Swatch Bioceramic: Shallow Wade

You got bio in my ceramic! You Got ceramic in my bio!

Swatch Bioceramic in the lab

You got ceramic on my bio! You got bio on my ceramic! Serendipity at the Swatch Group’s Swatch brand laboratories comes a new material and line called BioCeramic. The CamelCase term may evoke animated tableware or surgical implant materials. It’s even more exciting than that. Join in a shallow wade into Swatch’s stupendous new BioCeramic stuff . . .

WTF is BioCeramic? And why should I care? Swatch’s marketing material is majorly mysterious: “Mixing bean juice and rock powder makes plastic pottery that is tougher and shapelier.”

Swatch Bioceramic - board yet?
That leg looks shopped, right?

What does any of that even mean? It sounds like a lot of empty marketing crap, right? Right!

The watches may look corny, but the plastic is made from castor oil. Which is milked from castor beans. (The leaves of the castor plant look a little like a pot leaf.) Do you feel better about the plastic because it was synthesized from a plant base? I can’t imagine why else they’d mention it.

So erase the dirty environmental association with cheap plastic. Also try to forget that plastic is inexpensive.

more lab work Swatch Bioceramic
Remember those Mac and PC ads with John Hodgman and Justin Long?

Clothing manufacturers have been playing this game for a while. Polyester somehow became microfiber, or any bevy of performance-y names.

This is closer to the scam where a pair of socks or a Hawaiian shirt claims to be made from bamboo. No, there are no vegetable fibers to be found because it’s just rayon or acetate. That’s sort of like claiming a glass bottle is made from sand.

Oops, that’s the ceramic in BioCeramic. The fantastic plastic is a minority, diluted 2:1 with ceramic powder. It’s a white powder, but we’re over quota on cocaine jokes this month so let’s just say it looks like talcum powder to me. BioCeramic is a better marketing term than VegeMineral or PlantSand.

Available at you local cosmetics counter

But why? How else can you justify asking thrice the price for basic plastic watches that Casio does so much better? Oh, I kid! Kinda. BioCeramic is tougher, and it can be shaped with fine detail!

Was the normal old plastic not tough enough? Um yeah, we’ll circle back to that later, but rest assured it’s now even tougher, okay? Next!

Was someone really complaining about the blobbiness of prior plastic Swatch watches, and don’t metal-cased watches by Swatch have the same shape as the plastic ones?

In case you didn’t already know, this is a gimmick. These watch journalists can’t write much about mild variations on the same old theme. Nobody gave two hoots about Swatch X Mickey Mouse or whatever that was. People seem to love ceramic bezels in Rolex and stuff for some reason. Q & A time!

Key Lime is the fruitiest of the Swatch BioCeramic offerings

Why do the dials look like dart boards or radar screens?

Sir, we call that a sector dial. It shows off the fine architectural detail, the crisp lines of which the material is capable. The vast Chinese market loves these skeletor dials, so just go with it. The green one looks sort of like a lime wedge. Or a cucumber slice.

Speaking of phallic vegetables, the BioCeramic allegedly has tactile benefits. Swatch says it feels powdery. I take that to mean it has a delicate silty finish. I guess this stuff is more scratch resistant than the milk jug plastic, so no shiny scratches on matte plastic. Because that won’t buff out.

These are stair rails, not prison bars

Everybody hates cold watches in the winter and hot watches in the summer. Right? No worries here!

Like a Made-For-TV product ad, Swatch BioCeramic answers a lot of problems nobody was having. It probably does have low specific heat capacity. It should adapt to your skin temperature a bit sooner. Happiness is a lukewarm watch.

What about the band material?

It’s “BIO-SOURCED MATERIAL” – which is the castor bean plastic before they powder it up with ceramic.

Aren’t skateboard wheels polyurethane?

Why all the washed out pastel colors?

Optimistic times mean bright vibrant colors. Would you believe that the watch market is slightly optimistic? Besides, those HGTV people love that milk paint stuff. Instead of milk Swatch used two scoops of that mysterious white powder. White ceramic powder.

But there are black models too. I mean the watch. So Swatch is capable of saturated colors but just chose not to. At first.

Now in color!

What up with that 2 o’clock crown position on the BIG BOLD BIOCERAMIC?

All the good crown positions were already taken, so Swatch was stuck with that.

Why 47 millimeter? Does Swatch hate the customer? Can you stay in character, Klosoff? Is this the fourth wall?

Yes, BioCeramic comes in classic 34mm as long as you like white. And 41mm if you like black. I’m not trying to make that sound like some racial allegory, but that’s how Swatch is offering them.

What’s it all about Alfie?

Hopefully you’ve learned all about the exciting newish Swatch BioCeramic. I encourage one of our readers to get one and review it for us. That way I won’t have to wear this atrocity.

I’m all for innovation. But this is nonsense.

Swatch Bioceramic now in weird colors
No moon rocks are used in Swatch BioCeramic

Perhaps I’m wrong, an old hidebound fuddy-duddy, and the hep kids will find this all banana jacks or whatever the youngs call it these days.

I like cheap plastic watches because they are cheap plastic watches. What are these? I don’t know, and I don’t think Swatch really knows yet either. This is a material in search of an appropriate form and fashion. It seems a better fit for the overpriced bougie crap from Shinola.

If there’s been excitement about the Swatch BioCeramic, it slipped past me. Good luck, Swatch. This line will need it.


  1. They aren’t horrible. I just think the kind of person who would buy this already wears a FitBit or an Apple Watch, has a bunch of different straps to go with it, and isn’t interested in buying a second watch.

    • The material itself may well be fantastic. What they chose to use it in doesn’t impress me. The brand identity for Swatch today is a mystery to me. They may have largely been devoured by the smart watch market. 47mm makes more sense when a touch screen is involved, that’s for sure.

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