We are living in very interesting times. Since 2020, the fashion industry has entertained the world with some of the most creative collaborations of the 21st century. We have witnessed the Gucci and Balenciaga hack; the Fendi and Versace mash-up aka Fendace; the Louis Vuitton x Nike Airforce 1 collab, and more recently, the Gucci x Adidas collection. But all of these just may pale in comparison to the newest partnership on the block: the Omega x Swatch ‘Moonswatch’ Speedmaster.
You’ve probably read about the $260 timepiece’ specifications, which is why you might have been shocked when images and videos of the long queues and chaos at the stores where they dropped on the 26th of March surfaced online.
Why is this collaboration so brilliant, and what is so special about these non-limited edition timepieces that have people scrambling to get their hands on one, even those who already own collectible pieces such as Rolex Submariners and even other Omega models?
1. Everyone wants a piece of an item that is as iconic as the Omega Speedmaster.
And the high-end watchmaker has found a truly creative way to meet this need without diminishing its value as a top Swiss brand.
Let’s admit it. We all want nice things, but we all cannot always have all the nice things we desire. Owning the original first NASA-approved Omega Speedmaster, which incidentally was the first timepiece to travel to the moon (ref 105.012) definitely falls under the category of nice things to own.
But if you cannot have it, you can at least have the next best iconic thing, which is exactly what the Omega x Swatch ‘Moonswatch’ Speedmaster is.
While this collaboration expands the collection to represent more members of the celestial realm – there are 11 models representing different celestial objects such as the bright yellow Mission to the Sun and the powdery pink Mission to Venus – it does not change the core design of the original Speedmaster.
The Moonswatch – which by the way is a play on the colloquial name of the Omega Speedmaster – retains all the classic features of its parent design. It features the asymmetrical case, the tachymeter scale and the iconic dial layout. The major difference? The case is made up of Swatch’s Bioceramic material, which is two-thirds ceramic and one-third a material derived from castor oil.
2. Swatch is in itself a solid brand known for its high-quality, durable pieces.
And by collaborating with a high-end brand like Omega, it is offering buyers a piece of the luxury life at an affordable price point.
Swatch has received a lot of bad rap over the years for its continued use of plastic and its unusual lugs. However, it appears the brand is listening, and with its recent collection with Centre Pompidou and now Omega, it just may be well on its way to being a collectible item.
3. Both brands have managed to design a product that reflects who they are without sacrificing everything they stand for.
Most collaborations between high-end and entry-level brands usually have the latter giving way to the former.
If you have any doubts about this, just look at the Manolo Blahnik and Birkenstock collection. Or the Gucci and Adidas collection. Somehow, Omega and Swatch have managed to let their authentic selves shine through in a way that fans of both brands can easily relate to.
Omega enthusiasts can easily recognise the design and tachymeter scale, while Swatch fans will find the bioceramic material and ticking sound familiar.
4. The collaboration proves that while change is constant, the most important things stay the same.
What are the 3 ‘Ps’ of Marketing? Or the 4, or even 7?
Whichever number of ‘Ps’ you agree is the correct mix came into play to make the Omega x Swatch ‘Moonswatch’ Speedmaster a truly remarkable and much-needed drop. Like they say, “trends come and go, but classics remain forever.”
Okay, that’s not how it is said, but that is how it should be said.
5. Collaborations can be successful, but Omega and Swatch have managed to come together in a truly iconic way.
If you had asked two years ago if luxury and streetwear brands could successfully produce a collection that will draw large, diverse crowds all over the world, the answer would have been 50/50. Omega and Swatch have not only shown that it is possible, but they have also been able to provide worldwide proof in numbers that turned up at the physical stores where the collection dropped and on resale platforms that now offer the pieces at almost 10 times their original price.