In 2022, Omega and Swatch, two of the biggest watchmakers joined hands for a mission — Omega x Swatch BIOCERAMIC MoonSwatch. The collection was a smash hit. And now, the two mega watchmakers have added a new member to that family — a watch named Mission to Moonshine Gold.
The collection was originally launched on 26 March 2022 with 11 different watches, each named as a “mission” to the celestial bodies in our solar system — from the Sun to Pluto. All the watches are based on the iconic Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, which is renowned for being worn by NASA astronauts on each of the organisation’s piloted missions, including all six moon landings.
Mission to Moonshine Gold is the 12th watch in the collection. Launched on 7 March 2023, the watch is essentially a Mission to the Moon timepiece recreated with an Omega Moonshine Gold coating on the seconds hand.
According to a statement by Swatch, the recycled gold comes from its own certified refinery. The watchmaker also said that the “seconds hand was produced during a full moon, as stated in the certificate that comes with the watch.”
Overall, Swatch has given its quintessential playful touch to the Speedmaster through the collaboration. The Omega X Swatch collection, thus, marries classic aristocracy with trendy colours. This collaboration is the first ever between the two brands.
Additionally, the price range of the watches is such that many can afford them — one of the major reasons the collection continues to be in demand.
Everything to know about the Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch collection
Why is there such hype behind the Omega X Swatch collaboration?
Omega and Swatch are two giants of the Swiss watch industry and major names among the world’s most famous watchmakers.
Each brand has its respective fan following around the world, many of whom have been loyal for decades. Their fans come from different worlds with regard to taste and style.
So, the Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch collection brings together two massive fan bases onto a common platform. Additionally, affordable pricing makes the watches even more lucrative. This explains the crowds seen outside the stores across Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York City on the day the collection originally dropped.
What are the features and specifications of MoonSwatch?
Instead of mechanical movements, the Omega X Swatch collection comprises quartz watches. Each of them comes in Swatch’s Bioceramic case as opposed to Omega’s classic stainless steel case, and the innovative material is reportedly made from two-thirds ceramic and one-third castor oil.
Although it is not a copy of the iconic Speedmaster, part of the design is inspired by the Omega Moonwatch collection, which is evident in the subdials, tachymeter scale and contours.
All watches bear the Omega X Swatch signature at the 12 o’clock position. Both “Speedmaster” and “MoonSwatch” are marked in between the subdials.
Some watches have special add-ons to their dials. For instance, the Mission to Saturn piece from the Omega X Swatch line has the rings of Saturn encircling the subdial at the 6 o’clock position and the Mission to Mars MoonSwatch has the red rocket hands of Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project watches on its subdials.
Each watch features a depiction of its respective planet or celestial body and inspiring words on the battery cover on the back. All of them come with velcro watch straps, which are used by astronauts to wear watches over their spacesuits.
Is the MoonSwatch a limited collection?
Following the frenzy around the collaboration at the time of its release in March 2022, Swatch issued a statement, saying that the watches will be limited to one per person until further notice. What it indicated is that the MoonSwatch isn’t a limited-edition collection.
Following the release of Mission to Moonshine Gold, Swatch said that the particular watch “is not limited and not available online.” On the day of its release, the watch was available for purchase in select locations in Zurich, London, Milan and Tokyo. Swatch said that it will be available “in other locations during the next full moon.”
Why is it called a Swatch?
The Omega brand, which was founded in 1848, is part of the Swatch Group. Even though both brands share their names on the collection, the watch is being marketed as a Swatch watch.
Swatch has been in the horology business since the early 1980s. It was created to counter the quartz digital watches created in Japan, which were cheaper than the classic Swiss watches and were taking over the global market at the time. The first Swatch watch was released in 1983 and the brand soon became a hit.
One of the major reasons behind the success of Swatch lies in the design of their watches. They come in bright colours and almost look like the plastic watches kids wear. However, this very trait turned Swatch into a fashion symbol. The funkiness of the watches matched the trendy styles in dressing, giving wearers options to highlight their personal styles.
The 11 colours and the Moonshine Gold special that are part of the Omega X Swatch collection are, therefore, a nod to Swatch’s history of producing cool and colourful timepieces.
How to purchase Omega X Swatch watches at stores?
It is going to be a difficult task for anyone trying to buy an Omega X Swatch watch at select Swatch stores. Long queues were seen outside stores around the world for a few days since the release of the original collection in 2022. The same was witnessed upon the release of Mission to Moonshine Gold in 2023.
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The demand for the Omega X Swatch watches in Singapore is so high that hundreds were seen waiting outside the Swatch store in Ion Orchard at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in the early hours of 26 March 2022. There was a lot of commotion witnessed at the store.
Chaotic scenes were also seen at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. Meanwhile, stores ran out of watches in megacities such as Kuala Lumpur and malls in Pennsylvania, US.
The best way to look for a store near you is to head to the official Swatch website and click on the ‘Find Stores’ button on the homepage.
Where can you buy Omega X Swatch online?
Although there are several ways to buy an Omega X Swatch watch online, all of them, it appears, are re-sales by those who have bought the watches. This is because Swatch isn’t selling the MoonSwatch online on its official site, where each watch is listed at THB 9,300.
At StockX, the watches are going for as low as USD 290 and as high as USD 1,161 asking price a piece, as on 9 March 2023.
Buyers can also bid on eBay, where a Mission to Mars watch has drawn a bid worth USD 375, as on 9 March 2023. Other variants of the MoonSwatch are drawing varying bids. A Mission to the Moon timepiece was listed at USD 1,781.
The watches are also on sale at Chrono24 in Thailand. The price range on the site varies greatly for individual pieces. As on 9 March 2023, a professional dealer in the US was offering eight different watches from the collection for THB 115,094 and a private seller in Switzerland was offering a Mission to Moonshine Gold watch for THB 57,286.
Best Swatch colours
As stated before, there are 11 original colours to choose from in the bioceramic MoonSwatch collection. Those who like cool, funky looks can opt for the more vibrant ones from the collection such as the bright yellow Mission to the Sun or the red-and-white Mission to Mars. The Mission on Earth, which has an earthy green colour, and the light pink Mission to Venus watches are among those that will appeal to lovers of softer shades.
Mission to the Moon, which follows the exact design and dimensions of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, has a black dial and looks more classic in design. The Mission to Moonshine Gold watch looks the same but with the seconds hand coated in Omega’s moonshine gold.
The beige-coloured Mission to Saturn and the grey-and-burgundy Mission to Pluto have a degree of aristocracy to them.
What do customer reviews say?
Long queues outside stores even on 7 March 2023 for the Mission to Moonshine Gold proves the hype around the watch collection is still going strong. The bids on the online platforms for the original 11 have not changed much since their release in 2022, further proving that the demand is high among those who are fans of Swatch and Omega.
Why wouldn’t anyone want to buy an Omega X Swatch, a merger of luxury and street brands, which gives a slice of the best of both worlds?
Is the Omega X Swatch collaboration worth the hype?
This is a one-of-a-kind collection for the watch community, and both Omega and Swatch are individually considered icons in the business. Their respective collections, though catering to diametrically different demographics, are renowned among their fans. Many of their products are collectables in their own right.
The Omega X Swatch collaboration is, therefore, a must-have for fans of both Omega and Swatch. Thanks to the colourful style that Swatch is known for, traditional Omega watch fans get a unique range of diverse colours in an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch iteration. On the other hand, Swatch wearers get their hands on a watch bearing the Omega brand name at a relatively affordable price range.
Are there any upcoming watch collaborations to look out for?
For now, it looks like the Omega X Swatch collection will be the talk of the watch world. It is unclear if any other completely new collaboration would come up in the future.
(Main image: Swatch; Featured image: Swatch/@swatch/Instagram)