Hands On: Swatch Skin Classic

One of many mysteries of the watch community is how little attention and coverage Swatch receives. Aside from the (albeit cool) Sistem 51 line, I haven’t seen much in terms of reviews or unboxing videos of watches by this brand, despite its undeniable popularity.  Regardless of your opinion of Swatch, one thing you cannot deny is boldness of their designs.  This, paired with the pinch of nostalgia the brand adds, was the primary reason I decided to give this watch a try.  I have to say, this little piece is like nothing I’ve handled before.



The Watch

As many of you know, I have been going through a transition to smaller watches in recent months.  My 6.5” wrist doesn’t allow me to wear bigger watches (not that it fully stops me), and I have found a nice home in smaller sized pieces.  Even with that in mind, the Swatch Skin Classic is the smallest I have gone, sitting at 34mm in diameter. As if that wasn’t enough “small” for me, this piece sits at an absolutely astounding 3.9mm thick.  As thin as that sounds, I found this to be surprising, as I would have predicted it be thinner than that.  This watch is incredibly thin.  More on that later.


The Skin Classic has a plastic case and rubber strap that makes this incredibly light and comfortable, to the point where you will forget it is even on the wrist.  It features a quartz movement with no second hand. The minute hand ticks every minute, rather than slowly move like most watches I’ve handled; this was a neat little feature that I caught in action a few times throughout my day that I found fun.  Another detail that kept me glancing at my wrist was the inner crater-esque design of this dial. While the crystal sits flat over the case, the inner dial gives a bubble-like impression that really catches the eye.  If you combine this effect with the classic style of the dial, you get an extremely well designed piece that doesn’t bore you, like many “dressy” designs bore me.

The water resistance of 30 meters is just enough for me to wear it to swim, without worrying. The watch can be bought on Swatch’s website for $110. However, it can be had for significantly less through grey market sellers.  This is truly a great summer watch that doesn’t break the bank.


The Good and the Bad 

By far, the most noticeable feature of the Skin Classic was the thinness.  At under 4mm thick, I initially found myself afraid of snapping this in half through an unexpected wrist bend (which of course, was an unfounded fear).  The thinness is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is so thin and light, it will fit under the tightest cuff and disappear on the wrist. On the other hand, it is legitimately difficult at times to pull the crown out to set the time because of how thin (and tiny) it is, though being a quartz watch, this won’t be a regularly occurring event.  Make of it what you will; the truth is, this makes this watch incredibly unique and fun to wear, which is enough to earn a spot in the watch collection.

Size Comparison.

As I haven’t rambled enough about the size of this watch, I decided to make a size comparison to really drive the point home.

Here, you can see the Skin Classic next to my biggest watch: the Casio Gshock Frogman GWF-1000.  For comparison, the Frogman is a whopping 59mm by 18mm thick versus the Swatch’s 34mm by 3.9mm thick.


This is an ideal summer watch for me: Incredibly light, thin, and small, with a decent water resistance, great colors, and under $100.  I haven’t had this much fun with a watch in a long time. It’s absolutely worth the price.

An unboxing and video comparison of the two watches can be found here.