Watch world hype surges as Swatch-OMEGA collaboration hits stores
A collaboration in the high-end watch world that no one saw coming, has the industry and “watch-heads” in a frenzy.
After teasing it via social media for a week and taking out full page newspaper ads, high-end Swiss timepiece-maker OMEGA and watch giant Swatch announced a collaboration using Omega’s iconic Speedmaster "Moonwatch" as an inspiration. Swatch and OMEGA are part of the massive Swatch Group (SWGAY) syndicate of brands that also includes Breguet, Longines, and Hamilton to name a few.
Dubbed the “MoonSwatch,” the watch uses the same dial as the OMEGA Speedmaster chronograph, but instead of a metal case it has a "bioceramic" one and its movement is quartz, rather than the NASA flight-certified mechanical movement the Moonwatch is famous for.
Unlike the original Speedmaster with its limited color options, the MoonSwatch comes in 11 different colorways, each named for a different planetary object or mission. “Mission to Sun” is yellow, “Mission to Moon” is black, “Mission to Venus” is pink — you get the idea. The MoonSwatch will only be sold in select Swatch stores around the world, beginning Saturday, March 26.
The bright colors and the collaboration between the two giants of the watch industry has fans amped up — as does the $260 price tag.
There are reports in Asia, for instance in Bangkok and Hong Kong, of purchasers lining up and camping outside Swatch stores waiting for the stores to open on Saturday morning. Social media posts also show lines outside a Swatch store in what appears to be Germany.
Resale and auction websites like eBay are already listing ads for the MoonSwatch (still not sale yet in retail locations) with prices already in the thousands of dollars.
$260 Swatch watches that go on sale on Saturday are already blowing up on the resale market pic.twitter.com/1GAuAAzggU
— Sam Ro 📈 (@SamRo) March 24, 2022
“The MoonSwatch is probably the most daring watch collaboration in history,” says watch expert Eric Wind of Wind Vintage to Yahoo Finance. “There are deeply divided opinions - some people are vehemently opposed to the idea and feel it is diluting the OMEGA brand and Speedmaster model, while others think it is one of the smartest things OMEGA has done in years.”
Swatch and OMEGA are part of the massive Swatch Group (SWGAY) syndicate of brands that also includes Breguet, Longines, and Hamilton to name a few.
OMEGA sees the collaboration as a way to grow the brand, not dilute it. “The Swatches are perfect for budding Moonwatch fans and I can’t think of a more appropriate icon for our shared project,” OMEGA President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann said in a statement.
“The barrier to entry for these products isn’t meant to be price but rather difficulty in finding one that is in stock,” Ariel Adams, founder of aBlogtoWatch says about the mania. “The game to get one for many people is already on. The hype machine is on at nearly full power.”
While it is rare for high-end, exclusive watch brands to bring their wares available to the masses, OMEGA’s first collaboration here with a mainstream brand is looking like a real winner from a sales and marketing perspective. Whether those budding watch fans will be able to get their hands on a MoonSwatch for retail prices is another story.
Pras Subramanian is the senior autos reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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