The MoonSwatch. Even a full six months after its release, the Swatch X Omega novelty is still causing quite a stir in the watch world and long lines outside Swatch boutiques around the globe. After months of waiting, I was finally able to get my hands on one. I’ll tell you what this watch is all about and whether it can really be considered an alternative to the real Omega Speedmaster. Read on to find out what the quality and workmanship is really like and whether you should consider buying one for yourself.
Design: Is the MoonSwatch a genuine Speedmaster?
In terms of looks, the Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch stays remarkably true to the legendary original. Iconic design features such as the asymmetrical case and unmistakable tachymeter bezel are present, as are the distinctive crown and chronograph push-pieces. The 42-mm diameter remains intact, as does the lug-to-lug of 47.2 mm. The thickness of the MoonSwatch is nearly identical to that of the original watch with Hesalite. Despite this striking resemblance, the design still falls a bit short of the true Omega. The mineral glass doesn’t offer the same breathtaking effect as the Moonwatch’s Hesalite glass and is consequently much less appealing. The same goes for the subdials, which have a slightly different arrangement due to the Swatch’s quartz movement. On the other hand, the rather simple case back offers a small but intriguing detail: On the battery cover you’ll find a well-executed replica of the celestial body associated with the respective MoonSwatch model. Each of the 11 versions have a theme, but the most popular so far are the “Mission to the Moon” and the “Mission to Mercury.” I personally wish Swatch had done something a little bit different with these two variants. Yes, they’re both very successful, but I think they come far too close to the original. The more colorful variants are more in line with the overall MoonSwatch concept and strike their own independent course. The Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch is, at least visually, a genuine Omega Speedmaster, but it’s riddled with B-grade drawbacks.
High quality or not?
In terms of quality, the Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch has absolutely nothing in common with the original. The overall quality of the quartz timepiece just can’t compare. While the haptics of the chronograph push-pieces are OK, it’s a bit fiddly to actually set the watch. In contrast, setting the original Moonwatch is an absolute delight. The lume is satisfactory, but doesn’t match that of the original. The case material does offer an unexpected surprise, however; it’s made of Swatch’s exclusive Bioceramic, a mixture of ceramic and synthetic materials. This gives the watch an unexpectedly good feeling on the wrist, but those who appreciate a little weight to their watch will be disappointed. The MoonSwatch weighs just 29 g, making it an extremely lightweight timepiece compared to steel models. The Velcro strap is well executed and fits the overall vibe of the watch to a T. I was pleasantly surprised by this and can’t think of any other band that would better suit this cosmic-inspired series. I own a similar strap for my Omega Speedmaster Professional, but the strap alone cost me a whopping $150. When I put the straps side-by-side, I noticed the Omega strap is a bit thinner, softer, and more flexible than the somewhat stiffer MoonSwatch strap, but the quality isn’t vastly different. If you don’t like the standard MoonSwatch strap, you can easily switch it out. The lug width measures a standard 20 mm, but beware: switching the strap might result in a loss of some of this watch’s charm. I guess it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the MoonSwatch can’t hold a flame to the Omega original in terms of quality. After all, the Swatch has an official list price of $260. Even if there are far better watches available at this price point, the quality is fine for the money. You’ll get an original Speedmaster look, and that’s definitely a major selling point for the Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch.
MoonSwatch Summary: Buy at Your Own Risk
The Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch is controversial, and probably always will be. After wearing it for a few months, I can say one thing for certain: The MoonSwatch is neither a high-quality luxury watch, nor a fully-fledged Omega Speedmaster alternative. It is, however, a fun and playful timepiece that pays homage to the legendary Moonwatch and turns the Speedmaster concept on its head. If you’re looking for a stylish watch that isn’t all that serious, you may really enjoy the Swatch X Omega. Would you like to add the Speedmaster look to your collection without having to spend the big bucks? Well, this may be your watch. The Swatch gives watch novices and those shopping purely for looks an easy access point to the Speedmaster universe, but you’ll have to comes to terms with the plastic case, quartz movement, and bold color scheme. Anyone who is feeling critical about this latest collaboration should steer clear. I don’t think the watch will win over skeptics, but if you’re open to the MoonSwatch concept and able to overlook some minor weaknesses, I think this watch could bring many a watch fan a lot of joy.