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The 8 Most Valuable Swatch Watches from the 1980s

First founded in 1983, Swatch has revolutionized the way the world sees watches. A portmanteau of the phrase second watch, the Swatch was made to combat the quartz crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. During the quartz crisis, European watchmakers had to compete against Asian digital watches powered by quartz batteries. However, the Swatch soon involved to become an easily interchangeable fashion accessory. Like how one chooses a tie to complement their suit for the day, a Swatch was a watch you could casually switch between outfits to match your personal style.

brown swatch watch on table

But not all Swatches are made the same, and some Swatches have lived on as part of a hobbyist’s collection while others are notorious for their exorbitantly high prices. Below we list out the 8 most valuable Swatch from the 1980s:

  1. Kiki Picasso

Designed by French artist Christian Chapiron, the Kiki Picasso has gone down in Swatch history as the most expensive Swatch to date. The watch was launched as part of a limited edition Spring/Summer collection with only 120 pieces created to date. Framed with a dark band and featuring an abstract relief of brightly complementing colors, it’s no surprise that the estimated value of the Kiki Picasso is roughly $22,600.

  1. Andrew Logan’s Jelly Fish

Looking more like a brooch than your conventional watch, this watch features a combination of styles. The plastic, transparent face of the watch pays homage to the Swatch’s original Jelly Fish series, while the textile watch band is a playful take on the traditional watch form by British sculptor Andrew Logan. Launched around the same time as the Kiki Picasso, this Jelly Fish watch is highly sought after and is priced at $10,300.

  1. Oigol Oro 

Designed by Italian artist Mimmo Paladino, the Oigol Oro is a sophisticated take on Mephistopheles—the disguise of Satan who attempts to retrieve the protagonist’s soul in Goethe’s magnum opus Faust. This stylish watch was released at the tail end of the 1980s for a Spring/Summer collection and only has 120 pieces available. With flipped numbers and a sleek black frame, the Oigol Oro is a witty, ironic piece currently priced at a humble amount: $10,292.

  1. Keith Haring Swatches

Prominent LGBT artist whose drawings was a celebration of virility and masculine energy, Keith Haring’s art has lived on in the form of murals, bathroom art, and multiple non-profit organizations. However, one of Keith Haring’s lasting legacies would be his rendition of the Swatch in the late 1980s.

There are four Swatches that Keith Haring is most well-known for designing: Modele Avec Personnages, Blanc Sur Noir, Mille Pattes, and Serpent. Out of these four watches, the Modele Avec Personnages has one of the most expensive listings according to eBay—$20,000 for an original signed by Keith Haring himself. [1] Other listings include one selling all four watches for a total of $3,195.95. [2]

  1. Breakdance 

While not designed by Keith Haring himself, the design of the watch was created by Marlyse Schmid and Bernard Mueller. They were inspired by a poster Keith Haring was commissioned to create for Swatch’s late 1980s breakdance competition in New York. Composed of clashing but fun colors, the Swatch radiates an energetic vibe associated with the 1980s. With only 9,999 pieces made, the Breakdance watch is currently available on eBay for $2,000. [3]

swatch watch on grey background

  1. 1983 Original Swatch 

The original Swatches released at the beginning of the company’s inception are unassuming. With no special designs or extra knick-knacks, they usually came in a variety of colors, but there’s no surprise that collectors would be vying for these vintage classics. One original Swatch from the 1983 fall collection can run up to $1,125.00, as shown via this eBay auction. [4] While there are no extra frills to this watch, its overall design is pleasant and a testament to the practical utility of Swatches.

  1. X-Rated

While there’s nothing explicit about this Swatch’s design, the X-Rated Swatch was released in 1987 and is part of the original collection. With no indication for minutes, the X-Rated Swatch leaves a bold impression with its minimalist design and plain black watch band. From a more recent eBay auction, the X-Rated Swatch was sold for $414.95. [5]

  1. Osiris

Named after the Egyptian god of the dead, the Osiris Swatch features a design focusing on Egyptian hieroglyphs that replace the conventional watches time markers. It prominently features the Eye of Horus as the “12” mark of the watch, which was a symbol of good health, royalty, and protection in ancient Egypt. Part of the original Swatch collection and released in 1986, curious buyers and collectors can see that the Osiris Swatch has been going for $475.00 on auction sites such as eBay. [6]



[1] https://www.ebay.com/itm/Signed-Vintage-1985-Swatch-Watch-Modele-Avec-Personnages-GZ100-Keith-Haring/123311009479?hash=item1cb5e8aec7:g:Cv4AAOSwz2JbcMMx

[2] https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Vintage-Swatch-Watches-Watch-Lot-Keith-Haring-Set-GZ100-GZ103-GZ102-GZ104/293648353215?hash=item445ece47bf:g:T-YAAOSwF-xfDghk

[3] https://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-1980s-swatch-watch/174350155777?hash=item2898144001:g:ja0AAOSwlDNfDzTd

[4] https://www.ebay.com/itm/Very-Rare-Vintage-Swatch-Watch-GG701-1983-Blister-Pack-Green-Seven-Holes-Bands-/303109490783?hash=item4692bbc85f%3Ag%3A7ZEAAOSwj2RbCZsf&nma=true&si=hMnsCvOlPvzfK1g6%252BjJOWKZBr8Y%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

[5] https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-Vintage-Swatch-Watch-1987-X-Rated-GB406-With-Case-New-/254565045080?epid=1538541041&hash=item3b45425358%3Ag%3ArKMAAOSwTrZej3gM&nma=true&si=hMnsCvOlPvzfK1g6%252BjJOWKZBr8Y%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

[6] https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1980-s-Swatch-Watch-GM102-OSIRIS-prototype-nos/153985799003?hash=item23da44d35b:g:Y1MAAOSwx85e96x7

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