This name has become synonymous with the globally recognized watch company, but the kind of swatches that we are referring to don’t wrap around your wrist or let you know when you are running late (yet again). These swatches are samples of materials or finishes – such as fabric, wallcovering, paint, carpet, etc. – that are produced in small pieces as to illustrate the color and detailed design material in consideration. Many times people will only use this term in regard to textiles, while they will use the word “sample” if referring to hard finishes like wood, stone, tile, etc.
See also: CFA, memo sample