Swatch Introduces the Big Bold Jelly Neon

Bright and cheerful.

Only just introduced earlier in the year, the Big Bold Jelly is a modern, majorly-upsized take on the Jelly Fish (ref. GZ010) of 1983 that had visible innards, just like the eponymous marine species.

Now the jellyfish gets a dose of colour with the Big Bold Jelly Neon. Essentially the same watch as the clear Big Bold Jelly, it is dressed up in bright, neon colours – orange, yellow, green or blue – for a more edgy and lively look.

Initial thoughts

Swatch watches are popular for their eccentric, recognisable designs – and were wildly popular 30 years ago in their heyday – and the Big Bold Jelly Neon is no different.

The watch is indeed big and bold. The translucent plastic case is 47 mm – matched with a translucent strap – and reveals the gears of the quartz movement on the clear dial. And it has the crown at two o’clock, which is pretty unconventional. The particular combination of whimsical quirks rarely exists in other watches, which makes the Big Bold case immediately distinct from afar.

The Big Bold Jelly Neon is also the boldest and most vibrant variant of the model to date, thanks to the punctuating accents of colour on the face, which even extend to the lugs and the buckle. They are welcome additions to the “jellyfish” aesthetic, making the watch even more striking than the previous Big Bold Jelly and encapsulate the essence of Swatch – fun, cheerful and eye catching. And the colours also make the watch a good choice for the trendy who are into accessorising; the Big Bold Jelly Neon pairs well with street and casual wear.

Ultimately, the Big Bold Jelly Neon is one of those watches that I can see myself gravitating towards when I am in the mood for fun, laid-back outdoor activities; the fluorescent appearance gives it a very outgoing personality. And it is also a pick-up-and-go watch, thanks to the quartz movement and very affordable price tag.

The spirit of Swatch

To better understand the appeal of Swatch watches such as the Big Bold Jelly Neon and what they stand for, a quick brand history is in order.

Cofounded by Nicolas Hayek in 1983 in the aftermath of the Quartz Crisis, Swatch was a revolutionary product at the time. Hayek and his co-founders realised that, in order for Swiss watchmakers to recapture the entry-level watch market, an affordable watch that was also appealing and collectible was needed.

Combining a plastic case and reliable quartz movement, then iterated into thousands of colourful designs – including the original Jelly Fish – Swatch watches managed to do exactly that, and they became a huge hit. In just under a decade after launch, 100 million Swatch watches had been sold.

Swatch mania became a thing in the 1980s and early 1990s, when overnight queues were the norm before the launch of a new limited edition watch. At Christie’s Swatch Classics auction in 1992, several watches sold for over US$20,000, including a Kiki Picasso that sold for the equivalent of US$21,871. The phenomenal commercial success of Swatch helped bankroll the formation of what is today the Swatch Group, Switzerland’s largest watchmaking conglomerate and owner of Omega, Longines, and Breguet.

The brand’s founding spirit of being fashion forward, affordable, and collectable is very much found in the Big Bold Jelly Neon.

Key facts and price

Swatch Big Bold Jelly Neon
Ref. SO27E102 (orange)
Ref. SO27E103 (yellow)
Ref. SO27E104 (green)
Ref. SO27E105 (blue)

Diameter: 47 mm
Height: 11.75 mm
Material: Clear plastic
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds

Strap: Silicone

Availability: Now at Swatch stores
Price: US$110; or 155 Singapore dollars

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