R.I.P. Mr. Swatch, A Retrospective
Nicholas Hayek, the founder and chairman of the Swatch Group Ltd, died yesterday of heart failure at 82. Hayek was a charismatic businessman (the NYT's obit cited a Harvard Business Review article that described him as "a genuine business celebrity"), and widely credited for saving the Swiss watch industry with the creation, in 1983, of the affordable and adorable Swatch watch. As a child of the '80s, I get nostalgic about Swatch watches. My favorite had a bright green band and a pink face and the hands had little faces on the ends. (Also Swatches made learning to tell time easy.) And I'm not the only one who waxes nostalgic about Swatch. The brightly colored plastic watches have become highly collectible and can go for as much as $1200. Swatch launched "Swatch the Club" in 1990 for their growing fan base, and, according to one Swatch-head site, by the end of that year the club had over 20,000 members. Each year, the Swatch Club creates a specially designed Swatch for its members. (Don't worry, you can still join the club.) So as a tribute to Hayek, we put together this retrospective of Swatch Club watches, and even earlier vintage models. Which is your favorite?