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Swatch Unveils the New Flymagic with an Unexpected Twist

The new Flymagic is also the first to feature the Nivachron hairspring, introduced in collaboration between Swatch Group and Audemars Piguet 

Back in 2013, Swatch proved itself to be at the forefront of innovation when it announced the Sistem51, a robotically-produced Swiss mechanical watch positioned at a low price point. This year, the company turns the watch world upside down, quite literally, by introducing the new Swatch Flymagic. While the pivotal component of the Flymagic is the Sistem51 movement, Swatch has reversed the calibre, from the back to the front, so that it’s visible through the transparent dial.

Swatch Sistem51 Flymagic

“The front tells everything,” – Swatch

Set against the backdrop of Swatch’s new headquarters designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the Flymagic was unveiled in three accent colours: Black Suspense, Blue Hope and Red Suprise, each model limited to just 500.

These watches rethink the original ethos of the Sistem51, “the front tells the time, the back tells the story” to offer a timepiece with the mechanics facing front. The intention of this is to simply showcase the movement without the need of removing the watch on your wrist.

That said, a feat like this is not one without its complications. Flipping the movement around meant that the hands on the watch would function in reversed motion (anti-clockwise). Which is why Swatch introduced 15 additional components to ensure that the watch moves in the right orientation, with the only exception of the second-hand moving anti-clockwise – which Swatch openly embraces as part of its quirk.

That is not all. Another key feature of the Swatch Flymagic is the integration of Swatch Group’s latest innovation in collaboration with Audemars Piguet, the Nivachron hairspring. In August 2018, Swatch Group and Audemars Piguet introduced a titanium-based alloy that is resistant to magnetism, shock and temperature fluctuations. But most importantly, it offers a more durable alternative to its non-metal counterpart, the silicon hairspring.

It is very much surprising as it is exciting that Swatch is the first to feature such a newly developed product. In Nick Hayek’s own words, “Innovation has nothing to do with brand positioning”. Swatch has always anchored its success on innovation and the Flymagic is an indication of greater things ahead.

WTM Africa 2020