A passion for Swatch Vintage models

About Swatch and its early years...

It all began in the early 1980s, a very unstable period for the watchmaking industry also known as the "Quartz Crisis". The Quartz Crisis was the direct result of competitiveness underestimation by the Swiss as Japanese and American companies began to gain considerable market shares.
Between 1970 and 1983, Swiss watch companies decreased from 1,600 to 600 and employment fell from 90,000 to only 28,000 jobs. Most family-run businesses and smaller workshops had to file for bankruptcy.

Quartz Swatch Vintage
At the beginning of the 1980's, watch manufacturers in Switzerland realized that changes were necessary. The recovery of the Swiss watch industry was shouldered in particular by two men: Ernst Thomke and Nicolas G. Hayek. In 1978, Thomke was hired by ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG), the second largest watch group after SSIH (Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère), to restructure the production of movements.
Thomke aimed to simplify the production process and managed to bring all its suppliers together to form a new company, ETA SA, which is still known today for the manufacture of raw movements. He reduced both production costs and the number of employees and began to accelarate the conversion to quartz movements. His strategy soon proved to be the good one.

The rise of Swatch...

Thomke and Hayek were to be brought together by Swatch - both then and now the flagship of the Swatch Group. Thomke soon had a plan for a model, which he developed under the code name Delirium Vulgare.

Thomke Hayek Swatch Group Quartz vintage N. Hayek & E. Thomke

ETA made its debut in 1978 with Delirium, one of the flattest watches ever. Thomke planned to invest the engineering knowledge gained in a low-cost, rapid-production watch that would yield a high profit margin. Instead of the circuit board, the movement was to be built directly on the case back. The case itself should be made of plastic. The problem: Thomke needed investors, but the banks refused the money. So he presented his idea to Hayek, with whose help he could secure the financing. The Swatch was launched in 1983 along with the company and gained popularity due to its affordable price, wide range of designs, and neon wristbands. It was the success that Switzerland needed.

Original Jelly Fish 1983

N. Hayek Jr, in his own words:

Each of the items is a piece of documentary evidence. Together they could tell hundred different stories, exciting episodes in the history of watchmaking. There are stories here about product design and marketing, about new materials and processes, about the power of mass communications, fashion and popular trends. Above all there is the story of the revolutionary shift in how people think about watches and in how watches are produced - an industrial revolution inspired and carried by Swatch itself.
It is the story of a love affair with art. Not the art that is trapped in galleries and museums, but art that has escaped and jumped to the wrist, to the street and the world's smallest canvas.
(Blum Auction, 2011)


 A passion and a family matter...

The collection started a few years after the launch of the brand in 1983. We have been lucky enough to witness the rise and magnificence of its unilimited creativy. In 1995 we integrated the official Swatch Collector's Club which gave us access to rare models released over time.

The love and passion generated by these unique timepieces motivated us to acquire a numerous amount of models, some of them were kept for private use but most of them are here, untouched, and preserved in their original case.
We decided to share our story and our models with you by creating a web shop, where this vintage era could live forever.