To understand the influence of social media on the recent Swatch Grand Prix SCJ101 “Pradè” phenomenon we first need to clarify a bit.
“The influencer is a lazy idiot that profits on wealthy idiots unable to choose a pair of idiot-grade shoes on their own.”
With this sentence, Vittorio Sgarbi judges, more or less rightly, those who “manipulate” social media for commercial purposes. However, it happens that you become “influencer” even without exploiting anything (and not even being idiots), a bit like in this story.
At ItalianWatchSpotter, we don’t feel like influencers even though, this time, we had more than a little influence…
You haven’t figured out what we are talking about? The answer comes from the picture!
It was August 22nd when Daniele Pradè, Fiorentina‘s Sports Manager, appeared on our Instagram profile with the 1992 Swatch SCJ101 Grand Prix on his wrist.
For price, brand and style, Swatches are rare enough to find on our page.
When we asked ourselves what content to bring, it was a common opinion to prefer high-end watchmaking, sometimes popular pieces but above all very particular specimens, of the highest level, that best reflect this art form that “Haute Horologerie” is.
As Spotters, we must always bring you the truth, and not just what is part of our cliche. If the truth makes headlines and sends a positive message, even better!
This is the case: a sports executive with a simple watch, “funky”, colorful and… cheap. How many more times have you seen it?
You were impressed, unquestionably. Obviously seeing a well dressed manager wearing Swatch is always particular, but this time was different.
On August 23, the first posts on Facebook about this spot began to appear and it seems that fans have suddenly fallen in love with this brightly colored Swatch.
The days go, other posts appear. The first, who remember having one in a drawer, begin to wear it, some start showing it on the wrist, others buying it… As we never miss in our industry, even the first speculations begin.
Today, less than a month after the post, the Swatch Grand Prix “Pradè” has become a star of Italian social medias.
Not a day goes by without someone talking about it, buying it or posting it, with proper complaints associated with it.
Witness to the phenomenon is the fact that memes have even been created about it and, believe us, it is not our work!
(Thank you the authors, who are currently anonymous to us.)
Sgarbi or not, what is going on is an irrefutable proof that the work, if well done, has some influence.
If it wasn’t yet completely clear, seeing an object that’s worn, especially by a person who represents something positive to most, increases the appeal that this object has on us. With the same dynamic we can explain exactly what happened with Fiorentina’s manager and his watch.
The SCJ101 is a quartz chronograph with particular characteristics, winning at the time, but nowadays not appreciated as much as in the 90s, which allowed you to find one, before our spot, for about 90€, even as low as 35€ if very lucky.
For those of you who are curious about what quotes are like today, don’t worry, we did some researches for you.
From an average price under 100€, following our spot the watch skyrocketed. Let’s look at some examples together on e-commerce platforms, considering that prices are growing day by day.
The historical context
Looks like the fever has really spread. Perhaps it’s time to mention a bit of history and characteristics about this Swatch Grand Prix SCJ101 “Pradè”.
Born in 1992, although on the dial we find the print 1991, it follows the presentation of the first Swatch chronographs, which took place in 1990 and ’91. Needless to say that it was a huge success, as much as all the chronos line.
Between 1991 and 1992 there were several historical events relevant to society: the Gulf War began, the Soviet Union crumbled, the Museum of Art Reina Sofia opened, Craxi began to decline, and many other events that contributed to collective imagination.
More than this historical panorama, however, the greatest influence on the watch has been from arts.
Many artists were active in these years, including Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. It’s easy, even looking for just one second at these works, to understand the proximity they have with the Swatch Grand Prix 1992 SCJ101 “Pradè”.
These bright colors, witnessed by the art of the time, this desire to be vibrant and eccentric, will characterize the Swatch collection.
Let us briefly cover technical specifications about this watch.
It’s a classic quartz chronograph, with hours, minutes and seconds markers on the dial, while in the three sub-dials it has the classic 12 hours, 30 minutes and continuous seconds at 6. It also has a 1000-base tachymetric scale on the peripheral part of the dial.
37.5mm case, apparently reduced to 34mm a few years later (there are several measures on the internet, unfortunately Swatch archives do not help) in yellow/lime green transparent plastic.
The real feature, as you can see, is the dial, articulated in 4 colors that also characterize the case, pushers and strap. We immediately notice the yellow, blue, orange and fuchsia, recalling the pushers.
The name Grand Prix comes perhaps from the tachymetric scale and the general aesthetic of the watch, reminiscent of some “racing” dials.
On the other hand, it really was on the track: in the photo you can see Giovanna Amati, Formula3 driver who also raced in F1, with her Swatch Grand Prix 1992 SCJ101 on the wrist, at the time not yet “Pradè“!
A model forgotten by most, although it was successful in its years, finally back in vogue. As proven by prices, offers and attention 90s Swatches are receiving, it’s a matter of a few days before other models’ prices also explode…
It’s a great opportunity to obtain a desired object at a low price and still stand out from the crowd. In addition, the Swatch collection of ’91 and ’92 offers different versions of these chronographs, suitable for all styles. We leave you some, noteworthy in our opinion.
What about you? Do you already have one on your wrist?
Thank you all for the support you give us, we are pleased that our posts take life in your passions. Keep pushing these watches, they have so much added value for their price.
But above all, the next time you mention someone on social media for their work (which you don’t consider such), be at least sure you are impervious to its effect.
A greeting from the entire staff and a wink to Daniele Pradè, perhaps even more trend setter than our spot, in this case.
Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@lorenzospolaor)