Swatch (a contraction of “second watch”) is a Swiss watchmaker founded in 1983 . The Swatch product line was developed as a response to the “quartz crisis” in which Japanese quartz watches in the ‘70s & ‘80s, largely replaced mechanical watches around the world causing a significant decline of the mechanical Swiss watchmaking industry.
The Swatch was sealed in a plastic case, sold as a disposable commodity with little probability of repair, and had a small number of moving parts – but yet delivered high levels of accuracy.
Initially the price was standardised to roughly $50, and with a multitude of designs gained instant popularity with more than 2.5 million Swatches sold in the first two years of production.
The current rise of smartwatches however brings concerns over a new crisis which may again threaten the Swiss watchmaking industry.