Introducing the Swatch SISTEM51 HODINKEE GENERATION 1990

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Swatch has once again teamed up with Hodinkee to design a new Sistem51, this one dubbed the Generation 1990. This is the 5th such collaboration between the two brands, and the first venture into the ‘90s, a decade whose stylings are making a major comeback at the moment, for better or worse. The Sistem51 Generation 1990 offers a unique interpretation of a Swatch watch long since forgotten, and pairs it with a rich color scheme of green and blue just in time for winter.

The Sistem51 platform has been around for 7 years now, first making an impact for its novel approach to production. The watch is assembled entirely autonomously, with its movement comprising just 51 parts (hence the name). The newest example seen here uses a titanium based Nivachron balance spring for greater resistance to temperature and magnetism. The Sistem51 is an automatic movement with the rotor running only at the periphery of the movement itself (with a transparent center section), here emblazoned with the Hodinkee “H” pattern. 

The 42mm case and integrated silicone strap are rendered uniformly in a deep, forest green color that extends even to the crown. The dial is navy blue and houses California style hour markers, with Roman numerals at the top and Arabic numerals at the bottom, meant as a take on the Stirling Rush GX407, a Swatch watch released in 1991 with the same configuration. At the dial’s edge you’ll find an open minute track with pink indexes, a playful detail that fits the ‘90s tone of the watch as a whole, and pairs with the equally playful lime green seconds hand. The hours are done in pale grey in typical Hodinkee fashion and provide a pop of contrast against the dark navy dial. 

The Generation 1990 takes a studious approach to color in a manner befitting of the Swatch nameplate on the dial, and while the pairings may sound odd on paper, they work well with one another in practice. It may not scream ‘90s at a glance, but discovering the little details will get you there with little imagination required. Best of all, it’s just $170 and if you’re a collector of such watches, this will be a must have for the season. More from Hodinkee.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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