It all happened very quickly, didn’t it?
A little over a week ago, Swatch and Omega announced a new watch collab that would “break the internet”.
Here we are, a few days after the release (March 26, 2022), and the watch is sold out.
And everyone is still talking about it.
The Mission to the Moon watches are already popping up on eBay and reseller websites with price tags pushing past the US$3000 mark. A hefty mark-up for a watch that retailed for US$250.
It’s the sort of hype you’d see for a new Yeezy drop, or an Off-White collaboration.
So why is the Omega X Swatch creating such a buzz? Here’s what some people may have missed.
Omega X Swatch – origins of the hype
Let’s start with online comments.
The internet is a wonderful place and if you can gloss over the trolls and the haters, you sometimes find gems.
The news has been covered by web mags and forums that specialise in watches but also by generalist news websites, and I found one comment that says it all.
It read: “does Swatch still exist?”
That’s the first thing we should bear in mind: this mad collab reached everyone, including people outside the (sometimes niche) watch world.
It taught people that yes, Swatch still exists and yes, Swatch Group actually owns a bunch of watch brands including Omega, the watch that James Bond wears.
This is by far and away the biggest win for Swatch and Omega, because as a company, your number one goal is to grab the attention of people who normally don’t care about the products you sell.
Swatch and Omega managed to do that because they had people lining up outside stores from the early hours of the morning (and sometimes the night before) to get the watch, and even breakfast television covered that.
That’s something most people would expect from Apple lovers when they wait for the latest iPhone but no, this time it was a Swatch. Imagine that.
Why the Omega Speedmaster is iconic
So what is this, in real-world terms?
It’s called the Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch and it is a plastic, battery-powered watch that looks like the iconic $5,000 Omega Speedmaster.
It says ‘Omega Speedmaster’ on the dial, but it only costs US$250.
And people don’t feel bad or cheap about it because this is technically the real deal, this is really an Omega watch, it isn’t a copy.
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Omega is a brand that most people associate with space missions and James Bond.
The Speedmaster is known as the Moonwatch because it was worn by Apollo 11 astronauts during history’s first moon landing.
Omega is also a Rolex competitor, and that’s where things get even more intriguing because now you’ve got two factions.
On one side, you’ve got people who think this was an easy cash grab and marketing operation by Swatch at the expense of the Omega brand.
On the opposite side of the spectrum we find industry experts that believe this will help Omega beat Rolex: they couldn’t do it on the higher end of the market and so they decided to do something drastic to appease a new audience.
It is also a collectible item, much like Pokemon cards, because there are 11 different models (nine planets + the Moon and the Sun) and people will surely try and trade them and “catch ’em all”.
Whatever else you think of the watch, the results speak for themselves.