Welp, I never thought I would be writing about watches on my blog….but yet here we are. I never really thought much about watches until 15 years ago when one of the guys in the office would have a sales guy come in with 3-4 watches in a plastic bag. The watches were probably worth $5,000 to $15,000 each.
Then one day he shows me an IWC watch and from that day forward I was enamored by the IWC brand. The one that stuck out for me was the IWC Portugieser Automatic (IW500106) it’s so understated and not in your face with bling. Anyways, I have still yet to purchase the watch but everytime I see an IWC boutique I go in and inquire about the IW500106.
Overall, I haven’t thought much about watches till a couple of weeks ago when the entire watch industry took notice of the Omega and Swatch new product launch.
Before we talk about the product, let’s first talk about the two companies – Omega and Swatch. Both of these companies are owned by the world’s largest watch company – The Swatch Group (TSG) based in Switzerland. The Swatch Group also owns several other brands such as Tissot, Blancpain, Harry Winston, Longines, and Rado. In addition, TSG owns ETA which sells precise movements and controls to OEM companies such as Hublot, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, and many others. TSG is THE 800-pound gorilla in the mechanical watch market.
As I mentioned, a couple of weeks ago OMEGA announced a collaboration with Swatch to produce a playful take on its iconic Speedmaster chronograph. The watch is a hip take on the traditional Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and has been rechristned as Moonswatch.
I somehow heard about the launch and mentioned it to my friend Sahil who is into watches. He said he heard about it and his daughter was even more excited about the launch. That’s when it hit me, that this was pure genius from TSG. This was a way to target a younger audience and get them interested in traditional watches.
The launch of the watch had the vibes of an Apple event – global in nature and people lined up by the 100s outside the store to make a purchase. Omega had to quickly issue a press release saying the Moonswatch was not a limited production run and that anyone would be able to buy one in the coming months…so not to worry about the long lines. Damn, that is something I’m sure the watch industry has never seen before.
The reality is that the traditional watch market is slowly dying because of smartwatches and fitness bands and this was such a great marketing move by TSG. The cost of an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is around $6,000 and the cost of the Swatch Moonswatch is $260. Hell, even I want a Moonswatch now!