Omega and Swatch have made a splash with their MoonSwatch. And this right on the eve of Watches & Wonders 2022, which the Swatch Group is, of course, not attending. The watch world is abuzz with the news of this release… or is it in a state of shock? After all, the new Speedy is not a new variant of the classic Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, but a Swatch with the iconic Speedmaster design. The new MoonSwatch will be exclusively available in select Swatch stores to start. Is the release of a quartz BIOCERAMIC Speedmaster a brilliant marketing move? Or is this something that’s going to tarnish the Omega brand and Speedmaster name?
Moonwatch? Swatch? MoonSwatch!
Starting March 26th, 11 different variants of the MoonSwatch from Omega and Swatch will go on sale. Each model is named after a planetary body in our solar system, and many of the color schemes are bright, to say the least. The “Mission to Uranus” has a pastel blue case and dial, while the “Mission to the Sun” is bright yellow with orange accents. You’ll also find more conservative tones in this collection. The Saturn and Jupiter variants feature earthy, sandy tones, and the black and gray “Mission to Mercury” is reminiscent of an actual Speedmaster. My personal favorites are the “Mission to the Moon” and the “Mission to Mars,” both of which borrow from existing Speedmaster models: the original Moonwatch and the quirky red-and-white Alaska Project, which is hitting prices of more than $20,000 these days despite, or perhaps because of, its unusual design.
I can’t say I like every single one of these timepieces, but that’s fine with me. The new BIOCERAMIC Swatches have the original Omega Speedmaster’s 42-mm size, making them a good fit for just about every wrist. Their water resistance of only 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft) is something I can more than live with; after all, the Moonwatch doesn’t offer much more at 50 m. Consistent with the style of the Moonwatch, each MoonSwatch comes on a VELCRO© strap, a great match for its space travel vibe. Its quartz caliber means that this watch with the Omega logo on its dial can be yours for $260, with a limit of two watches per customer. Long wait times and disappointed customers going away empty-handed on the release day are basically guaranteed: These Omega X Swatch MoonSwatches will only be available in select Swatch stores to start. Never fear, though, it’s only a matter of time before the first models are available on platforms like Chrono24 – at a sizeable premium, of course.
Brilliant marketing trick or a blemish on the Omega name?
Watch fans’ reactions and opinions are across the entire spectrum. The Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch is a true polarizer. While some welcome the cooperation between the two brands, Omega enthusiasts and lovers of the legendary Speedmaster are anything but thrilled. They’re more than a bit worried that the iconic Omega Speedmaster is being bumped down a notch or two by this marketing decision, which could perhaps lead to long-term damage to the Omega name. I can understand their criticism and concerns; only time will tell whether they turn out to be true. I do, however, believe that these watches are going to be successful for both Omega and Swatch. This is a welcome boost, because if you ask me, the watch industry has lost its mojo in some ways. It’s a shame when Rolex presents its new releases on its website without any recognizable fanfare. That may be enough for some watch lovers, but for me, it’s about as exciting as a ride in an elevator.
The 2021 Tudor releases were, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air in the world of luxury watch marketing, even though it should be said that the gaming industry has been doing things like this for the past 20 years. Omega is now taking a similar step forward by collaborating with Swatch, doing something that has been common practice in the fashion industry for years. I think there will only be winners emerging from this pairing: Swatch and Omega, who have drawn plenty of attention to themselves with these timepieces; watch lovers, who want a fun variation of their beloved Speedmaster; and people new to the world of watches, who will be pulled into the Speedmaster realm and will perhaps want to own a real Moonwatch one day. In my opinion, the Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch is a bold, brilliant piece of marketing that I think will move the entire watch world forward. I’m glad there’s a Swatch store near my home – you can be sure that I’ll be there trying to pick up my two favorite MoonSwatches on release day.