Now, Swatch has taken it upon themselves to ask this very question in their latest collection, aptly titled WHAT IF? To understand this new release, one must look back into Swatch’s history for a moment. In 1982, the Swiss watch brand had a choice between a round or square model that would be their inaugural design. While we all know the circular design that has become standard for Swatch, WHAT IF? is an alternative reality of sorts, showing us what could have been, had they gone with a square dial from the beginning.
Four colorways are available in the WHAT IF? collection, including black, gray, beige, and green. While these may seem like a complete 180 from the vibrant colorways that are now synonymous with Swatch, the neutral tones of the WHAT IF? series reflect the design sensibilities of the early 1980s – which somehow still feel modern today.
Each model in the series is made from Swatch’s proprietary bioceramic material (a phrase you’ll know if you were a fan of their MoonSwatch release last year). Mixing ceramic powder with bio sourced materials, bioceramic is inherently durable without added weight or bulk, making it a perfect material for an everyday timepiece like those in the Swatch collection.
Each reference clocks in at 33mm, a perfectly subtle size for both men and women to enjoy. Legibility is clear, thanks in part to the edge-to-edge crystal that uses every bit of real estate of the dial. Each colorway is accented with glow-in-the-dark hands and the day-date window at the 3 o’clock position. While all of this seems pretty standard, Swatch has ensured an easter egg or two. For instance, each battery cover features a dial from one of the four models created for the 1983 Swatch debut, in essence paying tribute to the 40th anniversary of the original Swatch collection.
The WHAT IF? is available now via Swatch’s website. Each reference is priced at $110.