29th May 2023 – (Kuala Lumpur) Swatch’s striped rainbow watch, which features the acronym LGBTQIA2S, has made a comeback on the brand’s official website in Malaysia. The watch was previously seized and confiscated by the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs due to the symbolism of the acronym, which represents various minority groups. However, the watch is now available for purchase again on the Swatch Malaysia website.
The letters in LGBTQIA2S stand for the English abbreviations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit.
The Swatch website describes the rainbow watch as having a semi-transparent dial with a variety of color prints, as well as a calendar wheel that rotates every 24 hours, displaying different icons from the LGBTQIA2S acronym each day. The watch is also equipped with a glass made from renewable biological sources.
It is currently unclear whether the rainbow watch sold through the website is from Malaysia’s inventory or if it will be shipped from abroad.
Swatch recently confirmed that its PRIDE watch series, which features a rainbow theme and is soldglobally, has only been confiscated in Malaysia. The PRIDE series includes six single-color watches that are also available for purchase on the website, priced at RM 365 each.
The symbolism of the LGBTQIA2S acronym on the watch has been the subject of controversy in Malaysia. The country’s Ministry of Home Affairs reportedly took action against the watch due to the government’s strict censorship laws and conservative values. The move has sparked criticism from human rights advocates and members of the LGBTQIA2S community, who say that it is a violation of their rights.
Swatch’s decision to put the rainbow watch back on sale may be seen as a show of support for the LGBTQIA2S community. The brand has a long history of promoting inclusivity and diversity through its products, and the rainbow watch is just one example of this.