In Memory of Nicolas Hayek: Swatch’s Greatest Hits

This week, the Swiss fashion world is mourning Swatch founder Nicolas Hayek, who died at 82 of heart failure. While Swatches may no longer be the coolest wrist accessory going, the brand’s bright, zany, and affordably collectible designs were a ubiquitous staple of ’80s and early ’90s pop style. Over the years, Swatch released thousands of culturally literate watches. Check out a selection of our favorites — including pieces designed by Akira Kurosawa, Vivienne Westwood, and Spike Lee — via the delightfully comprehensive vintage Swatch purveyor Swatch and Beyond, after the jump. Isn’t it about time Swatch made a comeback?

Eiga-Shi GZ141, designed by Akira Kurosawa
Yes, this really happened.

Fox-Trot PWBR102, 1989
Just in case you forgot your new wave dance moves…

Velvet Underground, 1985
What costume, indeed?

Olympic Portraits GB178, designed by Annie Leibovitz, 1996
What’s black and white and going for the gold?

Pink Flamingo, 1986
A Swatch we can imagine Kelly Kapowski wearing to The Max

Anglophilic GW134P, designed by Vivienne Westwood, 2001
God save the Queen!

Notebook LR108, 1988
If only it had a built-in school-bell alarm…

Serpent GZ102, designed by Keith Haring
Eternal recurrence never goes out of style

Coldsteel GY104 GY105, 1989
’80s watches meet ’80s videos games

Cigar GK250, 1997
Sometimes a cigar is just a Swatch

Wake Up, designed by Spike Lee, 1999
Remember when Spike Lee was still awesome?