Breaking News: Santa’s quarantined in the North Pole

Published December 13, 2020, 9:00 AM

by AA Patawaran

Swatch launches the HoHoOuch, a limited-edition watch that should remind us that, no matter what the odds, there is no stopping time, especially the time to celebrate hope

If 2020 were a watch, it would be a Swatch.

In fact, Swatch has just unboxed a limited-edition watch, with Tessa Prieto Valdes and Matteo Guidicelli leading the fun ceremony—ceremony is too formal a word for the occasion, it was in fact a fun, crazy party with the hosts at the Swatch Center on Arnaiz Avenue, decked out like a wonderland of graffiti, featuring positive words associated with Christmas at such a challenging time as this, while the rest of us were on Zoom. But the games were so interactive and the hosts, especially Tessa, were so big in personality and joie de vivre that they poured out of our Zoom screens.

HAVING A GOOD TIME Matteo Guidicelli and Sarah Geronimo at the Santa Crash Landing installation at the Swatch building

But yeah, if 2020 were a watch, it would be a Swatch. It’s the Swatch season special HoHoOuch, in which Santa in his red outfit and the minimalistic indices stand out against the white dial. Replete with a matching transparent snow-printed strap, perfect when paired with our Christmas sweater or Santa’s stocking cap, it is simply fun. Yet, its message is quite profound, a knock on the head if you are the type so easily discouraged from embracing the joys of the season by a hiccup as minor as a year-long pandemic.

SANTA DOWN The HoHoOuch features Santa Claus crash landing into the
snow in a playful take

The theme of the unboxing, which doubled as a yearender party, as well as a Christmas get-together, for which Swatch Philippines president Virgie Ramos, who has made the brand synonymous to fun since the late 1980s, was “Santa Crash Landing.” Not oblivious to the challenges of the ongoing global crisis, which threatens to cancel the most wonderful time of the year for some of us, the HoHoOuch pokes fun at something we regard as dead-serious, not so much to make light of it, but to encourage us to keep going, no matter what the odds, because after all life is what it is, often tough, so might as well get jiggy with it.

TIME MINISTERS Swatch Philippines president Virgie Ramos (seated) with Swatch ambassadors Derek Ramsay and Anne Curtis

Not even Santa Claus, symbol of life’s bounty, particularly in this season of extravagance and generosity, is exempt from the vicissitudes of time and from the facts of life. Like the rest of us, Santa has been derailed, who also belongs to the age group most prone to catching the disease. As the Swatch narrative goes: “Swamped with endless Christmas lists and wishes, he took his eyes off the road for a moment to check his latest messages, then—bang!—his sleigh crashed deep into the snow, sending Santa flying,” crash landing on the façade of the Swatch building at 918 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati and turning it into an interactive, Instagrammable Christmas installation. I suspect that Santa was also trying to get past border restrictions.

Santa in his red outfit and the minimalistic indices stand out against the white dial of the HoHoOuch. Replete with a matching transparent snow-printed strap, perfect when paired with a Christmas sweater or Santa’s stocking cap, it is simply fun yet its message is quite profound.

So here’s where we take over. Beyond childhood, after all, we all turn into Santa’s elves, often pretending to be Santa himself, sneaking in through the proverbial chimney to stuff socks and stockings full of wonder and surprises and memories that last forever.

The pandemic is real, no less real now than when we first sheltered in place in March, so having introduced the HoHoOuch, Swatch has also launched its holiday collection built on dressing up with nowhere to go as fashion’s new feel-good mantra under the circumstances.  Each of the watches in the holiday collection resonates with our inner desire to spot not only the silver linings but also the linings in gold, shiny pink, explosive blue, metallic green, or incendiary red, or all together like fire in the sky.

LET IT SNOW Dr. Hayden Kho, Jr. and Scarlet Snow Belo at the Santa Crash Landing installation at the Swatch

Check out the fireworks-inspired sparkle on the smaller Gent watches, the multicolored glitter on the pink silicone strap and the multi-colored sparkles on the dial of Multilumino and the gold-colored glitter on the silicone strap and crystal ring on the dial of Spaklingot. Design is the star in these watch designs and it shines as bright as the star that guided the Holy Family and even the Three Kings bearing gifts through that dark, cold night in Bethlehem.

Equally shining, the fabric-like bracelets, Luminescent Rose and Luminescent Sand, soft and shiny either in rose-gold or in gilt that, paired with the robust stainless steel of the Irony watches, are as much a spectacle as a starry, starry sky over a snow-covered forest of pine trees.

TWO TIMERS Swatch holiday 2020 collection with the Luminescent Sand
and Luminescent Rose watches

There are many other glittery styles to choose from in Swatch’s holiday collection, such as Grey Sparkle and Rose Sparkle, whose fabric bracelets in silver or red help set off the stainless steel of the Irony dials, as well as the new Irony Goldshiny in sparkling gold stainless steel and its silver twin, the Silver Explosion. And then there are the Big Bold Sparkles watches, Light Boreal and Dark Boreal, designed to be worn to the most special occasions, dusted as they are with 136 Swarovski stones, with which you are sure to make the grandest of entrances and the most graceful of exits.

Also introduced this season are the special and limited-edition Big Bold Chrono, a daring design for the daredevil, and the Checkpoint Golden, which Swatch describes as “the combination of empowerment and sparkle coming with a gold-colored dial in a Ø47 mm large and sturdy watch head.”

Luminescent Rose

Through the years, each of the watches designed by Swatch is a big, bold statement and, this year, with all that’s going on, with all that seems to have been stopped in its tracks, the statement is even bolder: We’re not that helpless. We’re not totally out of control. We still have time—and time is what we make of it.

Swatch is available at the Swatch shops at SM Megamall, Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 5, TriNoma, Alabang Town Center, SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, SM Southmall, Shangri-La Plaza, Robinsons Place Manila, and SM City Cebu. Also check out the Swatch flagship store on Lazada. Like SwatchPH on Facebook and follow @swatch_ph on Instagram.