We’re thrilled to announce a new SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE watch, and we think you’ll appreciate our latest source of inspiration: It’s summer! The SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION is a clean and crisp homage to everyone’s favorite season, which takes the overall design of the GENERATION 1986 model we released last fall and switches up the colors for a white-out look. And this time around, we’ve created a special companion piece for it: a Flik Flak watch with a complementary color scheme that is perfect for introducing any young child to wearing watches and telling time. It’s a pair of watches fit for the whole family that epitomizes summer spirit, all while remaining in the accessible sweet spot for which Swatch and Flik Flak are known.
The SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION
This is our fourth collaboration with Swatch in as many years, and we appreciate each of the watches for a different reason. One of the core tenets of Swatch’s success since the first Swatch watch was introduced in 1983 is the sheer variety of designs available, which heightens the inherent collectability of each new release. You could buy a Swatch for any outfit and any occasion, and neither your wallet nor watch collection would be any worse for wear. Around 10,000 different Swatch watches have been released in the past 37 years, resulting in some pretty wild and memorable designs. All we’ve ever wanted to do with our Swatch collaborations is to tap into the brand’s rich aesthetic history and leave a mark of our own. We think we’ve done just that with the pristine, all-white look of the SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION.
We designed the SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION to be an essential part of your daily summer lifestyle. Whether you prefer espadrilles or sandals when hitting the beach, a Panama hat or a backwards cap when working in the yard, or if your summer goals simply involve sitting back with a cold drink when the sun is shining the brightest, the SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION will carry you through the season with ease.
Unlike the saturated designs that defined much of the early Swatch madness in the 1980s and ’90s, we think that the SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION is compelling through the absence of color. The visual interest is led entirely by the refreshing white tone of the dial, case, silicone rubber strap, and buckle, and it’s only disrupted by the punctuation of the hour markers in blue and black. The baton-style hands are filled with lume, and a date aperture is placed tidily at six o’clock.
There’s always been something that’s captivated us about the use of the color white in watch design. While we’ve long appreciated grey and dark tones, white is intriguing in a totally different way. It’s incredibly difficult to get right, which is why you’ll see brands typically prefer using off-white and silver colors. Though we’ve started to see more unconventional shades in recent times, the color white has remained generally elusive. The monochromatic nature of the SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION is our way of playing with the color, and we think the watch does a pretty great job of speaking for itself.
From the California coast and the Swiss Alps to hanging out at home, we hope the SWATCH SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION becomes the perfect distillation of your summer season. It’s the same size as all of our previous SISTEM51 collaborations, and it retains the same interplay of funky hour markers (how many other watches in your collection feature circles, rectangles, and triangles on the dial?) as last fall’s GENERATION 1986. Unlike other SWATCH SISTEM51 models – including our first collaboration with Swatch, the Vintage 84 – the white case of the HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION isn’t translucent whatsoever. It’s solid, white plastic with a crisp sheen that calls immediate attention to itself.
Like the GENERATION 1986 before it, the SISTEM51 movement inside the SUMMER EDITION features an anti-magnetic Nivachron™ hairspring, which is a titanium-based alloy that is resistant to magnetism, shocks, aging, and temperature variation. It is one of the Swatch Group’s most recent proprietary inventions, and Swatch has gradually been implementing it into newer SISTEM51 releases. The SISTEM51 is, as you’re likely aware, one of the most significant innovations in the Swiss watch industry over the past decade. First revealed in 2013, it’s a self-winding movement built entirely in Switzerland through an automated process, from just 51 components – the same number of parts that comprised the original 1983 Swatch – with a bi-directional rotor that allows the watch to reach an impressive 90 hours of running autonomy. The SISTEM51 movement is visible through an exhibition caseback, and its mainplate and bridges have been color-printed with a unique HODINKEE-designed pattern, featuring interlocking “H” characters in blue and white.
You know it. You love it. It’s Swatch. And it doesn’t get much more fun than this. The SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION is available now for $ 170, right here.
The FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION
Swatch founded a subsidiary organization in 1987 called Flik Flak, with its primary goal being to provide a tool for teaching young children how to tell time in an interesting and interactive way. Since then, Flik Flak has worked with teachers and child psychologists to formulate unique and original designs that make telling time approachable and enjoyable. Flik Flak likes to say “it’s never too early to be on time,” and we’re partial to agreeing with them. For many younger HODINKEE employees, Flik Flak watches acted as a gateway into developing an appreciation for watches as a whole, and other HODINKEE team members have gifted these fun and affordable watches to their children.
The best-known Flik Flak models incorporate an anthropomorphic handset named – you guessed it – Flik, for the minute hand, and Flak, for the hour hand. For our take on the Flik Flak family, we decided to forego these characters (sorry, guys!) in favor of a streamlined design that matches the summer aesthetic of the SWATCH SISTEM51. Education and legibility remained at the forefront of what we wanted to accomplish with the FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION, and you’ll notice that the watch’s full suite of timekeeping elements have been color-coordinated for ease of use. The hour hand and Arabic hour numerals on the dial are the same shade of matching dark blue; the minute hand and five-minute markers on the outer chapter ring are executed in black; and the seconds hand and outside hash marks are done in a cool ice blue that matches the seconds hand of the SISTEM51 HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION. Everything on the dial of this Flik Flak is there for a purpose: to share our passion for watches and watchmaking with the next generation, by setting them up for time-telling success. Swatch was playing the long game when it introduced Flik Flak in 1987, and over 30 years later, the brand still defines the children’s watch genre.
The FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION has a 32mm hard plastic case in white that can actually be machine washed (just place it in a sock!), so there’s no need to worry about the watch getting dirty during the natural messes that occur while growing up. The striped blue fabric strap is sourced from Italy, and the quartz movement inside comes from ETA in Switzerland. The dial is even subtly signed by ETA near the five o’clock marker! How cool is that? You can teach any young watch enthusiast about the history of ETA and the Swatch Group, while at the same time letting them know that their Flik Flak and your Swatch are built by the same people.
Flik Flak operates a quality control center in one of ETA’s primary facilities, where each Flik Flak watch is tested for one month to ensure it can handle life on the wrist of any child. That means shock testing, water pressure testing, and ensuring that every single element of a Flik Flak watch is safe and approachable for kids of all ages. How many children’s watches do you know that are not only produced entirely in Switzerland, but also undergo extensive rounds of quality control? These are watches you can trust, no matter the size of your wrist.
Oh, and did we mention that the FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION is priced at just $ 40? It’s yet another example of how quality and cool Swiss watches don’t have to break the bank. You can purchase yours right here.
The Fine Print
The entire HODINKEE team owns a number of Swatch watches in our personal collections, and many of us have fond memories of either wearing or gifting Flik Flak watches in our lives. Swatch and Flik Flak represent an essential element of the lifelong watch collecting experience, and our goal in designing this pair of watches was to share the joy we’ve experienced in collecting similar models with you and your family. The SWATCH SISTEM51 and FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITIONS are available in the HODINKEE Shop today, so you too can share the collecting experience through these complementary designs.
Neither of these watches are numbered editions, but quantities are limited. The SWATCH SISTEM51 and FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITIONS can be purchased in the HODINKEE Shop, and a smaller number will be available at Swatch stores in Switzerland, at the brand’s location at Times Square in New York, and at Swatch online. You can learn more and purchase your own SWATCH SISTEM51 and FLIK FLAK HODINKEE SUMMER EDITION in the HODINKEE Shop today.