Fashion

Swatch x Hodinkee Returns to Pack a Lot of Style Into an Affordable Package

The new Sistem51 Blue Edition is more than just good looks.
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Swatch is the great equalizer of the watch world. No matter whether you're a seasoned collector with money to burn or young watch fan just starting out, the brand's mix of horological know-how and stylish design holds an undeniable appeal. That's why, when the folks at watch-centric site Hodinkee were getting ready to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they knew they had to return to their partnership with the Swiss watch giant. 

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"Given the overall positive response from both new and established buyers on the first Swatch collaboration, we knew we had to do another one," says Hodinkee founder Benjamin Clymer. "This time around, we wanted to collaborate on a watch that celebrates both the fun and watchmaking skill that Swatch is known for, but done up in our own way—a watch the feels both distinctly Swatch and Hodinkee." 

Enter the Systim51 Blue Edition watch, which launched this week with a wallet-friendly $150 price tag. The design is inspired by Swatch's colorful watches of the '80s and '90s, as you can see from the blue silicon strap and clasp, and the almost iridescent blue case that shifts tones depending on the viewing angle. But hidden inside that case is a pretty serious movement. 

The Sistem51 movement is the world's first mechanical movement assembled entirely by machine. It's comprised of 51 pieces (hence the name) that are all anchored by a single screw, and gives the automatic watch an impressive 90-hour power reserve. On the Blue Edition, the exposed workings of the movement are painted in a kaleidoscopic blue, red, and white pattern—you know, just to keep things interesting.

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Flip the watch, and the dial itself is a complete departure. Toned down and stylized, it takes cues from mid-century design (check the hand-drawn numerals, inspired by timepieces from the '40s) and moves the date window to the six o'clock position to balance things out. At 42mm, it's a little on the larger size, but the subdued look and lightweight construction mean it wears easily on the wrist. And trust us, you'll want to get a lot of wear out of this thing.

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The Sistem51 Blue Edition is available now in limited quantities from Swatch and Hodinkee. If you're in the market, act fast. You'll be getting a great everyday watch, plus a place in the annals of horological history—or at least something to mark the progression of your own watch journey. "Many people start their watch collection or obsession with a Swatch," says Clymer, "and we are proud to continue to be part of that story."

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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