UPDATE (April 12, 2018): The new watches are coded SUOB402 (Black), SUOR400 (Red), and SUOV401 (Purple). Official store release date is April 26, 2018.
Swatch have announced their upcoming 2018 Spring/Summer line will include a re-release of the classic 1987 X-Rated watch prized by hardcore and Straight Edge kids the world over. More information can be found on the Swatch website.
Understandably, straight edge kids are going to make picking one up a high priority - after all, the original Swatch watches are going for up to $800 on ebay. But if we take a step back, is this the right thing to do?
Ever since first being released in 1987, Swatch X-Rated watches have been an integral part of the straight edge / youth crew community and identity. This connection has been strengthened by live photos, merch, and album covers, all showing people in our community sporting the Swatch watch. Many Straight Edge bands, record labels, and clothing companies (us included) have sold similar watches to feed the demand, and in return have been supported by members of our community.
Positive Sights Straight Edge watch: For Straight Edge kids, by Straight Edge kids
But what has Swatch really done to earn the demand that we have created for their product? Maybe in 1985 or 1986 they invested in design, development, and promotion. But at this point, they are a global machine able to bring X-watches to market at minimal cost on a moment's notice. Do they really need our support? Does buying their re-issue provide them with the funds they need to carry on their mission to support the Straight Edge scene and community? Why would it? It's so far from their mandate. This isn't Nike SB sponsoring a team as an integral part of product development and marketing - the money we give isn't going to sponsor a tour, or a record, or used to continuously improve the X-Watch product.
Original Swatch X-Rated watches are well above the budget of most Straight Edge kids, and for some of us it's hard to feel like a real, authentic member of this community without one. But even for those of us that can afford to buy an original off ebay, at least we can know that we are likely buying from someone from our community that likely bought from someone else in our community.
If you need to buy an X Watch to feel like a member of the community, we ask that you buy from a Straight Edge band, or a label, or a clothing company. Swatch got lucky finding an audience in our community, and they don't deserve or need your money. Even now, eBay resellers are falling all over themselves to buy as many new X Watches as possible in order to take advantage of the Straight Edge community. Swatch X Watches are now seen as a good investment for merch-flippers and street wear resellers - they want them to sell out, because it means more money in their pockets.
What's your take on this topic? Do you agree? Are you going to buy one of the new Swatch X watches?
Want to support the Straight Edge and Hardcore Punk communities by purchasing a watch? Check out these fine vendors: