The Swatch Group is keeping their latest “collaboration” in-house with the new Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch.
Watch collabs are still fresh for an industry that takes forever to get around to anything, but we’re finally starting to see some collaborations here and there. Unfortunately, Watch Brand X Watch Brand collabs tend to be a non-starter. That’s because of the almost secret-society-like, extremely competition-aware nature of the watch industry.
Pricing and sourcing (especially when it comes to country of origin of the components used, assembly, etc.) are heavily guarded in the watch world. In order to collaborate effectively, these elements require more transparency and clarity than the smoke and mirrors of the industry allow for. For those reasons and more, we’re less likely to see joint ventures between unconnected watch brands than watches made in collaboration with non-watch companies and boutiques – like Seiko X Street Fighter, Timex X Todd Snyder, AVI-8 X Bradley Mountain, etc.
So, is this really a collab? For now, let’s call this a conglomerate collaboration. After all, Omega is owned by the Swatch Group. Maybe it’s not a “collab” in a way the streetwear community is used to, but at the very least there were two separate teams that came together to make this project a reality (or what they call a design partnership):
“The design partnership, a first for OMEGA and Swatch, follows the popular trend of collaborations between luxury and street brands to create innovative new products that blend the best of both worlds. For OMEGA, the joint mission is both a fun undertaking and a respectful nod to the plucky company that risked it all to kick-start the ailing Swiss watch industry during the quartz revolution.” –source
It’s like making a deal with yourself by using your left hand to shake your right hand. Omega releasing an affordable version of one of their iconic flagships under the guise of it being a Swatch, almost feels like an unfair advantage to working within a conglomerate like the Swatch Group. They can reach a new audience without watering down the Speedmaster brand, win-win.
Finding info about an Omega/Swatch watch collab presents an interesting challenge in search engines. There is an infinite amount of content with mentions of Omega and Swatch over the years (a quick search lead to 398,000,000 search results), but much of the content is unrelated to their recent collaborative endeavor.
The trick is to search the name of the collection: MoonSwatch. This clever word is a play on the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch – but with Swatch. However, at the time of this post Google keeps auto-correcting MoonSwatch to Moonwatch, so you might have to click did you mean “moonswatch”? As big as Swatch (the Group, not the watch brand) is, they didn’t have a Search Engine Optimizer on deck to think these things through?
Plastic Moonwatch = MoonSwatch
Before you get all hyped imagining a plastic Speedmaster, it’s not that – well, not exactly. The new Swatch Speedy is made from Bioceramic – the ceramic/plastic alloy that Swatch Group has been touting for the past year or so.
“What is BIOCERAMIC? Take 1/3 bio-sourced plastic. Mix in 2/3 ceramic! BIOCERAMIC offers you is a lot more resistance and at the same time a silky soft touch. These watches feel every bit as good as they look.” –source
The ceramic they are talking about comes from zirconium dioxide. This material has a wide range of uses from dentistry to knives, and now watch cases. Zirconium dioxide is most well known when crystalized to make cubic zirconium stones aka fake diamonds.
As for the bio-sourced plastic Swatch mentioned, it is derived from a vegetable oil made from castor beans. Like ZD, castor oil is also used in many different industries:
“Castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold-resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, and perfumes.” –source
Although Swatch AG has applied for a trademark claim over the term “BIOCERAMIC” as of March 2021, it is a general term that has been used since at least 1988 when the first ever International Bioceramic Symposium was held in Japan.
Long story short, the new MoonSwatch is not entirely plastic and it’s not entirely ceramic. It’s also not the first ceramic Speedmaster. That title would be given to the Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster, a 2015 watch that Omega states is “crafted from a single block of black zirconium oxide ceramic”.
Since Swatch watches are supposed to fit into the affordable category, a low launch price is expected (see below). Swatch Group obviously isn’t set out to make a fortune on these pieces, as the free publicity from the stunt alone will be worth its weight in gold. Rather than making mounds of profit from each piece sold (the way they do with the real Speedmaster line), the game here is most likely a marketing one.
A page from the playbook: Keep prices ultra low (something we’re not used to with Omega’s constant Rolex shadowing efforts), keep availability low, work with a partner to put out a “leak”, get the hypity-hypes to do their thing with hyping it up, then let the resellers send it to the moon – creating even more hype and campaign awareness. Wow, they just executed marketing for Omega, Swatch, Speedmaster, and Bioceramic all in one shot!
What we can expect specs-wise?
Let’s start from the inside out. Since no one else seems to want to talk about the movement, we’ll start there…
The low price tag translates to a quartz movement. Before you ask, no, this isn’t the first Speedy powered by a quartz movement. A DM already came across on Instagram asking which caliber is in the MoonSwatch. Swatch didn’t disclose the exact caliber, but since it’s Swatch Group, that means it will be an ETA product. In the current ETA quartz lineup, there isn’t a no-date chronograph, but then again, ETA can offer movements to Swatch Group brands that aren’t available to the public.
The Bioceramic Speedy has a 2-6-10 layout as opposed to the traditional 3-6-9 on its stainless steel cousin. Not only that, there are some other differences between these two chronographs that could have been handled differently. The regular Moonwatch has a 30 minute counter at 3:00, 12 hours at 6:00, and a running seconds subdial at 9:00. The MoonSwatch appears to be all mixed up with a 1/10th seconds at 2:00, running seconds at 6:00, and a 60 minute counter at 10:00. It’s disappointing that they didn’t reconfigure the quartz modules to match the positions of the “real” Speedmaster. Was this an oversight or was it intentional? It would be really interesting to know the answer!
Interestingly, there are other variations of the G10.212 with a 30 minutes subdial at 10:00 rather than the 60 minutes counter. This would have been a better choice because it looks confusing to have two “60” counters on the dial, not to mention that the Speedmaster has a 30 minute counter.
MoonSwatch Vs Moonwatch Sizes:
The two watches are basically identical in shape and size.
This affordable Speedmaster is going to have a plastic crystal, such as the one we saw with Swatch’s Bioceramic Big Bold watches released in 2021. If you have an Omega Speedmaster with a Heslite crystal, one of the joys of examining it with a loupe is the presence of an Omega logo in the center of the dome. The MoonSwatch has this Easter egg in the form of an S.
The caseback of each piece has a NASA derived image of the planetary body they are named after, along with text that reads:
Dream Big – Fly Higher – Explore the Universe – Reach for the Planets – Enjoy the Mission
Some watch geeks trash the G10 calibers because they are considered to be non-repairable, and some think the flimsy metal cover with double sided tape on a plastic movement case is ugly (although, Invicta did put an exhibition caseback over one before lol). No worries there thanks to the caseback design. The planet, sun or moon image on the caseback doubles as a battery cover. Simply pop that off and install a new battery with ease – and without seeing the G10 within.
Each model comes equipped with a 2 piece Velcro strap with Swatch and Omega Speedmaster branding. The lume is Super-LumiNova. Water resistance is 30m compared to the Moonwatch’s 50m. No screw-down crown. The box and papers, if in line with previous Bioceramic launches, should be made from recycled materials.
What about the springbars?
Are they regular springbars? Is the strap easy to change? It appears to be regular springbars because the stock Velcro band is a two-piece strap. We’ll update this after it is verified.
Price + Availability
Retail price: 250 CHF which is about $260 USD. Official launch date is 3/26/22. Haven’t seen any indication of how many they are making, but Swatch is limiting sales to 2 watches per customer… so bring a few friends.
Where to buy the MoonSwatch?
Not only is the Omega Swatch Speedy going to be hype ablaze, adding fuel to the fire is the ultra limited availability via “select” brick and mortar Swatch stores only. Which, if you’re in the United States, there aren’t many Swatch store locations. For the rest of the world, the watch will be launched in 27 countries.
Update: They aren’t calling them limited edition, but Swatch only lists 9 locations in USA with the MoonSwatch. Been seeing the word “democratized” being used too much to describe this launch. People should reconsider the use of that word. Sure, it’s at a price that is more accessible than anything in the main Speedmaster line, but releasing a limited quantity in a handful of physical stores is far from being a democratized offering.
That’s the thing about hype like this is: it’s a trap that you can’t help falling into. Calling the Swatch stores is going to lead nowhere. Folks are going to be driving 5-10 hours to find out they are all sold out. Store employees and managers might even cherry pick a few! Expect them to be on auction sites for 10x cost, pronto.
By the way, don’t get excited if you see them in the window of your nearest Omega boutique… those are for display purposes only.
Which color should I get?
Go for the one you like the best, but you’ll probably have to settle for whichever one you can get your hands on.
Personal favorites are Mission on Earth and the brown Mission to Saturn with rings around Saturn at 6:00, because it’s the most unique and artistic out of the collection and that’s what Swatch is all about. Neptune and Uranus are cool because the blues scream MoonSWATCH. The black on steel grey (Mission to the Moon) is nice too, because it looks the most like a real Speedmaster watch
There are 11 pieces in the collection. Each colorway is inspired by a member of our solar system:
Mission to the Sun (Ref: SO33J100) – Yellow case with a golden yellow dial, white bezel and white strap. This watch screams summer!
Mission to Mercury (Ref: SO33A100) – Dark grey case with a black dial on a grey strap. Not exactly a Dark Side of the Moon, but darker than the Moon.
Mission to Venus (Ref: SO33P100) – Light pink case with a creamy dial on a white strap. Also notice the subtle designs around the subdial rings. Swatch describes these as diamond-like details, but they don’t seem to have any relevance to Venus or space.
Mission on Earth (Ref: SO33G100) – Green case with a blue dial on a blue strap.
Mission to the Moon (Ref: SO33M100) – Black dial on a steel colored grey case with a black strap. This is an homage to the original Speedmaster and from across the room people may mistake it for its steel cousin.
Mission to Mars (Ref: SO33R100) – Red case with a white dial on a white strap. Look at the chrono hands. Project Alaska much? That’s because this piece is inspired by the Project Alaska Speedmaster and is said to be the only MoonSwatch with a smidgen (5% to be exact) of stainless steel added to the Bioceramic as a nod to the original Moonwatch that landed on the moon in 1969. This seems odd, though. Why wouldn’t do that with the Mission to the Moon model above instead?
Mission to Jupiter (Ref: SO33C100) – Khaki brown case and dial with a matching bezel and orange accented hands, on a black strap.
Mission to Saturn (Ref: SO33T100) – Light brown case with a brown dial and dark brown bezel on a dark brown case. This is the only model with art on the dial and the battery cover. The reason for this could be because they couldn’t fit the rings on the caseback and it would probably stir some controversy by space nerds if they left it like that.
Mission to Uranus (Ref: SO33L100) – Light baby blue dial and case with a white bezel and white strap. Ah, the Tiffany Blue Speedy… clever, Swatch Group, clever.
Mission to Neptune (Ref: SO33N100) – Blue case with a navy blue dial and bezel on a black strap.
Mission to Pluto (Ref: SO33M101) – Grey steel colored case with a cream dial featuring burgundy subdials and bezel with a grey strap. Last but not least or last and least? This is the one that Swatch seems to put the least amount of time into with only two images on the official product page at the time of this post. Oh well, so glad Pluto was included and still regarded as a planet lol.
Mission to Moonshine Gold:
Should I get this plastic battery powered clone or a “real” mechanical Moonwatch?
If you don’t already own a Speedy but always though about getting one, go for it! At the very least you will have a watch that will never go down in value and can give you an idea how the “real” thing will fit on your wrist. If you already own a Speedy, you might not be a happy camper with this new release – especially if you just dropped $5-15K on one. This new piece is more exciting, it’s cheaper, it’s more accurate, and it has a power reserve of up to 38 months 😅
What is the warranty on a brand new MoonSwatch?
Swatch’s manufacturer warranty period is 2 years (24 months). If the movement mentioned above is the caliber used, then the battery should last up to 38 months (if you don’t use the chronograph constantly). That means the warranty will likely run out before your first battery change, but the battery isn’t covered by the warranty either way (it never is). Read the full warranty yourself if it’s something you’re interested in.
It wouldn’t be a hype collab without a leak, right?! Supposedly, this announcement was made prematurely when a watch mag posted their article then took it down. By the time it was taken down, the press images were already all over Instagram and Reddit, and now KeepTheTime 😛
The thing about leaks is you never know what is an actual leak and what is a marketing play. Either way, leaks are effective in generating hype momentum. The watch community is starving for some fresh releases and the MoonSwatch leak arrives in perfect timing. What cannot be denied is that the watch industry is finally taking some cues from the clothing and sneaker side of fashion, and the hype train is full steam ahead – real/fake leaks and all.
Overall these look like some fun timepieces. But you know what’s not fun? Not being able to get one! Democratized. One thing for sure, this will be the first time for many watch enthusiasts to ever step foot inside a Swatch store.
Ready to make #MoonSwatchMonday a thing? You saw it here first, tag @keepthetime in your social media posts 🙂
The Swatch site now has Add to Cart buttons on their site with prices. It looks like the MoonSwatch collection is going to be available on their site after the initial launch. As mentioned earlier in this post, it’s all part of the hype building process, so don’t pay $995 for one, just wait a few days until they open up the sales on the site.
“Only available in selected stores as of 26th of March” doesn’t mean forever. It’s all about the wording. As of March 28th it could be available worldwide 😉
#Watchfam across the globe are on a social media Mission to Expose Scalpers who are posting MoonSwatches online for as much as $4,000.00. At the time of this post, there are 127 listed for sale. Most are selling based on stock photos (Since KeepTheTime opened the watch store in 2008 we have only shown our own photography without using stock images. Never buy a watch from stock photos unless you are buying directly from the brand!) and some are claiming to be a “pre-order”. That means that a lot of the Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch watches being offered on the market are not actually on-hand and ready to ship. They are selling then sourcing.
One listing confirms this with the following stipulation: “Item will only be available if it can be attained on Launch, bidding does not guarantee availability”. Another reassuringly lets bidders know that: “I have several reserved for me as I have a family member whom works at swatch.” Hey, hey, what did this article mention above about Swatch employees cherry picking them! We tell it like it is, because unlike most of the watch blogs, we are in the trenches of the watch industry, we see it all.
Resellers are entitled to sell an item for as much as they want, just as buyers have to ability to pass on the deal. This is how business works. However, many enthusiasts see these scalpers as taking advantage of the situation since there are many potential buyers who believe the watch to be limited edition. Swatch has made it clear that the MoonSwatch is not a limited edition watch (as we reported on launch day) and that these watches will eventually be available on their website (as predicted above).
But let’s be real: it’s the brands who create these issues in the market, because they will do anything to get the hype cycle going. And as mentioned above, getting the scalpers to post on eBay helps fuel the flames of free press. Every post the watchfam makes calling out the inflated prices on auction sites, they are contributing to the PR, for free, without even getting a discount on a piece. This post is also contributing, but at least you’re on the site. The hard work isn’t for nothing, even though the reality is that you’re probably going to click away after you read the specs and not buy a watch here. It’s the MoonSwatch you’re after and we don’t have any yet (Swatch, if you’re reading this, let’s talk). Maybe you like the site, the article, and the pictures in our store… so maybe you will save the site and buy later. This is what an online dealer has to go through just to get customers through “the door”. Interesting times we’re in! Pardon the digression… Point is, if the watch was simply announced and made available on their site for everyone at the same time, no waitlists, no sell-outs, no staggered brick and mortar releases… then there wouldn’t be a market for scalpers #justsayin.
Swatch has changed the limit from 2 watches per customers to just 1. There are reports of long lines at participating Swatch stores around the world, with some customers waiting but not being able to get a watch. Info verified via the official Instagram post from @swatch.
Wow, so many people are lining up and going crazy for this watch outside of Swatch stores around the world. More than I would have imagined when originally putting this article together. Reportedly, in Japan and other places, Swatch stores did not even open the doors because there were too many people (share your stories in the comments below). Some of the stories over the weekend were wild!
For every desperate person lined up outside of a Swatch store, there are 10 watch enthusiasts trash talking the lines and the people in them. There are images and videos of people in lines, with captions calling them flippers and scalpers. Just because someone is excited and passionate enough to be an early adopter of a hyped up watch, why does that automatically mean they are up to no good? There are other reasons for wanting to be the early bird to get the worm, like doing a tear down for Caliber Corner or write a review. Some people just like to be the first to have something, no matter the monetary or opportunity cost (although, it would be interesting to know how many people spent money they didn’t have or got the rona from waiting in those crowds).
Isn’t it better to see lines outside of a Swatch store to buy a real watch than outside an Apple store to buy a smartwatch????????? Everyone telling the people in the lines to chill out, maybe need to chill out themselves.
Frankly, after running this business for over 13 years, 7 days a week for nearly 365 days per year, buying, selling and trading watches, writing about watches, reading about watches, photographing and filming watches, repairing watches, designing watches, building watches, marketing watches, teaching about watches, packing and shipping watches, handling thousands of watches and serving thousands of customers spending hours a day talking about watches, it’s awesome to see this many people so interested in a watch. Have we ever seen lines like this for an analog watch? No! Have we ever seen anything like this before in the history of horology as we know it? No!
This launch, hyped up as it may be, BS as the “collab” part of it may be, non-mechanical as the movement within may be, seemingly unorganized as it may be… is actually good for this hobby of ours. It has gotten the attention of people who didn’t care about watches a week ago, but they read about the MoonSwatch or saw people camping out on the news. This launch isn’t just for the watch geeks and enthusiasts, it’s attracting fashionistas, sneaker heads, hype beasts, business bloggers and streamers, all kinds of people! Now they are reading this post and doing some research. Now they are one click away from finding an awesome piece from a microbrand, or starting a new watch related YouTube channel or Instagram account. This launch might be what spawns your favorite new brand next year and attracts new followers to your social media feeds.
Watches, other than Rolex waitlists and inflated prices, are finally garnering mainstream interest like a tech device or sneakers. Now maybe we’ll have more people to talk to at parties instead creepily looking at everyone’s wrist, quietly judging them and rolling our eyes inside until someone walks past with an interesting watch or *fingers crossed* notices ours.
It’s mostly the watch industry’s fault that things are this way. Even our trade shows are insulated and snobby – the Rolex booth at Baselworld literally had guards standing there to make you feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. Sure, maybe it’s because we’re dealing with luxury items, sometimes $50,000 watches instead of $500 phones, but still… imagine if the Swatch Group did a presentation like the Apple Event or Samsung Unpacked.
Yeah, we’re tired of seeing the MoonSwatch stock photos all over social media too. Instead of being bitter that we don’t want to wait in line, or that the Swatch store is 5 hours away, or that it’s a quartz movement, or [insert reason here], let’s enjoy this bit of hype in our hobby/industry and welcome the newbies to the community. Dear Watchfam, stop clenching Uranus and relax a little. Dear Legit Watch Noobs (not the scalpers and people auctioning a stock photo for $2,500), welcome to our world here at KeepTheTime!
PS – The highest priced MoonSwatch listing on eBay right now is $10,000 USD from a seller in Switzerland. The lowest Buy It Now is $756. Both are Mission to the Moon. There are two auctions running currently as low as $550. Most of the listings are between $1,000 and $5,000.
For the listings priced in the thousands, maybe they are just doing it to add to fuel to the fire. There’s nothing to lose by listing the watch for thousands of dollars, but it’s guaranteed to raz people and get them fuming – and sharing. These ultra high priced listings are probably just for attention getting. They might even be from a brand insider. You never know what is and isn’t a marketing hack these days!
Like the universe, there is balance in the Realm of Moon Swatch:
Update 3/27/22 COLORGATE!
As pointed out by Aquatimer in the comments below, there are reports of the color from the watches coming off on a wearer’s wrist! Actively looking into this now and will try to add some links and pics shortly.
Here is one from Instagram below. Another person posted on Facebook here. Both are Neptunes.