Back to Square One: Swatch Reveals the New Bioceramic ‘What If?’ Collection

Swatch revisits its square dial prototype, dating back to the 80s, and presents completely modern variations with retro vibes
Back to Square One: Swatch Reveals the New Bioceramic ‘What If?’ Collection
Swatch Bioceramic What If? Collection
July 28, 2023
Back to Square One: Swatch Reveals the New Bioceramic ‘What If?’ Collection

When the creators of the brand, now known as Swatch, first designed a watch in the early 1980s, they faced a dilemma. Should they go for a circular dial or a square one? The creators chose to go ahead with the round dial. Now, four decades later, the brand has revisited the square prototype and put forth a new Bioceramic collection, aptly titled, ‘What If?’. The brand, thus, seeks to explore an ‘alternative’ reality, much to the delight of watch enthusiasts. 

The Swatch Bioceramic ‘What If?’ collection features a square case.

Back to Square One

One can say that Swatch revisiting the square watch prototype from the 80s is a challenge to the status quo. Indeed, the brand’s exciting new collection seems to have a rebellious streak in it. The collection is unexpected – it’s the result of a significant breakthrough made possible by Swatch's innovative Bioceramic material. By combining ceramic powder with biosourced materials, Swatch Bioceramic achieves remarkable strength and durability to overcome the challenges associated with the square design. 

Swatch prototypes from the early 1980s
The new Swatch Bioceramic What If...Gray? (Ref. SO34M700)

Four Sides of the Story

For the collection, Swatch has also introduced four new horological styles that stand out with their sharp, square edges, measuring 33 mm x 33 mm. The case and the dial look minimalistic in tones of muted matte grey, green, beige, and black, drawing inspiration from the brand’s prototype models. The bioceramic case, the crown, and the buckle show Swatch’s commitment to innovation. The biosourced edge-to-edge glass allows a stunning side view of the dial, a first for Swatch. The hands are in black and coated with lume. The dial also features a day-date calendar window at 3 o’clock. 

The Swatch Bioceramic What If... Beige? (Ref. SO34T700) with a blue dial.

Another first for the brand is the new integrated biosourced strap. The mastery of design can be credited to Bioceramic. The straps also taper in a way that bolsters the retro looks and feel of the watches. 

Turning each watch over showcases the battery cover, featuring a dial from one of the first four Swatch watches, created in 1983. While this particular detail lends a playful twist to the design, it’s also a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the GENT watch.

The new Swatch Bioceramic What If... Black? (Ref. SO34B700)

The Swatch Bioceramic ‘What If?’ collection will be released on the Swiss National Day — August 1, 2023 — online and in stores to celebrate the Swiss-made brand’s rich legacy. 

Image credits: Swatch