It has already been just over two years since the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch came out. At the time, the lines in front of the Swatch boutiques were unheard of in the watch world. Although the hype isn’t as huge anymore, new versions, like the recently introduced Snoopies, keep the Bioceramic phenomenon alive and kicking. This week, TAG Heuer and fashion/lifestyle brand Kith also took a stab at the collab game with their TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith re-editions. There are 10 of them, and they’re all made of sandblasted stainless steel. The Formula 1s are much more limited in numbers than the MoonSwatches and sell for a much higher price. During today’s Sunday Morning Showdown, we’ll find out which of the two collaborations you prefer.

Both the MoonSwatch and the new Formula 1 come in funky color combinations and are powered by quartz movements. However, apart from these similarities, many things set these watches apart. Jorg and Daan will highlight those differences and use them to convince you to vote for one or the other. But before this week’s battle, we’ll examine what happened last week.

Last week, on Sunday Morning Showdown…

That was a different ball game between the Grand Seiko SLGW003 and the Chopard L.U.C XPS Forest Green. These two dress watches were released during the last edition of Watches and Wonders in Geneva. Jorg and RJ decided to put them up against each other, and it was a tough cookie to crack. The Grand Seiko offers a hand-wound movement and a beautiful texture on the dial, while the Chopard houses an attractive micro-rotor movement and an irresistible sector dial. In the end, the classic charm of the Chopard XPS got the most votes. But I don’t think the 62% and 38% scores show how difficult it was to choose between them. To get an idea, check out some of last week’s comments.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

Daan: TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

Let’s get to this week’s battle of the collabs. Unlike Mike, who wrote the introduction article on the new Formula 1 × Kith, I wasn’t aware of these watches before this new collaboration debuted. I saw the teasers on Instagram and was intrigued by what was coming. Like Mike, though, I wasn’t aware of what Kith was all about, so seeing that name on the dial piqued even more interest. Based on all the hints, I expected another collection of colorful, inexpensive, plasticky watches.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

We got a set of 10 watches that are all the same except for their bright color combinations. They’re made of sandblasted or PVD-coated stainless steel and powered by a quartz movement. Some come on a rubber strap, others on a Jubilee-style bracelet. Each version features a 60-minute Arnite (plastic) bezel and, with the help of the screw-down crown, is water resistant to 200 meters. In terms of price, you can get your hands on one of the limited pieces for €1,500. Alternatively, you can buy the whole collection for €18,000.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

A longer-lasting and more capable watch

When you compare the new Formula 1 × Kith to the MoonSwatch, there are a few clear differentiators. First, they’re made of stainless steel instead of bio-based plastic or Bioceramic. That’s why the Formula 1 re-editions look like more capable and longer-lasting watches. Their sapphire crystals and water resistance only emphasize this, making them feel more like serious timepieces. The MoonSwatch, on the other hand, always feels a bit more like a toy or, at least, something that won’t last that long.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

Yes, my MoonSwatch Mission to Saturn is still in one piece. That’s probably because I don’t wear it that often. Sadly, I’ve seen numerous MoonSwatches with broken bezels and pushers that have fallen off. I like the idea of the MoonSwatch being a more affordable and fun alternative to the Moonwatch. But the fact that it may not last very long does make it a bit more gimmicky. It looks like TAG Heuer and Kith went for a more durable design, which makes a lot more sense, especially in a world increasingly focused on sustainability.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith set

More of a collector’s item

Then, we get to the price and availability of these two collaborations. The MoonSwatch is only available in a selection of Swatch boutiques and is sold for €275. The regular models are limited in the sense that they can sell eventually. But most of the models are easily available now. Occasionally, Swatch will release a new edition that is only available for a limited time. It almost feels like Pokémon — “Gotta catch ’em all!”

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith

But the TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith watches are much more limited than the MoonSwatches. There are seven models which will only be available through Kith. Five on the rubber strap are limited to 250 pieces each, and the other two on a stainless steel bracelet are limited to 350. In addition, there are two TAG Heuer-only models, both limited to 850 pieces. Finally, there’s a shared offering with a limit of 1,350 pieces. As mentioned, all watches sell for the same price of €1,500.

You will have to try your best to get your hands on one of these Formula 1 re-editions when they are released globally tomorrow. Even though the price is quite high for a fun quartz watch, I still expect many people to try and get one. Among them will, of course, be the notorious resellers. But I also expect some enthusiasts to try and get their hands on their favorite versions. In that respect, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith is much more of a collector’s item than the MoonSwatch. Together with its longer-lasting construction, I prefer the Formula 1 over the MoonSwatch. What about you, Jorg?

Jorg: Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch

Where can we start with this one, Daan? There is so much to unpack about the “Kith Heuer” Formula 1. Let’s start at the beginning. When I first saw these new Formula 1 watches, I wasn’t as excited as many watch enthusiasts. I never liked the original TAG Heuer Formula 1. Even though I was young and a fan of colorful watches, I preferred Swatch. The brand presented revolutionary, affordable timepieces and a creative platform built on wild designs and interesting collaborations. The great creativity of Swatch designs spoke to me much more than the TAG Heuer Formula 1.

As I explained in the Buying Guide series about TAG Heuer in the 1980s, the brand had to copy Swatch’s strategy of creating cheaper watches to survive the Quartz Crisis. It’s a strategy that worked, and thank God it did. I wouldn’t say I like the TAG Heuer Formula 1, but I love the brand’s history and iconic timepieces as much as the next watch enthusiast. I love that Formula 1 was pivotal in keeping the brand alive after Heuer became TAG Heuer. It gives the Formula 1 series a relevant place in the brand’s history. But it doesn’t make me want one, nor do I like the designs. In the spirit of the ’80s, “Never had it, never will.”

The collaborative spirit — either you understand it, or you don’t

But criticizing the new Kith Heuer Formula 1 based on looks only is way too personal, Daan. I understand there is more to discuss to make a good case to win this showdown. As so many people commented under Mike’s introduction article, why bring the 35mm Formula 1 back as a limited-edition collaborative effort, especially in the famous colors that many watch fans love? Considering its historical relevance, reissuing this classic could have been a massive success without Kith. It leaves us wondering what’s in it for TAG Heuer.

Omega x Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch Mission to Mars

If you read the comments under Mike’s article, you’ll see many watch fans who wore a Formula 1 when they were younger are not familiar with Kith and are not even slightly interested in having the brand name on the dial. As a former sneaker enthusiast, I know the name Kith well. I visited its Manhattan location during a trip to New York in 2012 when Kith shared the space with Atrium NYC. Once there, I was lucky enough to get a pair of Nike Air Trainer 1s in the original colorway that John McEnroe and Andre Agassi wore on court in the late 1980s. I was super happy to find them at Kith and still wear them from time to time nowadays.

Bring back the Formula 1 for true TAG Heuer fans

So yes, I have great memories of Kith and greatly respect the brand Ronnie Fieg has built. But that doesn’t mean I need a Kith logo on the dial of my TAG Heuer watch. I understand that sentiment becomes even stronger for people who do not know Kith and see a modified (read: butchered) TAG Heuer logo. It only has value to the people who consider Kith a cool brand. And those people are generally younger and more interested in the hypebeast mentality that surrounds Kith. Is this a disservice to TAG Heuer fans? I think the answer to that is personal, but after reading the comments, I realized that it seems pretty clear.

MoonSwatch Mission to the Moonphase lume shot

For watch enthusiasts, a truly cool Formula 1 would have the vintage TAG Heuer logo on the dial. Then again, TAG Heuer will only release 4,150 individual pieces plus 75 box sets that will find their way to Kith fans, hypebeasts, flippers, and, hopefully, some true watch collectors who love them. This brings me to the price of the TAG Heuer Formula 1. At €1,500, this is no longer just a fun watch. Despite the upgrade in materials, asking a grand and a half for a straightforward stainless steel quartz watch completely disregards the reason the TAG Heuer Formula 1 was created. To know that you can buy an original Formula 1 for €300–400 puts this new release in a different perspective.

The MoonSwatch is a true collaborative effort

That’s where the MoonSwatch comes in. I can talk all day about what happened and discuss what it has brought to Omega and Swatch. But let’s keep it short because I already spent many words on the TAG Heuer and explained my love for the MoonSwatch in a previous Sunday Morning Showdown article. On top of that, our readers know the story all too well, Daan. Regarding the collaborative effort, I love the combination of Swatch and Omega for simple reasons. First off, both are watch brands. As such, both are active parts in making the MoonSwatch come alive. With Omega “providing” the Speedmaster design and Swatch executing it in typical Swatch fashion, it’s a true collaborative effort.

The initial series is also based on a concept — our solar system — that brings a nice small story to every watch. This concept also allowed for the continuation of the story with the MoonSwatch Snoopy models. The Moonshine versions in between may have been debatable, but they didn’t hurt my love for the MoonSwatch altogether. Slapping a logo on a reissue of a classic is far from a true collaborative effort. It misses the excitement and curiosity that characterized the MoonSwatch releases.

Only one of these two is a proper “fun watch”

The price is another simple reason for liking the MoonSwatch better than the Formula 1. At €275 for the regular MoonSwatch and €315 for the Snoopy versions, they are several times less expensive. Combined with the nice collaborative concept, it makes these watches fun and creative. That is exactly the type of watch that Swatch set out to make when the brand debuted in 1983. As such, the MoonSwatch is very much on brand.

Swatch × Omega Speedmaster MoonSwatch Mission To Neptune

The same cannot be said for the Kith Heuer Formula 1 collab. At €1,500, it defeats the purpose of the original Formula 1. On top of that, TAG Heuer has provided no info on the movement, and while there may be a slight upgrade in materials, nothing justifies the list price. It’s too expensive to be a fun watch. And that is a strange realization. It makes the MoonSwatch a better collaborative effort, a better-looking series, and an overall fun watch at a much better price. Have a fun Sunday, people!

Omega × Swatch MoonSwatch Snoopy Mission To The Moonphase on wrist

Cast your vote

There you have it—the TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith and the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch have now gone head to head. Which is your favorite? Cast your vote, and share your motivations in the comments section below.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith vs. Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch