Swatch introduces new self-winding movement

Swatch introduced its new SISTEM51 self-winding mechanical movement made from 51 components, at BaselWorld 2013.

Speaking at a press conference, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek announced that the Swiss-made mechanical movement is destined for a new line of Swatch watches to be announced in October this year.

The Swatch SISTEM51 movement represents a simplified design with just 51 components, which is far fewer than are in most. The majority of mechanical movements have at least twice as many parts and some have more than 600.

The 51 components are welded together to form a single assembly centred on a single screw and is a world first as the only mechanical movement to have been made with the 100% automated assembly. The high-tech escapement has no regulator, the rate is set at the factory with a laser, which makes the manual rate adjustments normally required by a mechanical watch unnecessary. The movement features a 90 hour power reserve.

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The SISTEM51 movement is made of ARCAP, which is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc, with effective anti-magnetic qualities.

The movement promises to be distinctively Swatch thanks to its transparency. The oscillating rotor in the automatic movement is a transparent disc that rotates in both directions around the central screw.

Speaking at the conference, Hayek said that although current industry wisdom says that it is "too expensive" to produce low-end, entry-level Swiss made automatic watches in Switzerland, the new SISTEM51 models will be priced within the usual Swatch price range.

The new product will go on sale in October with a retail price of between CHF100 and CHF200.

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