by Dana Li
A month ago, Omega and Swatch jointly released the Moonswatch and broke the internet. Giant crowds lined up a day in advance and swarmed Swatch stores around the globe for a chance at one of these watches. Resellers on StockX and eBay are currently listing various Moonswatches for well above retail, with some going as high as $3,000. As someone who has long admired the Speedmaster, I had to try to get my hands on this watch. From lining up on the day of the launch to finally acquiring my Moonswatch, the whole experience reinforced my impressions about the ingenuity of this noteworthy collaboration.
The Basics of the Moonswatch
The Moonswatch combines Omega’s iconic Speedmaster design with Swatch’s proprietary Bioceramic to create a lightweight, wearable, and low-maintenance watch. The watch is on the larger side at 42mm, but the slim proportions of the case allow the watch to sit well on any wrist. Because it’s powered by a quartz movement, the Moonswatch has a different configuration of its subdials compared to a traditional Omega Speedmaster.
There are 11 different colors for the Moonswatch, each affectionately named after celestial bodies in our solar system. Each watch also comes with a velcro strap that has both the Omega and Swatch branding. The boxes also have facts about the celestial body particular to the watch you get, a playful detail that makes the experience all the more fun. My personal favorites out of the line up are Mission to Uranus, Jupiter, and Sun.
One of my favorite aspects of the Moonswatch is the subtle tributes to iconic references. On Mission to Mars, the hands on the subdials pay homage to the Alaska Project Speedmaster, while the orange hands on Mission to Jupiter are reminiscent of the Ultraman Speedmaster. Mission to Venus draws inspiration from the design of the white mother of pearl Speedmaster 38. These subtle references are a real treat for Speedmaster and Omega fans.
Like thousands of others, I decided to try my luck the day the Moonswatch launched. At 5 AM, we made our way to the Swatch store on Fifth Avenue in NYC. By the time we got there, there were easily 100 people in line and the first 30 people had definitely spent the night outside waiting. As the hours passed, the line had more than doubled and by 7 AM we were solidly in the first half of the line so we had a glimmer of hope for scoring a watch. When the store opened at 8 AM, the line had barely moved since the store was only allowing a few people in at a time. Thirty minutes later, we were all told that the watches had been sold out and there would be more available at a later time. Sleep-deprived and a little disappointed we had missed the cut off, we went home to catch up on the lost sleep.
Although I didn’t walk away with a Moonswatch that day, I do not regret the experience. I haven’t waited in line for any drop in the past but this particular one was well worth it. I was able to meet and have great conversations with fellow enthusiasts and collectors, bonding over our mutual interest and shared passion for watches. It was amazing to see even the most hardcore Speedmaster fans come out for the launch with their Speedmasters strapped to their wrist. Since the Moonswatch is not a limited run, I figured I would eventually be able to get another chance to try for the watch and in the meantime, would enjoy photos on Instagram from the lucky few who brought one home.
My Experience with the Moonswatch
After waiting a few weeks for the Moonswatch, the watch gods have finally answered my prayers. I recently was able to acquire Mission to Uranus and it’s been on my wrist almost every day since I brought it home. Thanks to the gorgeous bright sky blue case and dial accented with a white bezel, the watch is perfect for the summer. I very much intend to wear it well in the upcoming months. Overall, the watch was well worth the wait and is a great piece whether you’re just getting into watches or are a seasoned watch collector.
One thing to note, while the strap can be comfortable for some to wear, I personally was not a huge fan of it. Since my wrists are small, the strap would protrude from the buckle and look clunky; however, this would likely be less of an issue over time as the strap is broken in and becomes less stiff. I ended up swapping it out for a white silicon strap and it now wears much better for me.
Though there have been other collaborations in the watch world, few have reached the monumental status of the Moonswatch. The watch truly showcases and brings together the best of Omega and Swatch design to create a piece at an accessible price point that respectfully pays tribute to one of the most iconic watches ever made. The successful launch of the Moonswatch will forever redefine future collaborations in the watch world.
Although the hype and excitement that Omega and Swatch drummed up for this release was noteworthy in itself, it also does unfortunately raise concerns regarding the difficulty in acquiring these watches. While Omega and Swatch did attempt to “democratize” the launch of the Moonswatch by releasing the watch in stores on a first-come, first-serve basis, it ironically ended up being a much less equitable process to get a watch. Though Swatch is doing the best it can to avoid selling watches to resellers by sticking to in-store sales for the time being, the brand does end up sacrificing the accessibility of the watch since those who do not have access to a nearby Swatch store are essentially excluded from buying the watch, whether by astronomical secondary market prices or the inability to travel to a store that may or may not even have stock. Hopefully in the coming weeks, there will be more opportunities for those who are still waiting for their Moonswatch so all enthusiasts everywhere can enjoy this wonderful piece.