In the 1980s, the world’s youth was in search of fresh new ways to stand out. They already had their MTV, were wearing day-glo clothes and patterned leg warmers and organized their school lives with the help of Trapper Keepers.

Those kids and teens were perfectly primed for a new way to wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Swatch was not about telling time, it was about making a fashion statement

In a sea of neutral-colored watches, Swiss watchmaker Swatch revitalized that segment of the accessories industry when they came out with a bold and vibrant analog quartz marvel, sparking the colorful watch craze of the ’80s and ’90s.

Flashy colors and bold styles were a huge hit for Swatch

This trend quickly became a hit with the flashy designs soon appearing — sometimes two, three, four at a time — on the wrists of people across the globe.

The style of the day was wearing more than one watch at a time.
No singer was hotter in the 80’s and 90’s than Madonna. Here she is wearing multiple watches.

Swatch was originally intended to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers of mechanical watches. The subsequent growth of Japanese companies such as Seiko and Citizen in the 1960s and 1970s re-popularized analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity.

These Swatch watches were a part of the “Peanuts ” collection

Designers decided to make the watches more appealing by varying the color and design of the dial and straps. The new Swatches went on sale in 1983 for $35 each, and were an instant success. By 1987, Swatch had produced more than 10 million watches, some of which even had scented bands.

The watches were sealed and basically disposable, here we see the battery hatch on the case back

The name Swatch is a contraction of “second watch” as the watches were intended as casual, disposable accessories.

CHARLEY PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Here’s a throwback to last year. We’re finally done with snow for the year, so Charley’s second-favorite activity of playing in the grass is just around the corner — if it ever stops raining.