15 May 2014
A revolutionary watch, from its design to its manufacture. With two years of development and 17 patents pending, Swatch Sistem 51 is constructed entirely by means of automated systems, with no manual interventions. The self-winding movement made of ARCAP, an alloy of copper, zinc and nickel with antimagnetic properties, has only 51 components (traditional ones have at least 130), subdivided into five modules that are welded together, with a single central screw to which the rotor is fixed—this too is unusual: it’s a transparent disc that leaves the brightly colored mechanism visible. In addition, it boasts a 90-hour power reserve (comparable only to that of certain haute horlogerie models, costing far more), has no need of regulation (the rate is set at the factory with a laser and guarantees an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds a day) or of periodic maintenance (it is hermetically sealed inside the case and thus impermeable to dust and damp). Its distribution is highly selective: in Italy the Swatch Sistem 51 is on sale solely, until May 31, at the popup store on Via Montenapoleone, in Milan.