Before I get into this, this article is based on the release. Not an actual review. If I have a chance to review one in the future, my opinion of things could change, but I am basing my words strictly on the release.
The watch internet was bombarded the last couple of days when Swatch and Omega began sharing a similar campaign teasing a collaboration between the two brands. Swatch stated, “It’s time to change your Omega,” Omega followed with “It’s time to change your Swatch.” When seeing this, I was confused at first but quickly realized the collaboration was in the works and one that would take the internet by storm within just a couple of hours.
For those living under a rock for the last week, Swatch and Omega have announced a collaboration watch with the same design aesthetics as an Omega Speedmaster, paired with the fantastic price Swatch provides. This new collaboration has raised eyebrows. I have seen the arguments and hotheads in comment sections of various posts regarding this new release.
This collaboration opens the door for many who couldn’t afford the already expensive Omega Speedmaster. Also, it offers a massive amount of press and exposure for both brands. Their already incredible amount of reach is seeing even more traffic across the budget and luxury versions both online and in-store. However, there has been a negative turn. There is a horological divide and plenty of arguing to go along with it. To some, the collaboration pushing a budget-friendly Speedmaster is a disgrace to the high-end Swiss equivalent, while others who buy in a budget-friendly space are beyond ecstatic to see an Omega Speedmaster with an excellent price tag. I lean towards the more budget-friendly side, but I won’t be purchasing one anytime soon.
An unspoken 3rd category has a great distaste and disgust in the way others have been acting since its release. Using the design of the Speedmaster and having Omega on the dial was a fantastic call to bring Swatch back into the eyes of watch collectors and enthusiasts, but at what cost? Omega is now seeing fans and collectors of their brand being divided and creating a bad taste for those aspiring to own the "real deal.”
The price tag of the MoonSwatch is $320 CDN, and the specs don’t justify that price. You’re purchasing a quartz watch with a velcro strap and bio-ceramic case. Bio-ceramics are commonly used for crafting hip and joint replacement hardware. However, you can buy a timepiece with an automatic movement, stainless steel case, and bracelet for the same price or cheaper. You can buy an homage of the Speedmaster that is quartz but features all-metal construction for around $140. Many other options are a better bang for your buck than the MoonSwatch. The MoonSwatch is a perfect example of how branding can up the price of an item without people blinking an eye and is justified because of a specific brand name.
While the Omega x Swatch collaboration is fantastic and something that we never expected, it left a negative feeling for me when speaking about it. Now, I’m not saying I feel any way towards those who love it; I'm ecstatic if you get one and love it. However, the drama, negativity towards others and the unjustifiable price tag are just a couple of reasons I won’t be buying one for myself in the near or distant future.