Some Afterthoughts On The Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch
The introduction of the new Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch collaboration did not go unnoticed. Some of my colleagues went to see the queues last weekend in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, and they were absolutely crazy.
We covered the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch last Wednesday evening. As the media embargo was broken by another site, we got the OK from the Omega and Swatch HQs to publish a few hours ahead of schedule. And the interest in this watch exceeded all expectations! We had the MoonSwatch in the office a few days in advance, and most of the Fratello team was incredibly excited about it. But this run to Swatch boutiques and the massive amount of comments on our article, Instagram post, and YouTube video were something we had not anticipated. It became apparent though, the minute we published our Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch hands-on review video, it was on.
On this website, our YouTube video, and our social media channels combined, we’ve received 1500+ comments and counting. There were a lot of positive comments on the new collaboration from people who aren’t even into watches at all. There were also those from fellow Speedmaster enthusiasts who are after one of these MoonSwatch models as well. Then, there were comments from those with very different opinions. A lot of people don’t get the collaboration and think it will hurt Omega’s brand image.
When the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch went on sale at Swatch boutiques, things also got out of hand very quickly. There were long queues that started hours (or days) in advance, as well as a message from Swatch that instead of two watches, customers could now only buy one per person.
There’s a difference between the Moonwatch and MoonSwatch
What I found particularly interesting is that people are afraid it will cannibalize the original Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. But, having the Mission to Mars model in my possession as well as a bunch of original Omega Speedmaster watches, I can’t see this happening. The dial of the €250 MoonSwatch indicates Omega and Speedmaster, yes. But it is not the same watch you will receive when you buy the regular €6,700 Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The wording on the dial doesn’t make it the same product.
The Omega × Swatch collab is a Swatch. It’s made of bioceramic material (two-thirds ceramic, one-third plastic), with just the design of the iconic Moonwatch. As soon as you slap the MoonSwatch on your wrist, you’ll notice that the wearing experience is nothing like that of the stainless steel Moonwatch. Neither is the quality and finishing of the watch, of course. Again, the watch is a Swatch. As an avid Speedmaster enthusiast and collector, I can definitely see the fun in owning and wearing these collab watches. They’re colorful and just make a good Swatch.
Life’s too short to be upset over nothing
So, what’s in this collab for Omega? Swatch will sell quite a few watches (although the initial stock didn’t meet the demand, obviously). But how can Omega benefit from this? Here’s something I wrote on my Instagram page last weekend:
“Apparently, not only is Swatch “back on the map” since last week but also the sales of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch went up in the past few days. This clever collab between Omega and Swatch worked on different levels. The number of comments from negative Nancies was huge as well, but in the end, it’s simple: let’s wait and see what happens first before all sorts of doom scenarios are outlined. One of the few learning points in my opinion is that too many people went home empty-handed, so higher stock would have been appropriate. But otherwise, it has been quite a ride. And yes, flippers gonna flip, but on a larger scale, that’s just noise. Let’s hope more people will get interested in watches (again). And don’t forget, it should be about having fun. If all this stuff frustrates you so much, perhaps there are other things in life that bring you more joy. Life’s too short to be upset over nothing.”
To add to that, let’s not make this into something terribly important. There are far worse things going on in the world right now. I consider it a blessing that we live in freedom and can worry about these types of “luxury” issues.
Last but not least, like you, I’ve seen the scalpers and flippers putting up their MoonSwatch models on eBay and Chrono24 for crazy amounts. That’s just plain silly, especially when you know they will be restocked in the boutiques and available online (though there’s no official date yet). One theory I have regarding the poorly stocked boutiques — besides the unexpected craze for these MoonSwatch watches — is that the production started quite late. And that’s for good reason, as the project was incredibly secretive. It was not only local Swatch and Omega representatives who didn’t know about it. Even at the HQ level, there were only a few people involved. It was all to keep it a big surprise and allow it to have the maximum effect. If a company produces a high volume of watches before a release, gets distribution going to boutiques on a larger scale, and ships the watches to dispatch centers for online sales, a leak is more bound to happen.
Anyway, I get the frustration of those who traveled miles and miles only to go home empty-handed and see flippers trying to sell these watches for stupid money. But as I wrote above, I think that’s just noise in the bigger picture. Once the Swatch production is up to speed, it should become easier to obtain your MoonSwatch.