After teasers on social media piqued the interest of watch collectors around the world, today Omega and Swatch have released the MoonSwatch collection, which sees the famous Omega Speedmaster receive the fun and colourful Swatch treatment.
Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch: What Is It?
In a first for Omega and Swatch, both stablemates within the Swatch Group, the two brands have launched a collaboration that blends the best of both of what the two watchmakers have to offer. Executed in Swatch’s relatively new bioceramic case material, the collection includes no less than 11 different designs, each in its own unique colourway.
Despite sitting within the wheelhouse of Swatch, both in terms of price and design approach, the collection has remained remarkably faithful to the Speedmaster, from the case size to the enthusiast details such as the dot-over-90 bezel. Arriving on comfortable looking velcro straps that match the respective design of the watch, this could well be the best affordable watch release of the year.
As mentioned, the case is made from the proprietary Swatch bioceramic, which is created from two-thirds ceramic and a third from castor oil, which results in a material that is both lightweight and environmentally friendly. Measuring 42mm in diameter and 13.25mm thick, the watches feature the Speedmaster’s distinct “twisted” lugs, while the chronograph pushers, crown and bezel are all also made from bioceramic.
The dials are clearly directly inspired by the Omega Speedmaster, however, feature a slightly different layout that makes them distinct enough to be different. The two of the three stepped subdials have been moved up the dial, sitting at 10 and 2 o’clock, rather than the standard Speedmaster locations of 9 and 3 o’clock.
Featuring both the Speedmaster and MoonSwatch logos, there are 11 different dial configurations, each offering different colours and quiet historical nods to Speedmasters of the past. For example, the red and white reference is inspired by the Alaska Project Omega Speedmaster’s from 1969, which were originally created for temperature testing for NASA missions.
As you might expect from Swatch, the MoonSwatch collection doesn’t feature manually wound Omega chronograph movements, and are instead powered by a Swiss-made quartz calibre. Not only does this keep the collection affordable, but the design teams have had some fun with the battery cover on the caseback, covering it with a NASA photo of the various planets.
“Omega’s long and distinguished history may have been cut short if it weren’t for the vision and the courage taken by Swatch. The MoonSwatch collection salutes the saviours of our industry in a witty and accessible way. The Swatches are perfect for budding Moonwatch fans, and I can’t think of a more appropriate icon for our shared project. We went to the moon, now we’re exploring the whole Milky Way. They’re great watches, in fantastic colours, and they make me smile.”
Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann
The strap is another great choice in the MoonSwatch collection, with each watch arriving on a velcro fabric strap, which is not only almost guaranteed to be supremely comfortable but are another thoughtful reference to the Speedmaster watches worn by NASA astronauts in space. In fact, it was less than a year ago that Omega debuted the velcro strap as an option for Speedmaster owners, famously worn by Jeff Bezos during his Blue Origin space flight. Each of the straps is in different colours, matching the 11 different designs of the MoonSwatch collection.
Verdict & Price
I don’t want to get too excited, given we’re only in March and most of the watch releases for the year will come at Watches & Wonders next week, but this could well be the best affordable watch collection released in 2022. After recent news that Omega had slipped behind Cartier for the first time (as the second-largest watch brand after Rolex), this is the perfect collection to catapult both Omega and Swatch to the front of watch enthusiasts’ minds.
With more than a couple of historically significant design cues for the watch collecting purists, and with enough fun colours and designs for those simply after a weekend watch, there’s almost no chance this collection doesn’t sell out of first deliveries within a couple of days. With so much going for this collection, the only difficult thing is deciding which colour you like the best.
From March 26th, the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch collection will be available from select Swatch stores around the world (not online), with an RRP of $380.