Staying Curious: The SISTEM51 Adventure

It all started with a full-page ad I saw in the back of the San Francisco Chronicle business section.  The colors were eye-catching and the copy was intriguing.

THE FRONT TELLS THE TIME
THE BACK TELLS THE STORY

The ad directed me to a “POP UP STORE” at Swatch Grant and Geary in San Francisco.

SISTEM51 in SF Chronicle

SISTEM51 in SF Chronicle

Humm, I thought.  A pop-up in the Union Square area?  Might be worth checking out.

Curiously, this beautiful SISTEM51 watch ad did not have a related URL.  It was on me to do my own detective work.

Gizmodo wrote about it and so did TechCrunch.

Sounded really neat to me.  I just needed a sense of size and weight.  As one of the few who still use a watch and has been sporting a fine Timex Ironman “sleek” piece, the move from cool to “must have” was going to hinge on pragmatic factors.

Landing Page

Landing Page

Swatch, the maker of the SISTEM51, had a special web page set up, but I didn’t want to get too invested until I knew how it looked and felt on my wrist.  With Clipper card in hand, I BARTed to San Francisco and made my way to the POP UP STORE — which was at the normal Swatch location, but made-over to be 100% dedicated to the SISTEM51.  Guess they figured anyone wanting a “run of the mill” Swatch would head on over to Macy’s or buy online at Amazon.

What I Experienced:

The SISTEM51 is a very lightweight watch with a very classy look.  Not too large either.

The Blue SISTEM51

The Blue SISTEM51

As for the “STORY ON THE BACK,” I was told it is all about the 51 parts in five modules that make this watch’s self-winding mechanical movements possible. Swatch calls it “unprecedented technological innovation” and points out that there are 17 pending patents.

51 Parts in 5 Modules

51 Parts in 5 Modules

So tempting, it was.  In fact, what prevented me from pulling the trigger right then and there, was the price.  At $150, that was an expensive Swatch no matter how cool it looked and how awesome the story on the back was.

For $150, I needed a watch that truly matched what I’d wear.  The blue one was the coolest.  The all black was … all black. The white looked cheap and the red definitely didn’t match my colors.

I really wanted a green version — like British Racing Green

So I backed away from the counter while thanking the nice sales clerk who clearly hearted his SISTEM BLUE (SUTS401). Before jetting, I grabbed a fine brochure that did a really nice job telling the SISTEM51 story.

The fine brochure

The fine brochure.

**

Wrapping It Up.

With all this talk about smart watches, sometimes you just want something on your wrist that looks cool and does what it is supposed to do — “tell time.” The SISTEM51 meets that spec.  Plus, it has a nifty story.  See for yourself in this video.

As for me, I’ll hang onto my money and hold out for what I really, really want.

##

My SISTEM51 Adventure.

My SISTEM51 Adventure

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