Swatch has made a self-winding timepiece with just 51 components. As Samsung and other tech giants race to bring smartwatches to the public, slashing the number of moving parts in a timepiece is what counts as an extraordinary advance in the 500-year-old dumbwatch industry.
The latest from Swatch doesn’t send e-mail or measure your pulse. It won’t display pictures or make phone calls. The pitch, in fact, makes the new product sound like the anti-smartwatch: “Never before,” promises Swatch, “has simplicity been made so intriguing and surprising.” But it’s likely to deliver one thing that may very well prove beyond the reach of the companies turning out wristband computers: healthy, predictable sales.