It has been revealed by OMEGA and SWATCH that a low-cost version of the legendary Speedster Moonwatch, an astronaut-inspired timepiece that normally sells for hundreds of dollars, would be released. The MoonSwatch is the first product to be created in partnership between the two companies (both part of the Swatch Group, which also holds Longines, Tissot, and Hamilton). It will only be available at Swatch stores and will cost $260 (£207) when it goes on sale on Saturday.
Featuring 11 Swatches that are named after planetary bodies, the collection is available in a variety of colors, including a black “Mission to the Moon” iteration that pays homage to the Speedmaster Moonwatch, which has been available for more than 50 years and is nearly identical to the watches worn by astronauts during the Apollo missions to the Moon.
We think the black “Mission to the Sun” Speedmaster Moonwatch is the best choice for anyone who has always wanted to wear a Speedmaster Moonwatch but has been put off by the cost of an original Omega.
Despite the fact that Omega claims the collection is not restricted in quantity, it is probable that the items will disappear off store shelves as fast as they arrive. Resellers have already appeared on the internet, demanding exorbitant prices. The MoonSwatch, on the other hand, will reportedly be available for purchase online in the near future.
All MoonSwatches are equipped with a stylish Velcro strap, identical to the one Omega introduced last year and which retailed for £165. In addition, the strap alludes to the lesser-known fact that the crew of Apollo 11 all wore Omega watches with Velcro straps.
For one thing, metal clasps do not mix well with hefty space gloves, and the adaptability of a Velcro NATO strap meant that the watch could be worn around a spacesuit sleeve as well as around the wrist of a human being.
At $260 (plus tax), these MoonSwatches do not have an Omega automatic movement, but rather a quartz engine that is powered by a battery, similar to standard Swatches. The dials, on the other hand, are all emblazoned with the “Omega X Swatch” badge and the Speedmaster insignia, as well as the new MoonSwatch nickname.
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It even has the “dot over 90” design element on the bezel and subdials, which are measured in tachymeters. In addition, all of the hour, minute, and chronograph second hands and hour markers are coated with Super-LumiNova, which makes them shine in the darkness.
The collaboration between Omega and Swatch does not end there. All of these new chronographs feature asymmetrical casings in the style of a Speedmaster, which are built of Swatch’s unique Bioceramic material, which is a combination of the company’s castor-bean-derived bioplastic, which was debuted in 2020, and zirconium dioxide ceramic.
When it comes to modern luxury watchmaking, ceramic has emerged as a widespread alternative to stainless steel. It is regarded for its scratch resistance and hypoallergenic features, as well as for the quality feel that comes from a complicated manufacturing process. Swatch has been providing its timepieces with a taste of these advantages through its wider Bioceramic line, despite the fact that they are still mostly made of plastic.
Aeschlimann revealed to WIRED that the relationship was initially proposed back in 2020 when he was the CEO and president of Omega Corporation. “However, the problems of the previous two years necessitated a reevaluation of priorities,” he explained. We rescheduled for early 2022 as a result.
The entire process, from the original drawings to the introduction of the collection, took around 12 months. Because of the shift in storytelling through social media outlets, as well as the trend towards e-commerce, the time appeared to be ideal.”
Since we intended to design a Swatch with Speedmaster DNA, the process was quite time-consuming. In order to achieve this, we spent a significant amount of time and attention on the designs, and we wanted to guarantee that the watches worked properly, with fully functioning subdials and all conceivable Speedmaster elements,” Aeschlimann explained.
But will the introduction of a low-cost Moonwatch, one that is even available in black, have a negative impact on the Omega version, or will the benefits of introducing a new generation to the brand outweigh any fears about its future? “I’m well aware that there will be detractors,” Aeschlimann admits.
There is, however, a significant difference between a real Speedmaster Moonwatch and this Swatch. There is virtually no crossover in the proper meaning of the word, other than the appearance.
Yes, there is a replica in black, and it may be able to pass for the genuine thing under certain lighting conditions, but it is made of Bioceramic, which distinguishes it as distinct and different. It is critical to maintaining a sense of perspective. A lighthearted initiative that brings some levity to an industry that may sometimes take itself too seriously.”
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Are you looking to purchase one on Saturday? These watches will be available in the Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus, and Covent Garden stores in London as well as in Edinburgh, where they will be available for purchase. In the United States, the watches may be purchased in King of Prussia, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco, among other cities.
As a result of the anticipated high demand for these low-cost bio Moon watches, Swatch is restricting purchases to a maximum of two watches from the collection per consumer.
And when it comes to whether or not other Omega models, such as the Seamaster, would follow suit in future Swatch cooperation, Aeschlimann is adamantly uncommitted. “As of now, we don’t have any plans,” he adds. “We don’t want to overdo things, so we’ll be cautious.” Because the Speedmaster is such a sought-after collectible, it was an easy decision.”
As a professional writer and editor with three years of experience, I specialize in history, the arts, and nonfiction genres. I’ve worked as a freelance writer and editor for the past two years, producing articles of all kinds.