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Almost Great: Smart ForTwo

2 years ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


10 May 2022

Many of Ti’s readers (and a few of our writers) are too young to remember the Eighties in any detail. Shoulder-pads were wide, Crockett’s white Testarossa in Miami Vice was somehow cool (although clearly a big step down from that Daytona) and 911s in The City had to be Guards Red, by law. And one of the accessories all the cool kids had to have, displayed below the rolled-up sleeve of one’s pale linen jacket, was a Swatch watch. 

Launched in 1983, Swatch was the Swiss watch industry’s counter-attack against Japanese watchmakers like Seiko and Citizen, who in the Seventies had conquered the market for affordable watches with cheap, ultra-precise, battery-powered quartz movements. While most of the Swiss watch industry took the easy route out by simply moving upmarket, where the traditional, expensive, mechanical movement was safe from assault from the Far East, a group of stubborn Swiss businessmen and engineers that coalesced around one Nicolas Hayek decided to contest the lower-priced end of the market.

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