Swatch Ads, 1984






Models in the first four ads are, from top to bottom, Morgan Brittany (Dallas, Glitter), Lauren Hutton (Lassiter, Once Bitten), Tom Berenger (eating spaghetti, for some reason), and Bruce Jenner. Brittany and Jenner hosted the second season of Star Games (1985-1986), a sports competition show featuring teams of celebrities.

The Swatch craze was absolute madness, and probably the first time I had a real conception of economic class. There were so many fashions and fads going on at the same time, and only the kids with money could keep up with them. The idea was to wear as many Swatches as possible (wrists, arms, ankles), and the gluttonous, neon ’80s did not disappoint.

(Images via Wishbook)

5 Responses to “Swatch Ads, 1984”

  1. 1 welshpiper May 15, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Swatch = 80’s. Thanks for the reminder.

    Fun facts: 608 5th Avenue (a 20 minute walk from where I work) is now a Lacoste store (not too far removed) and thirty-five 1984 dollars is just over $81 today.

    • 2 2W2N May 15, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      So amusing that Lacoste is back. All the Swatch ads are from the high-end department stores of the time (Bullock’s was the fancy store in “my” malls), but later, around ’86 or ’87, the prices went way down and I remember seeing
      K-Mart ads.

  2. 3 Ed May 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    $35 was too much for me I worked my ass of to take home about $60 – $70 a week at my part time job. Gas, car insurance, a cassette and take the girlfriend out there was nothing left for a Swatch!

  3. 4 narvo May 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Oh my goodness. I’ve always thought that 1984 was the absolute apex of ’80s music, culture and fashion. The Swatch watch was totally iconic of that; lol I’d dare say it was one of the flagships.

    LoL it was one thing to have a Swatch (or multiples), but the absolute must-have accessory was that little rubber-band looking thing that was some sort of “screen-protector” to keep the watch face from getting smashed. They, too, also came in a variety of colors to coordinate with your Swatches. At one point in my school, kids sought after those little guard things more than the watches themselves. Here’s one:

    Once you had it, the “cool” thing to do was to twist the guard so it would have this twist in the middle, right over the watch face. Believe me, kids looked out for those kinda details.

    In agreement with 2W2N, Bullock’s was the fancy store in Fox Hills Mall. It typically went like this: JCPenney was the lowest, then The Broadway, then May Company was a step up, and Bullocks..sheeyit you may as well not even bother going in there unless you were loaded.

    I dunno if anyone else remembers, or grew up on the Westside like I did, but Bullocks had this really funky smell to it. I think it was the material they made their floor from or something. I’ve never known any other store to smell like that since.

    • 5 2W2N May 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      That smell was rich people, Greg! They stink. You’re totally right about the Swatch guard. I completely forgot about that. I’m not sure I recall the “twist,” although I believe it.

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