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The new Swatch x Omega collabo just broke the internet

Perhaps the first time a mid-priced watch has exploded into the world of resell

The new Swatch x Omega collabo just broke the internet Perhaps the first time a mid-priced watch has exploded into the world of resell

The world of watchmaking has been shaken today by the release of a collaboration between two brands that are part of the same group but very distant from each other: on one hand Omega, manufacturer of the luxury watches that went to the moon with Apollo 11, and on the other Swatch, the brand that has turned Swiss watchmaking into a pop phenomenon for many different generations. The two brands have come together for a collection that includes 11 models inspired just by Omega's space heritage named Bioceramic MoonSwatch. The overall design of the models is that of Omega's Speedmaster with Swatch's DNA emerging in the choice of materials and colorways - each inspired by a hypothetical mission to different planets in the solar system. The point of interest here is that the very fusion of Omega design and Swatch materials has created a final watch with an extremely more accessible price point for the mass audience. This accessibility of the product, along with the various leaks that preceded the actual release of the new chronographs, created a gigantic hype for the collaboration with lines outside Swatch stores in different parts of Europe and, above all, a resell price that has reached an improbable level: on Ebay, for example, some models put up for sale in pre-order have begun to touch €1000. And they could grow.

The reason for the phenomenon lies in Swatch's strategy, which has organized a series of in-store drops today. On the brand's website, however, the possibility of buying any of the models online is blocked, even if the existence of a button (currently not clickable) on the official presentation page of the collab suggests that, one day, it might be possible to buy it through the e-store as well. The physicality of the drop, however, led to the resell frenzy mentioned above. The case is peculiar because, even though the watchmaking world practically invented the concept of resell - turning precious Swiss watches into authentic assets for those who buy them. In the case of watches, the resell model responds to the need of that part of the public that prefers to pay a higher price than retail in order to avoid the waiting times that artisan producers like Omega or Rolex sometimes impose on customers. The resell model was then employed by the world of streetwear with sneakers and limited edition drops, which led over time to the birth of specialized marketplaces such as StockX, then extending to other fashion categories and arriving at every conceivable collectible such as Pokèmon cards or works of art. The Bioceramic MoonSwatch, however, is the first watch with a low-to-mid-range price tag to hit the resell market with prices quadrupled before it even hits stores.

The phenomenon that has already become the Omega x Swatch collaboration also represents an interesting episode in which the dynamics of the watch market, after having been imitated by fashion with the success of the resell model, now become themselves an imitation of fashion, borrowing from the luxury industry the model of the collaboration-event to increase sales, broaden the customer base and above all increase the respective brand awareness of Omega and Swatch. Until today, the luxury watchmaking market had rightly remained entrenched in the bastions of tradition and savoir-faire, but if the similar fashion market, also thanks to the variety of products it is able to offer, has flirted with low-high collaborations, the watchmaking world had not yet thought of these types of synergies. And if what Swatch and Omega have presented to the world today is as successful as both brands hope it will be (and all signs point to it being so), this could be the first historic collaboration of many.