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Swatch Watches from the 80s | Rare 80s Vintage Swatch Watches

Posted by Lavinia Bejan on

Swatch Watches from the 80s

If you're an 80s fan, you will love these Swatch watches! Colorful, retro-vintage, quirky and fun, Swatch watches come in a variety of designs, one for every watch fan. In this article we look at some of the most popular Swatch watch models from the 80s, as well as some of the brand's most exciting watch designs from 1983 to 1990.

Ready to take trip down memory lane? Let's look at some cool 80s Swatch watches!

The 80s: The birth of the Swatch watch

If you're new to the Swatch world, let us tell you a few words about the brand. Swatch was founded in 1983 in Switzerland, and it embarked on a successful mission to save the Swiss watchmaking industry, which was sufferring at the time from the quartz crisis.

Switzerland had been renowned worldwide as the place where high-quality wristwatches were made: mechanical wristwatches with movements of the highest accuracy. But in the 1970s, the quartz crisis profoundly impacted the industry: quartz movements (battery-powered movements) promised the same time-keeping precision at a fraction of the cost. Thus, Japanese quartz movements became very popular and widely used, as opposed to the expensive Swiss mechanical movements.

The Swiss watchmaking industry was profoundly impacted by this market change. So in 1983, Swatch came with a fresh, new concept: a Swiss watch powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement at a price so affordable that everyone can have at least one. Moreover, the brand has developed hundreds of joyful and unique designs that would appeal to every taste.

A bit of a bold move in the Swiss watchmaking scene, which was quite traditional. But the future is for the bold, and Swatch is one of the brands that illustrate that best. 

If you want to read more about Swatch and its impressive history, check out our article where we cover their story a bit more thoroughly. But for now, let's move on to some of the most popular Swatch watches of the 80s!

The most expensive Swatch watches from the 80s

Although Swatch watches are designed to be affordable for everyone, some limited-edition vintage models have become quite popular over the years. Consequently, their value has increased significantly. In fact, just a few years ago, a vintage Swatch watch collection was sold for $1.8 million in Geneva! 

Let's meet some of the rarest 80s Swatch watch models! 

1. THE KEITH HARING SWATCH COLLECTION

Keith Hering Swatch Collection

The Keith Haring special edition Swatch collection is particularly popular and easily recognizable by Swatch fans. Keep an eye out for these Swatch models, because they are now worth thousands of dollars.

2. THE KIKI PICASSO SWATCH WATCH

Kiki Picasso Swatch watch

The Kiki Picasso Swatch watch was launched as part of a limited-edition collection, in Paris, in 1985. There were 120 Swatch watches part of this release, and each had a different dial variation. This Swatch model is so far the most expensive one ever sold to a collector, for a price of over $22,000. Check out this article for some interesting facts about the Kiki Picasso. 

3. 'OIGOL ORO' BY MIMMO PALADINO


Oigol oro

One of our favorite Swatch models from the 80s, the 1989 Oigol Oro was designed by the Italian painter and sculptor Mimmo Paladino. In his words, "The idea was not to decorate a watch, but to design time. My Swatch is like a humorous vanitas, a poetic symbol of passing time that was industrially manufactured". Only 100 such models were created, so Oigol Oro can be found today at a price of over $10.000.

These are just some of the most iconic Swatch models of the 80s. But let us introduce you to some of their cool Swatch designs that remain affordable for everyone!

Cool vintage Swatch watches from the 80s

The 80s are known for the colorful, retro apparel that is making a come-back recently. Vintage Swatch watches are a great choice if you want to add a touch of color to your outfits, and to keep things light and fun. If you're an 80s kid, you can even look for a birthyear watch, and have a timepiece that is as old as you are!

But are 80s Swatch watches worth investing in? Although Swatch watches were designed to be affordable, they are quite impressive when it comes to their time-endurance. We have hundreds of Swatch watches from the 80s and 90s in our collection, and they keep time with precision after so many years. Their in-house movement production has definitely paid off.

So, let's check out some cool 80s Swatch models!

1. 1987 NINE TO SIX GB117 SWATCH

1987 NINE TO SIX GB117 Swatch

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A cool blend of minimalism and colorful retro design features, this eclectic colorful vintage Swatch watch is an iconic timepiece of the 80s. Swiss-made, carefully preserved, this amazing vintage Swatch watch will definitely be in the spotlight.

2. 1985 MCGREGOR GJ100 SWATCH WATCH

One of the oldest pieces in our vintage Swatch watch collection, we're proud to introduce this 1985 MCGREGOR GJ100 Swatch watch model. Ever since 1985, this exciting Swatch watch has stood the test of time with great success. In tones of red, yellow, and green, this joyful Swatch watch is very popular among Swatch fans, and we can see why.

1985 MCGREGOR GJ100 Swatch Watch

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3. 1986 LITTLE JELLY LK103 SWATCH WATCH

There are two things that make this beautiful vintage 1986 LITTLE JELLY LK103 stand out from the crowd: this Swatch comes with an exciting skeleton/jelly feature, as well as with a tiny dial, with a 25 mm diameter. A delicate ladies' watch, perfect for tiny wrists, this Swatch is a versatile model that's perfect for everyday wear!

1986 LITTLE JELLY LK103 Vintage Swatch Watch

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4. 1989 RUSH HOUR PWBB109 POP SWATCH

Leaving the best for the end, let us introduce you to the Pop Swatch! Swatch first launched POP in 1986. These watches are designed to be easily customizable. The case of the Pop Swatch can be popped onto different watch straps, and can even be clipped to a T-shirt or to your pocket, or attached to a cool backpack. 

1989 RUSH HOUR PWBB109 Pop Swatch

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RUSH HOUR is one of the very few Pop Swatches still in stock in our vintage collection. Most of our Pop Swatch models have sold out very quickly. And it's no wonder. With a large watch case that will accommodate all wrist sizes, and exciting designs that stand out beautifully on the wrist, Pop Swatches best illustrate the colorful spirit of the 80s!

Check out our 80s Swatch watch collection!

What is your favorite 80s Swatch watch?

We hope you enjoyed this little trip back to the 80s. Let us know in the comments what is your favorite Swatch watch from the 80s. Do you already own an 80s Swatch watch or are you still on the hunt for the perfect model?

German Swatch Ad from the 80s

German Swatch Ad from the 80s - Source: http://www.stay-tuned-to-sw.de/old_ads

If you need some inspiration, make sure to check out our vintage Swatch watch collection

Choose from Swatch's most popular collections and lines since 1983 until the 2010s: Swatch Irony, Swatch Pop, Swatch Skin, Swatch Scuba, Swatch Chronograph, Swatch Originals, Swatch Automatic, or Swatch Bijoux. All in one place.

Choosing a watch with Vintage Radar

At Vintage Radar, we hope to encourage you to give a second chance to vintage & pre-owned watches. We have thousands of watches waiting for a new owner on VintageRadar.com. 

If you decide to check them out, make sure to use our 10% OFF Coupon Code: WELCOME10 on your first order, or subscribe to our newsletter and get a unique 15% OFF code!

To keep up with the newest models we add every day, allow Vintage Radar to send you notifications, and make sure to follow us on social media:

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7 comments


  • So cool. I have the POP SWATCH “RUSH HOUR” 1989 PWBB109.

    What size replacement batteries does this model need?

    Robin on

  • Hi! I use
    To
    Go
    To squiggley .com, yet it changed. Do
    You know where I can go to get right dates and picture information by year? Thanks! Nice site!

    Omar Sanchez on

  • I’m 51 now and was 15 years old in 1985,I had the McGregor and a bunch of other ones in the 1980’s.
    We would wear 2 or 3 on our wrist at a time,all the teenagers had them and we would even trade them with friends for ones they had.
    The 1980’s was a great time to be a teenager and I’m so glad I got to experience it,it was a awesome decade!
    Thanks for the memories and if your wondering I do own a couple of Swatches still of course.

    Kenneth on

  • I still collect Swatch. Good brand

    Kerry on

  • Do you buy watches?I have a Space Invaders swatch from the 1980s still in its case. Thanks

    Richard Barr on

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