Swatches were once very fashionable in the 80s. So popular that some people wore more than one on each arm! Needless to say, that is not very fashionable right now.

Still, Swatch has been making some very cool watches as of late and they continue to remain affordable and unique.

The name Swatch stands for Swiss Watch, as Swatch was built as a joint consortium of most Swiss watchmakers. This move came in the 80's, when Japan dominated the wrist watch scene with digital LED Casio watches and Swiss watchmakers were facing a crisis on the budget range of products (no real crisis for Rolex and Patek Philippe, though).

Swatch had a unique technology that made it possible to produce very small lots of alike watches, so that they could handle the production of thousands of different models and had a very short time to market. In some sense, Swatches were the biggest show of Swiss technology in watchmaking since the Accutron.

As Webster notes below, a swatch is a small piece of material; Swatches are useful when you are planning on buying a large or expensive item and wish to be sure how the color, texture or whatever will go with everything else you have.

Swatches for home furnishings (Couches, armchair, etc) are probaby most common, as well as draperies. Swatches of carpet and other flooring can also be obtained, and even swatches for more expensive clothing to make sure it matches your wardobe. This way you can do comparisons of colours and patterns to see what will match your particular idiom.

They are generally given out freely to those who ask, and by freely I mean free of charge. Any decent Home Furnishings store will be glad to give you one because it will give you a chance to be certain of an item and thus increase the chances of your buying said item.

You can even get color swatches from catalogue retailers like JC Penny, either through their telephone center or through the internet ordersing site; Though the swatches are free, shipping will usually be charged (but is usually only a few dollars for shipping as many swatches as you like).

Swatch (?), n.

1.

A swath.

[Obs.]

Tusser.

2.

A piece, pattern, or sample, generally of cloth.

Halliwell. Jamieson.

 

© Webster 1913.

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