Swatch Body & Soul: Smiles through an open face

Swatch is affordable, Swatch is casual; therefore, it highly makes for your standby watch. But the Body & Soul makes one thing clear: It is bound to make you consider many others a standby. In fact, Swatch shunned its plastic identity to embrace steel and the result is a pure example of the brand’s power of creative imagination. It gets you hooked on its design and if you are one of them afraid to make a transition into the world of automatics, it will transform you body and soul and turn you into a hard-core automatic lover and set you up for the next levels.

Anyone with an engineer’s mind will find the ‘Body & Soul’ interesting and send him to seek answers to why this watch was designed for. Well, the answer seems to be: To set an example in creating a fine watch with the minimal investment of time and money. It’s much harder making a world-class watch for the masses, for under $200. Putting in style into a mechanical watch at this low a cost is not a simple task.

The Swatch Irony Automatic ‘Body and Soul’ is a skeletonised, mechanical watch that allows an unobstructed view through it, revealing every component of its ticking heart inside. The movement Swatch used in it is a 21,600 bph ETA 2841, a highly modified version of the caliber 2824-2, which is still hugely popular among the watch-lover circuits. The modifications curbed both cost and components of the movement and also the higher frequency. The plates now stay integrated into the case and the hack-ing feature remains no more. At the given frequency, the seconds-hand ticks five times every second, which is moderately smooth.

If the news of a non-hacking movement upsets you, do you really think you need a hacking movement in a watch without markings on the dial? This is certainly not the watch for someone to whom precision is an obsession.

Outside, it measures 36mm across and 13mm thick. The 3/5 alternating links of the bracelet, the friction-fitting clasp with fliplock and secured split-pins are all other cost cutting measures beside the high-grade plastic windows on the front and back.

Now, to answer the obvious question on the readability of skeletonised watches, the Body & Soul will take some time to get you used to it due to the lack of hour and minute markers. But telling the time is not the point of the Body & Soul; it is meant to give you the pleasure of viewing its tiny beating heart! The modified bridges and plates display more of what’s going on inside; including the working view of the mainspring barrel and the free spins of the rotor. The hands; however, have been thoughtfully fitted and applied with white, luminous material; it improves the visibility both during night and day.

However, if you want a piece that can keep time to within a few seconds a day, sits very easily on a wrist of just any thickness and slides effortlessly in and out of dress cuffs, you got a good point to go after the low-and-bevelled Body & Soul.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below.  Click to see details and buy them:

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