Swatch released their 11-piece Moonswatch collection on March 26, 2022. The watch world went nuts. Buyers waited in long lines at stores. Flippers flipped Moonswatches for big bucks. And why not?
The Moonswatch is a classic OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch (review here) for people who don’t give a shit about the movement and can’t afford seven grand and more for the real thing.
It was a bold move by the Swatch Group, who owns both Swatch and OMEGA. Stupid too.
Sure, Swatch is making a ton of money on the Moonswatch. Tens of millions. Maybe hundreds.
I wouldn’t say the Moonswatch reinvigorated Swatch, because their LOUD AF watches have been selling just fine thank you (save in Malaysia, where owners have become targets of homophobia).
But lines out the doors of Swatch dealers worldwide? There’s something you don’t see everyday. Well, you didn’t until last year. How great is that?
Fooding the market with faux Speedmasters does nothing to maintain the cachet of the Group’s upmarket OMEGA brand. In fact, wearing a “real” OMEGA Speedmaster Professional has become something of a joke. Hey! Is that a real Moonwatch? Check out my Moonswatch!
The chart above shows the declining values of OMEGA watches on the pre-owned market over the last six months. There are a lot of factors in play, including the post-pandemic blowout hangover and ascending interest rates. But even if the Moonswatch doesn’t ding OMEGA in the short term…
Prestige is the name of the game in the OMEGA vs. Rolex world. The Moonswatch pisses on OMEGA prestige from a great height. A fact that the Swatch Group almost admits.
“The MoonSwatch isn’t for everyone, but it certainly got the people going,” their Instagram account admits. Yeah, people going crazy to buy a Moonswatch and OMEGA owners going ballistic looking at their expensive OMEGA Speedmaster Professional (a.k.a., Moonwatch).
We’re talking about a brand formed in 1848 by Louis Brandt, famed for its technical excellence and quality control. But hey, money, right? So much money that Swatch has been cranking out Moonswatches on an industrial scale, threatening to undermine the flippers.
Starting on April 6, 2022, OMEGA released a Mission to Moonshine Gold Moonswatch variant: same watch with the chrono hand painted in gold. Big whoop?
Yup. More lines at dealers. The first wave hit 11 cities around the world. The remaining waves were released in 85 cities. And now…
“August 1 is another full moon, which has been trailed as significant for every MoonSwatch launch,” watchpro.com proclaims. “Unlike previous launches, which were limited to just a handful of Swatch stores, 85 countries and 97 stores will take part tomorrow.”
Remember this as the moment when Swatch hoisted OMEGA by the Swatch petard. Again. Still. Read my previous excoriation of the Moonswatch here.