Watches and Wonders 2022

Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch is one of 2022’s biggest collabs


* MoonSwatch was not part of the just-concluded Watches and Wonders 2022 in Geneva, but it was the watch everyone was talking about at the annual fair.

At a time when ‘collaborations’ are the way forward, the concept is still new in the watch world. Associations with sports, personalities and notable events have been the norm for decades, but not so much the joining of forces with another brand (Bulgari x MB&F was one of few instances last year). Now Omega and Swatch (part of the same conglomerate, The Swatch Group) have changed that.

Their first-ever collaboration is based on the iconic Omega Speedmaster Chronograph, which travelled to the moon over 50 years ago. A giant leap for both brands, the Speedy — a part of Omega’s ethos for decades — is now available in a fresh, young, colourful take for a fraction of the cost. Launched worldwide on March 26, the MoonSwatch series consists of 11 timepieces and is crafted in Swatch’s Bioceramic, a material made from a blend of ceramic and bio-sourced plastic. Each watch is inspired by a heavenly body in the solar system, including the sun, moon and the nine planets.

The various hues of MoonSwatch

The various hues of MoonSwatch

Courting the moon

Borrowing classic vintage Speedmaster details, MoonSwatch has the iconic tachymeter with the dot over 90, a 42mm dial, and three chronograph subdials. The movement, however, is quartz and powered by battery — just like regular Swatch watches. Featuring a wide spectrum of shades from vivid red to bright yellow, and deep charcoal to powdery blue, every timepiece has special details pertaining to its inspired planet.

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Mission to Saturn has a ring on the 6 o’clock subdial, while the Mission to Mars watch has rocket-shaped hands in two of the three subdials. Each watch also has a NASA derived image of the themed planet on the caseback, and Super Luminova hour markers.

Mission to Mars watch

Mission to Mars watch

The Velcro Nato strap is a conscious choice — a nod to the ‘missions’ the wearer will embark on, just like an astronaut would (the crew of the Apollo 11 used Velcro straps to fasten their Omega Speedmasters in 1969).

Available in select Swatch stores worldwide for a very tempting $260 (approximately ₹19,843), the watches are not limited edition. This, however, has not stopped people from gravitating towards Swatch flagships in London, New York and Singapore at lightning speed, queuing up for up to 22 hours at a stretch to get first access. There have been reports of resellers flipping these watches on reselling sites for nearly 10 times the retail price. Given this substantial mark-up in the second hand market, one thing is clear: Omega and Swatch sought to make a universal impact and they have achieved it.

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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 9:36:30 pm |