A scientist by training, Hayek did not design the Swatch watch – the original was the work of a team of Swiss engineers – but he marketed it with the innate genius of a showman-entrepreneur. He came up with a concept that combined disposability, affordability and reliability, resulting in a funky, no-frills watch for every occasion.
Today Swatch launches some 300 designs every year, of which about half are phased out after six months, making them highly collectable and something of a cult item; there is a Swatch collectors' club and dealers trade in rare editions.
I had many of the more funky watches, which I wore with pride. The funkier the better.