The MoonSwatch took the watch world by storm earlier this year, with thousands of watch fans all over the world (plus plenty of hopeful resellers looking to make a quick buck) queuing overnight to get their hands on one of the most unexpected timepieces in recent watchmaking history.
For those unaware, the MoonSwatch is a collaboration between Omega and Swatch. It borrows the design of the former’s iconic Speedmaster, then injects fun colours, plastic cases and a low price befitting the latter. Available in 11 colourways named after the members of our solar system from the Sun to Pluto, the MoonSwatch was a massive and instantaneous hit.
To say the watch was a hit is an understatement. Fans queued up, in some cases for 24 or even 48 hours, to buy one, and Swatch had to close stores when the crowds became dangerous.
We covered the launch, and said that 'Swatch needs to learn from Apple'.
Swatch asked for patience, promising: “We do our best to fulfil demand and we hope that anyone who is moonstruck by this Omega x Swatch collaboration will soon be able to lay their hands on one of these watches."
Some people, myself included, decided to delay the purchase until the hype died down.
Swatch has always said that production is not limited, so there will be plenty of chances to buy the watch eventually.
In the original news release, Swatch states the Bioceramic MoonSwatch Collection is not available online “for the time being”. I, like many, took this to mean that the MoonSwatch will eventually be available online, but it now seems that that is not the case…
Last week, in an interview with Fratello Watches, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek seemed to suggest that the Swatch x Omega collaboration will never be available online.
Hayek states, “There’s no emotion in online buying. It’s a carefully produced Swiss Made watch and not a commodity. After the whole world had to stay at home for two years because of covid, it was about time to celebrate and to bring the people back on the streets, meet together, and revive the brick-and-mortar stores.”
“The MoonSwatch is not about to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time period. So why should we sell it online?”
That may be well-meaning, but for many people who don't live near one of the 110 Swatch stores that stock the MoonSwatch collection, it's very bad news.
For example, in the UK, the only places you can currently buy a MoonSwatch at retail are in London and Edinburgh. People aren't going to travel hundreds of miles, only to be told there is no stock and to return home empty-handed. Some people aren't even able to travel that far – forcing them to miss out or pay inflated re-seller prices.
There is a small glimmer of hope, however, with Mr Hayek claiming, “There are more Swatch stores opening in many places where today you have none, and they will start to sell MoonSwatches soon.”
This will still be disappointing news to those of us who are used to being able to purchase anything we want online and have it delivered to our home within days.
Perhaps a happy medium, if you're reading this Mr Hayak, is adding the ability to reserve your MoonSwatch online and then forcing people to collect it from their nearest brick-and-mortar Swatch store.