By Claudie Benjamin
Swatch is iconic. The brand has practically spelled durable and cool from its birth in Switzerland in the 1980s until today. Swatch watches with ever-evolving colors and bold styles, bands and faces fashioned out of fluorescent plastic green, pinks, violets and turquoise, shiny metallics, sleek black or gray or even transparent materials, communicate creativity with a kind of whimsical irreverence.
The “starter watches” have been and continue to be worn by children. The subtler styles are worn by men and women of all ages. They’re particularly popular among people in their 30s according to Assistant Manager Elena Jovan. Even in this digital age, watches continue to be worn banded around a wrist as a convenient way to consult the time. Swatches also make a fashion statement more than any cell phone.
The holiday season always is particularly busy at Swatch when gift giving may involve splurges on limited edition watches. The watches Elena is currently wearing are the SKIN IORNY and BIG BOLD CHRONO. “We always wear two watches. The BB is our latest model,” explains Store Manager Nadia Nichol. Her own BB is black and blue with a stopwatch feature.
The first Swatch store in Manhattan opened its doors at its present location at the southwest corner of 72nd Street. The shop windows display the current highlights of the season – a draw, even if you already have a number of watches. Durability and a kind of ageless cool always make sense.
“We have been located at this particular location [100 West 72nd Street] for more than 20 years. We don’t just consider ourselves just a store but as part of the neighborhood. Most of our shoppers are locals. Moms and Dads who remember when they got their first watch are now bringing their children back for their own first watch.” Nadia says.