Swatch’s Bold Move Toward a Post-Plastic Future With BIOCERAMIC

05.31.21 | By
Swatch’s Bold Move Toward a Post-Plastic Future With BIOCERAMIC

When we think of Swatch, we remember accessorizing our arm with two or three of the brand’s colorfully graphic timepieces, obviously more for their fashion swag rather than any genuine intent of keeping abreast of the day’s passing hours. The Swiss watchmaker is still around and continues to innovate, most recently on the material front with the announcement of BIOCERAMIC, a new ceramic material formulation composed of two-thirds ceramic and one-third bio-sourced plastic.

About that one-third bioplastic: Swatch’s BIOCERAMIC “mixes conventional ceramic with a bioplastic derived from castor oil,” a sequel to last year’s retro-styled “1983 Collection” using the same biosourced formulation.

Material made from castor oil isn’t new, but still rare enough to be novel, and used to great success in the design of other objects like the w182 Pastille lamp a few years back. But that’s a stationary furnishing, while the Swatch BIG BOLD in BIOCERAMIC is a 47mm diameter case timepiece (water-resistant to 30 meters) requiring a higher degree of durability for daily wear. Noting other formulations of bioceramics are already used for endodontic and orthopedic applications, it bodes as a durable watch material.

Bioplastics derived from castor oil have been used to manufacture other objects like the w182 Pastille lamp to great success.

Swatch has also given their new watch the signature “see-through” treatment, pairing it with a strap, glass and loops also made from biosourced plastic to keep on theme. And since launch last month, the Swiss watchmaker released four additional designs featuring transparent dials and a Swatch Glow that gives the timepieces an even BOLDER [emphasis us] and easier to read face.

With five colors to choose from – the classic design statements black and white, the “color of the year” grey, optimistic sky-blue
and new power-pink – only time will tell whether we see the youth of today sporting one or more BIOCERAMIC derived BIG BOLD Swatches across a single arm like we fondly remember.

Swatch BIG BOLD BIOCERAMIC watches retail for $194, available at Swatch stores and online at

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at