Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby artman » January 19th 2018, 11:55pm

First I want to talk about the watch then I'd like to discuss why they'd call this "Irony". This watch is much nicer than any Swatch that I've ever owned. The ones I owned in the 80's were all plastic and felt like toys. This has a beautiful sunburst dial, a hefty stainless steel case, sturdy leather strap and a Swiss made automatic movement all for less than 200 bucks!
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5 years ago this movement, the Sistem51 was revolutionary because it had only 51 components and was completely made by robots. That's right, no human hands were used to craft these machines. Robots making robots... sounds like an Arnold movie, but I digress. Today the movement is still impressive and if you believe Hodinkee, these watches can actually be serviced and are no longer disposable. Since I believe everything Hodinkee writes this must be true!
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More Specs: 42mm wide, 14mm thick, mineral crystal, 90 hour power reserve and hand winds, but oddly enough you have to wind it counter clockwise. Out of the box the leather is extremely stiff but after a couple days it's softened and is quite comfortable.
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So does this watch deserve to be called "Irony?" Absolutely!  I probably have walked by the Swatch kiosk over a thousand times in the past 8 years, not giving the brand a second thought.
Then, by chance or Devine intervention, I stopped at the kiosk, checked this watch out and was immediately impressed. This watch was contrary to what I expected of the brand and I was wonderfully amused. If I'm not mistaken, that is one of the definitions of irony. Of course I didn't buy it until I read about it online. Oddly enough Hodinkee gave it a lukewarm review but I bought it anyway. Is that ironic?
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Last edited by artman on January 20th 2018, 5:44am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby Racer-X » January 20th 2018, 12:01am

Not listening to HODINKEE is sound reasoning. Although integrated straps make me nervous, that's a cool watch. Learned something, thanks for the writeup.
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby Pubbie » January 20th 2018, 5:22am

It may be a robot built by another robot without a shred of human intervention - but it's an automatic so it's got souuul :)
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby foghorn » January 20th 2018, 6:17am

Cool. And the ETA hallmark right on the caseback. I've been tempted by the Sistem 51 many times.


I owned one of the first of the Irony models many moons ago. Pre "51" movement




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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby biglove » January 20th 2018, 6:27am

My sole experience with a Sistem 51 watch was not so pleasant. Glad yours is more pleasing.
"Adults are obsolete children."-Dr. Seuss
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby conjurer » January 20th 2018, 9:18am

Great review, arty!
Johannes! My knees are trembling from banging her so hard with my rod!

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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby artman » January 20th 2018, 4:28pm

Thanks for the kind words fellahs. Racer, I was worried about the integrated straps as well, but I understand the straps are easily available from the swatch store. After a couple days I'm liking this a lot. At this price point I might buy another down the line. Go robots!
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby TemerityB » January 20th 2018, 5:38pm

Great review here, art.

I have an old Scuba Libre and a few months ago the battery crapped out, and since any Swatch store will replace the battery on a Swatch product for free (I'm assuming that's common knowledge), I dropped into a Swatch store in Long Island. Sure enough, the over-the-top sales boy there (trust me: Swatch company store employees are more aggressive than Harvey Weinstein around 15 pounds of silicone) showed me this same Irony Sistem51, and it's so un-Swatch that I was taken aback. I'm actually more impressed by the actual "watch-ness" of the watch than I am with the movement. I mean, it's a real watch in every sense of the word. I'd call it ones of the really great values out there if there already weren't Seiko 5s in the world, but it's certainly food for thought.
Bet those Swiss Legend owners are so happy their "Sapphitek" crystals have a 10-year warranty. Oh, wait...
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby Mortuus » February 2nd 2018, 12:38am

Sorry I came so late to the party, Arty; I was doing my yearly decamp to Haifa, and lost track of a lot of the goings-on in our mutually-visited websites... Anyhow, that's some watch, considering how much has gone into it, not to mention how underwhelming the response to the Sistem51's have been for the last couple of years. I really, really like the looks of yours and, like Foggy, have been tempted a few times by the cool-looking colors and styles I've seen since the brand's intro. I'm thinking that it might just be getting close to "going ahead and getting it" time...

Many thanks for a well put-together review, mon ami!
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby 3Flushes » February 2nd 2018, 4:14am

Noice!

Hard to believe those original little plastic jobbies you spoke of spurred what SWATCH was to become.
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Re: Swatch Irony Sistem51 Review

Postby Wasp » February 2nd 2018, 6:32am

Good review with very good pics.
Cheers
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