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Swatch says blue dye rubbing off US$260 Omega watch is ‘harmless’

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Swatch says blue dye rubbing off US$260 Omega watch Is ‘harmless’. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)
Swatch says blue dye rubbing off US$260 Omega watch Is ‘harmless’. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

By Low De Wei and Andy Hoffman

(Bloomberg) — Days after Swatch Group AG prompted a consumer craze with a budget version of its Omega-branded watch, some users began reporting a problem with their US$260 purchases: They can can leave dye marks on the wearer’s wrist.

The phenomenon has been flagged by buyers of the “Mission to Neptune” timepieces in the MoonSwatch series, in complaints on social media sites like YouTube and Reddit. The company said the dye bleeding off the watch is “harmless” and a “very, very rare experience.”

The discolouration will vanish over time, the company assured customers. The explanation is a “high amount of pigments used to achieve a strong colour result,” a Swatch spokesperson wrote in a response to questions from Bloomberg News.

“The pigment is not hazardous to skin, non-toxic, so this effect is completely harmless for the wearer,” said the spokesperson based in Biel, Switzerland, adding that the colour of the item will also be unchanged. “We have reported this to the quality management of our production facilities that have already taken all necessary measures on this matter.”

Demand for the item priced at around US$260 — a cheaper version of the iconic Speedmaster Professional or so-called ‘Moon Watch’ because of its use by U.S. astronauts — sparked a global buyers’ frenzy last week, with shoppers from London to Singapore mobbing Swatch stores to purchase the product.

While not being billed as a limited-edition item, the collaboration between the Swiss company’s luxury Omega brand and more budget-friendly Swatch label is also being offered at massive premiums of as much as thirty times its original price on EBay.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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