chronos. Not even the presence of Pier Luigi behind him, with his XNUMX GMT Master and faded bezel could overshadow that innate elegance.

Parrot Piana brothers

Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana

Minutes to, first, investigate the model. It wasn't a specific model in that photo. Sergio appeared in many with it. At first I thought it was the Swatch Marmarella SFN124. Everything seemed to indicate that the model in question was that one, but nothing could be further from the truth, despite the erroneous information on the part of Swatch itself, which also confirmed my own initial beliefs. But no, impossible, that was a daydream, Sergio passed away in 2013 and the Marmarella was launched on the market in 2019. I went on and on until I found it. 1996 and 1997, Swatch SFN100. There it was. There was no going back. I wanted it. Ebay, Chrono24, Vinted… I spent hours in front of my iPhone screen adding diopters to a shortsightedness that seemed to feed on my whims, but I had finally found it. It was now mine.

The Swatch SFN100 Monoblue was the first watch in the firm's SKIN collection. If one of the things Poux liked was how flat his Swatches were, he should look at this one. Flat, elegant and comfortable. Sergio must have thought the same. Rest in peace.

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