Speaking to WIRED, Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO and president of Omega, reveals that the partnership was first considered in 2020. “But the challenges of the past two years have caused a shift in priorities,” he said. “So we moved the schedule to early 2022. The process from the first designs to the launch of the collection took about 12 months. The timing seemed right because of the shift in storytelling across social media channels and the shift to e-commerce.”
“It took a lot of time because we wanted to make a Swatch with Speedmaster DNA. That’s why we put a lot of time and energy into the designs, and we wanted to make sure the watches functioned well, with fully working subdials and every possible Speedmaster detail,” said Aeschlimann.
But will the creation of a cheap Moonwatch, one that even comes in black, harm the Omega version, or do the benefits of a younger generation at the brand outweigh such concerns? “I’m aware there will be critics,” Aeschlimann says. “But there’s a huge gap between a real Speedmaster Moonwatch and this Swatch. There’s really no crossover in any sense other than looks. Yes, there is a model in black and maybe in a certain light it could pass for the real thing, but it’s bio-ceramic, which makes it unique and different. It’s important to keep it in perspective. It’s a fun project and gives light to an industry that can take itself too seriously.”
Looking for an upcoming Saturday? In the UK, the MoonSwatch watches will land in London’s Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus and Covent Garden stores, as well as Edinburgh. In the US, you can get the watches in King of Prussia, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. A full list of cities is available here.
No doubt anticipating the popularity of these budget bio Moonwatches, Swatch limits buyers to two watches from the collection per customer.
And whether we’ll see other Omega models, such as the Seamaster, follow suit in another Swatch collaboration, Aeschlimann is non-committal. “We don’t have any plans yet,” he says. “And we certainly don’t want to overdo it. The Speedmaster was the obvious choice, because it’s such a collector’s item.”
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