Swatch Steps Up Their Mechanical Game (Again) with the Swatch Flymagic

Article By: Logan Hannen

FROM THE PRESS | FEB 21, 2019

Swatch has once again upgraded their range of automatic timepieces, this time with the inclusion of an entirely new hairspring and movement architecture in the form of the Swatch Flymagic.

Introduced on Valentine’s Day, 2019, the Flymagic is Swatch’s latest contribution to their range of mechanical automatic watches of the modern era that began with the launch of the Sistem51 in 2013. That watch signaled the first completely machine assembled automatic movement, hermetically sealed (at the time) as a sign of how it would never need servicing.

Fast forward 6 years, and Swatch has done it again.

The Swatch Flymagic

The Swatch Flymagic
Source: HODINKEE

First, some basic specs – the Flymagic comes in at 45mm in case diameter, with cases made of either steel or gold PVD. Its stock strap is rubber, and each comes with an additional two straps in calf leather.

The Flymagic’s real innovation comes in the form of its movement and new Nivachron hairspring. The movement in this piece is inverted, such that the parts of the movement typically seen from the transparent caseback are visible through the dial side of the watch, thanks in part to a transparent winding rotor. An interesting side effect of this is that the second hand moves backwards due to the movement’s reversal.

All three Flymagic variations
Source: Revolution

The Nivachron™ Balance Spring
The real stand out of this release, however, is the introduction of the new Nivachron™ balance spring, which is something currently proprietary to the Swatch Group…for now. The balance spring, in reality, was a collaboration between Swatch and Audemars Piguet, the latter of which will be using the spring in an upcoming release later on this year.

The balance spring is made of a titanium-based alloy, specifically chosen and crafted for its anti-magnetic properties, along with its resistance to temperature variations and potentially damaging shocks. According to Swatch, all future Sistem51 releases will also feature this new balance spring.

Beyond this, the caliber is still based on the Sistem51 that’s been in the catalog for 6 years now, and retains that base movement’s 90 hour power reserve and 3 Hz beat rate.

The Damage

The Swatch Flymagic’s Packaging
Source: Swatch

Each of the three Flymagic variations will be limited to 500 pieces, and will retail for CHF 1,500 ($1,492 USD).

Logan’s Take
I’ve long been a proponent of the notion that Swatch has a very real opportunity to own the market in their price range provided they offered options that varied enough from the traditional understanding of their brand as “disposable” quartz watches. The Sistem51 was a step in the right direction, and the Flymagic, despite a price point that I think might be potentially difficult for a lot of geeks to stomach given the brand’s image as generally affordable, is a definite step further in that direction. Plus, for once Swatch seems to have listened to me about incorporating strap changing as a part of the culture by providing two additional straps with the set. Overall, an interesting release, though I’m admittedly more intrigued by the eventual use of the Nivachron™ balance spring by Audemars Piguet. To be continued, I suppose…

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