Swatch is celebrating the Chinese Year of the Dragon with a collection of five colourful new watches.
Priced from £73 to £183, they aim to offer something for everyone, but all share the inclusion of dragon motifs on their dials and straps. One model, called the Dragon In Wind Pay!, even has support for contactless payments with Swatch Pay integration.
Despite their differing designs, the five watches are technically quite similar. They are all powered by a quartz movement, fitted with a silicone strap with a buckle fastening, and they each have three bars of water resistance. This is equal to a depth of 30 metres, but in reality, it means they're safe to shower and swim in, but shouldn’t be taken diving or exposed to high-pressure water.
The Dragon in Gold and Dragon in Motion models feature a stainless steel case, with the latter being the only watch in the collection to have a set of sub dials and the look of a chronograph timepiece. The other three watches have ‘biosourced’ plastic cases, while only the Dragon in Gold has a mineral glass on its front instead of Swatch’s ‘biosourced material’.
The largest model is the Dragon in Cloud, which has a chunky 47mm case and a crown offset to the unusual two o’clock position. The smallest is the Dragon in Waves, which has a dial diameter of just 34 mm. These bookends of the collection sit either side of the 38mm Dragon in Gold, the 41mm Dragon in Wind Pay and the 43mm Dragon in Motion.
I suspect the slightly chaotic design of these watches won’t appeal to everyone. The gold hands of the Wind Pay and Motion models in particular struggle to stand out from the busy dial behind. But I think that’s also part of the appeal; these are fun, design-first watches that make a statement, more than they are tools for accurate timekeeping. As Swatch itself says, they’d make for a fun gift or party accessory.
Although Year of the Dragon celebrations don’t begin until 10 February, Swatch’s new collection is available now online and at Swatch stores worldwide.