With the MoonSwatch still (still!) almost impossible to buy online or in-store, my mind has already shifted to what Swatch and Omega should do next. It’s called the SwatchMaster, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see where this is going.
Arriving in 1948, Omega Seamaster is a wildly successful diving watch. It is Omega’s longest-surviving model line and, while I could dig into how it was based on watches used by the Royal Navy towards the end of World War II, then sold perfectly well for half a century, it is best known as James Bond’s watch.
The Seamaster first appeared on 007’s wrist in 1995’s Goldeneye, and has been there ever since, playing a role in every Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig film along the way. Dozens of variations have appeared over the last quarter-century, some with close ties to Bond but others linked to sailing and deep-sea diving. Rewind to the pre-007 era and you’ll find dress watches like the Seamaster De Ville and sportier models like the Seamaster Soccer, both from the 1960s.
Skip to the modern-day and there’s more to the Seamaster than a British spy. There’s the reissued Seamaster Bullhead, the Ploprof with its 1,200 metres of water resistance, and the Seamaster Olympics Games collection, complete with a set of brightly coloured straps Swatch would be proud of.
I think Swatch could have a lot of fun here, from playful takes on the famous James Bond watches, to the more unusual bronze, black and grey colourways of lesser-spotted Seamasters. I’d love to see a Swatchified version of the current Bond watch, the Diver 300M Co-Axial, complete with NATO strap and brown detailing.
These would all be made from plastic instead of titanium, naturally, and priced at a MoonSwatch-matching £200. There could even be a James Bond-style box to house a complete collection, and an excuse for Swatch to get the less popular Seamaster Railmaster in on the action too.
The Seamaster Diver 300M America’s Cup edition is also a prime candidate for some Swatchification, thanks to its red regatta countdown indicator and matching red button at the two o’clock position. None of these timepieces will have expensive self-winding movements, of course. They’ll take after the MoonSwatch and stock to Quartz, their case backs easy to prise off for battery replacement, not transparent to admire a fiendishly complex movement.
And, while Swatch watches aren’t known for their deep-sea diving capabilities, the company produces models safe at depths of 30, 100 and even 200 metres, so a ‘dive Swatch’, even with a third of the capabilities of an Omega, isn’t uncharted territory.
Swatch and Omega could – and, to my mind, absolutely should – have some fun here. Repeating and expanding on the MoonSwatch recipe is unlikely to tempt potential Omega buyers away from splashing their cash on a proper Seamaster. Rather, it gives James Bond fans the chance to buy a Swatch that playfully riffs on cinema’s most popular timepiece. Maybe even plant a seed in the minds of younger buyers that one day sees them upgrade from their SwatchMaster and buy the real thing.
First though, Swatch, please make sure you build enough of them before opening the shop doors.