Friday, 17 April 2015

Swatch Automatic - Red Ahead

There's been quite a few Swatch watches on this blog, but this model is a different type that I'd been after for a while.

All of the Swatch watches I had to begin with had been the usual quartz movement design, but early on I discovered that they had also made a range of automatic mechanical watches.

The Swatch Automatic watches were only released for a short period of time, from 1991 to 1997, before they were replaced by the Autoquartz technology. Over that time, it appears that they released 78 different models. The Swatch Automatic seems to have originally been released for around $85 which was extremely low for a mechanical watch, and one article I've read suggested the manufacturing cost was only $22. The automatic uses an ETA Eterna 2842 caliber with 23 jewels. According to an article which reviewed the module (link), it has a reasonable accuracy at 19 seconds per day, but due to the manufacturing process it is not the most smooth running watch. The movement is also a hi-beat sweep hand design with a 21,600 bph frequency.

This design is called the Red Ahead and has a model number of SAK101. It was designed in 1991, and released as part of the 1992 Fall Winter collection. It has an open face design where you can see the movement, but not a skeleton as there has been no cutting away of the movements case to allow you to see the insides. The case design is typical Swatch and looks like the Swatch Originals models. It has a blue, silver and gold design in a clear plastic case (which has discoloured to yellow, but matches well), and comes with a red leather strap.

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