Shortly after launching the Earth-friendly Big Bold Bioceramic made of plant-based plastic, Swatch is venturing off the planet and towards the stars with the Space Collection.
A line of five watches conceived in collaboration with American space agency NASA, the Space Collection is inspired by NASA’s colours and spacesuits. It is made up of a trio of extra-large Big Bold watches with Bioceramic cases, along with a pair of more classical Gent models in regular plastic.
I’m a big fan of Swatch and own several, including the MoMA “Starry Night” launched last month. The brand is often neglected by enthusiasts because of its fun and low-cost watches, despite Swatch having played a pivotal role in keeping Swiss watchmaking going during the Quartz Crisis. In fact, Swatch was crucial enough that its parent company renamed itself Swatch Group, despite owning brands like Omega and Breguet.
It comes as no surprise that I like the new Space Collection, especially the Big Bold models. The Space Collection represents Swatch doing what it does best – offering fun, interesting timepieces at an accessible price point. In fact, the Space Collection models are likely the most affordable NASA-endorsed watches on the market. To put things in perspective, even the top-of-the-line Big Bold Chrono is cheaper than Omega’s NASA velcro straps.
Starting at US$125 for the time-only version – the line up includes chronographs – the Big Bold is the most affordable Swiss-made watch with a ceramic case. And the appeal is boosted by the fact that the Space Collection watches are priced identically to the standard models.
My choice would be the time-only Big Bold Jumpsuit that’s modelled on the blue outfits astronauts wear for office work. With a minimalist look and a translucent dial that exposes the movement, the Big Bold Jumpsuit feels quintessentially Swatch.
Although the Big Bold is 47 mm, it are surprisingly ergonomic due to its lug-less design. The lug-to-lug span is only 44.8 mm, a measurement usually associated with watches having a diameter of around 36 mm.
Space on the wrist
Like the Big Bold Jumpsuit, the other two Big Bold timepieces are also inspired by NASA spacesuits. The Big Bold Chrono Extravehicular is inspired by the white suits first worn in 1983 by astronauts Story Musgrave and Donald Peterson, while the Big Bold Chrono Launch gets its cues from the high-visibility, orange “Pumpkin Suit” worn during space launches.
Interestingly, the central seconds hand of the Big Bold Chrono resets to ten seconds before the usual 12 o’clock position. This is a nod to the final countdown before a lift-off. It’s a subtle and quirky homage to space exploration, so kudos to Swatch for being creative.
For those seeking something more conventional, the Space Collection includes a pair of Gent models, the classical Swatch wristwatch that dates to the brand’s founding.
Both more discreet in design than the Big Bold models – the smaller Gent Take Me to the Moon has a see-through case, and while the large New Gent Space Race has a silvered, mirror-like dial. The watches are 34 mm and 41 mm respectively, and feature NASA branding on the straps.
Key Facts and Price
Swatch Space Collection
Diameter: 47 mm (Big Bold), 41 mm (New Gent Space Race), 34 mm (Gent Take Me to the Moon)
Material: Bioceramic (Big Bold), plastic (Space Race, Take Me to the Moon)
Water resistance: 30 m
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds; additional chronograph and date for Big Bold Chrono
Availability: At Swatch stores and online boutique starting June 5
Big Bold Jumpsuit – US$125; or 194 Singapore Dollars
Big Bold Chrono Extravehicular – US$160; or 246 Singapore Dollars
Big Bold Chrono Launch – US$165; or 253 Singapore Dollars
Space Race – US$95; or 141 Singapore Dollars
Take Me to the Moon – US$85; or 127 Singapore Dollars
For more, visit Swatch.com.
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