Saturday, April 13, 2024

7 Swatch Watches You Can Resell for Hundreds of Dollars (or More)

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Ah, the 1980s. Big hair, tight jeans and that one must-have accessory — the Swatch Watch. For Gen-Xers like me, Swatch was the epitome of cool. Unlike our fathers’ watches, these were irreverent, modern and fun.

Created to breathe new life into the struggling Swiss timepiece industry, “Swatch” is a mash-up of the words “secondary watch” — although some say it’s also a shortened version of “Swiss watch.” Priced at a reasonable $30 retail, consumers could buy multiple timepieces and change their watch to match different moods or styles.

Today, Swatch is still going strong, and vintage pieces are commanding high prices in the resale market. If you’re an ’80s kid, check your shoebox full of mementos. The following Swatch watches are among the most valuable.

1. Kiki Picasso (Model GZ008)

In 1984, Swatch commissioned Christian Chapiron (a French artist who used the pseudonym Kiki Picasso) to design a watch. The resulting watch face featured an abstract jumble of lines against a field of blue, yellow and pink. Part graphic novel and part surrealist painting, only a few images are discernable in Chapiron’s design.

Swatch only manufactured 140 Kiki Picasso watches in its initial run, and the design is considered one of the rarest Swatches ever made. In 1989, one was sold for $45,000 by Sotheby’s in Milan.

2. Oigol Oro (Model GZ113)

According to the collector’s website, 80’s Toy Store, this unique watch design was inspired by Goethe’s classic drama “Faust.” Released in the late 1980s, production was limited to only 120 pieces. The sparse graphic features a minimalist “demon” at 12 o’clock and a scythe-shaped minute hand.

Current list prices for this watch range from $6,821 to $8,500 on eBay.

3. X-Rated (Model GB406)

No need to send the kids out of the room; there’s nothing pornographic about this Swatch design. The name simply refers to the large black “X” set against the white watch face.

Soon after its release, the X-Rated Swatch became a symbol of the Straight Edge movement. A more optimistic subset of New York’s thriving punk rock scene, Straight Edge youth rejected drug use, violence and other common punk stereotypes.

Today, vintage X-Rated Swatches like this one on eBay, resell for about $500.

4. Keith Haring series (Models GZ100, GZ102, GZ103 and GZ104)

Pop art legend Keith Haring designed a series of four Swatch watches that debuted in 1986. In order of release, the Haring collection includes:

  • Modele Avec Personnages (Model with Characters): Model GZ100
  • Serpent: Model GZ102
  • Milles Pattes (Centipede): Model GZ103
  • Blanc Sur Noir (White on Black): Model GZ104

In 2016, Christie’s managed an auction of all four watches. The lot sold for $3,000. Current prices are a bit more modest. On eBay, most single watches sell in the $300-$700 range.

5. Breakdance (Models LO001 and GO001)

What pairs well with a shoulder-mounted boombox? A Breakdance Swatch watch, of course. Inspired by Keith Haring’s artwork, two models were launched to promote Swatch’s World Breakdancing Championship in 1984. (Dance fans, do yourself a favor and check out the full competition video on YouTube.)

Model LO001 was designed for women and features a tilted yellow floor below a horizon of white, orange and pink stripes. Designed for guys, model GO001 model features the same yellow floor with the watch face numbers tumbling onto it.

Both styles are highly collectible and consistently resell in the $250-$500 range.

6. Swatchetables set (Models PWZ100 – PWZ102)

Designed by Alfred Hofkunst and released in 1991, Swatchetables are sometimes referred to as the “the veggie set” (an odd choice considering bacon and eggs aren’t veggies). Anyway, this food-inspired pop art set includes the following three delicious designs:

  • Verdurha (Red Pepper): Model PWZ100
  • Guhrke (Cucumber): Model PWZ101
  • Bonjuhr (Bacon and Egg) Model PWZ102

Typically, a single watch from the series resells for $300-$400.

7. Osiris (Model GM102)

Released in 1986, the Osiris Swatch is named after the Egyptian god of the dead. The pink and black watch face features hieroglyphics in place of standard time markers, with the 12 o’clock position marked with the Eye of Horus symbol.

On eBay, this vintage Osiris Swatch in excellent condition recently sold for $220.

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