BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
The past few days have seen some weird-looking images being teased by both Swatch and Omega. The first thing that crossed my mind was, “why is the Swatch Group collaborating with itself?”. I still don’t quite understand why. Nevertheless, we have the new MoonSwatch, a range of eleven colourful watches that are styled to look a lot like the Speedmaster from a distance. Although, up close, they bear a resemblance too. Do you remember the old Speedmaster Reduced range? They were a range of Speedmasters that changed movements and such to be more affordable. It seems like the MoonSwatch range is the heir to the Reduced’s crown.
As mentioned above, eleven versions of the MoonSwatch exist. All of them come in a case made of Swatch’s BioCeramic, which is two-thirds ceramic and one-third plastic derived from castor beans. No awards should be handed out for environmentalism, given the energy needed to make ceramic, but it is a talking point. It would help if this BioCeramic were explained a bit better. Swatch’s website is relatively sparse on details other than it provides a “silky soft touch”. All MoonSwatches come in a case measuring 42mm x 13.25mm, and cue the “it should be 40mm gang” in the comments! They’re also water-resistant to 30mm.
Each MoonSwatch variant has a specific theme, one for the sun, one for the moon, eight for the eight planets in our solar system and one for Pluto, which happens to think it’s a planet. They’re all called the “Mission to […]” which is nice. The Mission to the Sun model reminds me of that Futurama episode where they go and rescue the workers trapped in the helium mines of our star. Goddamn, I miss that show. Anyway, the Mission to the Moon and Mission to Mercury are the most conservative.
Meanwhile, the Mission to Mars and Mission to the Sun are definitely the least conservative, but their colour combinations work. My personal favourite is the Mission to Saturn, as it has the planet printed on the dial. Looking at Saturn through a telescope for myself was an experience that created a lot of emotions for me. I wasn’t expecting that when looking at a planet. All models have lume on their dials and hands for use at night.
The biggest draw for Omega using the Swatch name is that it’s a lot easier to make eleven different watches than if Omega were to make eleven different Speedmasters. For those expecting an Omega movement in them, yeah, that’s not going to happen. All eleven models are quartz-powered, they might say Omega on them, but they are still Swatch watches, after all. You do get the chronograph feature which is nice. Although the layout on the dial looks a bit odd, I suppose it’s to distinguish between these and Omega Speedmaster properly.
As a cheap beater, I can see the attraction with these. For $260, it’s most definitely the one to wear when you don’t want to damage your Speedmaster. It’s also a good one for kids who will be learning about planets in school and have parents who love watches, although the 42mm case might be a tad big for them. These are also only available in selected Swatch stores, I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps there’s a supply shortage already. You won’t find them in Omega boutiques, as far as I know.
Hey, look at that. I made it through the article without making any big ol’ butt jokes about Uranus. Yeah yeah, it’s not pronounced how it looks, but the giggles are worth it.
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