Nightspeed by Swatch

Each year I tend to have a look around the offerings by the Swatch Group, but concentrating not on their high end portfolio, but rather on the Swatch in-house Brand .  This is the one started life back in 1989 with the introduction of 12 new models.  The start of a range of watches from Switzerland, produced to counter the mass influx of cheap quartz watches from Asia.  Termed Swatch to infer “second watch” at a low competitive price point, a Swiss movement and a true “Made in Switzerland” logo.  It was a successful ploy and they have produced millions of successfully selling watches ever since.

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The Swatch Nightspeed blue black

Swatch introduce new models often and you can usually guarantee good quality, a good movement and an affordable price.  So this year I looked to see what would take my fancy and be my model for this year (it might not be a 2018 build, but one I maybe missed in the past).

This time I’ve gone for a black plastic cased, quartz powered model, called the Nightspeed.  I find it to be a very attractive dark toned blue dial within a black case with a black silicon buckle strap. Fitting to a conventional spring bar fitting on the case, this means you can swap out the strap for any standard one, if you prefer.  In the event I like this strap as it’s very flexible, has a nice mat black finish and corresponding buckle.

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Quick change battery hatch – with battery type inscribed on back.

The dial numerals are in white with two different font sizes, the 12, 4 and 8 being larger. There are three sub-dials with running seconds at 6, and the two at 2 and 10 function as stop-watch counters.  There is also a date window at 6 with white against black and most of the dial features are luminous.  There is a black stop-watch seconds centre sweep hand and the semi skeleton hour and minute hands have white tipped pointers.
There is a finely marked dial bezel featuring a Km/h marker ring and there are two black pushers on the right, either side of the centre crown for timing functions and setting the watch.

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Light weight plastic body – easy on the wrist.  Note the date window @6.

Whilst the color scheme is predominantly black and blue, the white features within the dial make this an easy watch to read.  Overall it is both understated and yet very attractive.

The dimensions are 42 mm diameter and just over 13 mm depth including the slightly domed crystal, so a nicely sized watch and being plastic cased is very light on the wrist.
According to the data on the Seller’s website, the Water Resistance is quoted as 30m, though with the Swatch quick change battery “hatch” as opposed to a full screw back, I’d be cautious it testing how good that may be!

One neat point to note is the battery type (394) is inscribed along-side the hatch, which is very useful.

The Swatch 4 jewel Quartz movements, I’ve found and certainly the ones I own are both accurate and reliable . . . . which when put together with the general attributes of this particular model, I am certain will be a great model to own and at around £80 represents a good buy.
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Just a note – if you are looking for a watch to match colors with clothing, it is a fact that generally the Swatch range give you a great choice, as they do offer an extraordinary number of models in all sorts of color options.  Just a thought for Christmas. . . .

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Quartz – todays’ bargain.

Whilst as a collector I have a preference for mechanical watches (to see a watch movement in operation I find utterly fascinating) I have to admit that as many other folks I tend to wear a Quartz digital watch for everyday use.  And for good reason I suppose as apart from accuracy, they are much more resilient when it comes to physical abuse of modern living such as sports like swimming or golf etc.

But the range of cheap Quartz watches is nothing short of amazing – here are some –

Cheap as chips - quartz selection

Just a selection of Quartz watches that demonstrate the fabulous choice of amazingly low priced models available today in the market.

Note that in the image I have highlighted Casio who are in the forefront of this extraordinary treasure trove of affordable watches.  I make no excuse for that as they and others offer such a wide variety of different styles and features and at such incredible prices.
In this montage here I’ve also included a couple from Sekonda, the British manufacturer who topped the UK sales for brand in 1998 and still up there and also there’s a  Swatch watch in there who produce some wonderful “cult” design watches at affordable prices too.
Probably it’s these manufacturers we have to thank for giving and that’s almost the right word – giving us the opportunity to own, what is an often taken for granted marvel of miniature electronics.  There is no doubt that the Quartz revolution has given us so much.

There are of course many more around but just scratching the surface it is evident that the days of the cheap watch are very much with us – and I don’t mean cheap as poor – very much to the contrary.  These watches are tremendous value, they do what they say on the box, their reliability is amazing and the range is unreal – there must be virtually something for everyone.

For a plain tell the time watch these are around £10 – £25 and with day date window £20 – £30.  For chronograph functions £15 – £40 is possible and you can find multi-functions £40 – £90.  Of course the sky’s the limit but it is amazing what you can get for not a lot of money.

So often when considering a new watch we end up setting out sites on that “expensive” new watch, whether it be a “mid range” or indeed a “high end” model, we each cut our cloth to suit.  However it is very evident and no more so when I seek a pre-owned vintage or high end mechanical classic watch that many folk simply don’t look after their watches at all!  Slung in a drawer somewhere along with keys, pens, paper clips and goodness knows what else, they often end up with badly scratched cases (in many instances these were gold for goodness sake), scratched glass, hands knocked off and often with dampness into the dial and movements – it’s a wonder they bought a decent watch in the first place for all the care they’ve taken over them.

So this wonderful diversity of really low priced watches should be an absolute winner – if they get scratched or damaged – who cares? – at these prices simply get another one.

And one thing is absolutely certain – Quartz – is the bargain of today and there’s an awful lot of them!