Famous Omega Professional Speedmaster – The first watch on the moon – reinvented by fellow Swatch Group Swatch, using company ownership Vivid Pottery Material to produce strictly similar to the case is 42mm, with harp lugs and outer bezel.
Everything from the hands, graduated sub-dials, and minute track has been faithfully redesigned to deliver the same silhouette and look as the Moonwatch in a completely different format.
Each of the eleven pieces in the set refers to a different planet or celestial body within our solar system, namely Earth, Moon, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Venus, Uranus, Neptune, and Mercury.
Each watch also includes a reference to the type of Speedmaster trivia that Moonwatch collectors experience, such as the red and white Mars watch that referenced the Omega Alaska Project — when it developed a watch to travel to Mars for NASA — or the Moon version, the only example that has powder-resistant steel. 5 percent rust in the bioceramic blend, in honor of the stainless steel watches that reached the moon in 1969.
The chronograph is powered by quartz Movements and secured on individually designed two-piece Velcro straps, each bearing the name of the specific model in the “Mission to…” format. On the back of each watch, the battery cover has an image of the appropriate planet.
The price is pretty high from Swatch too, with each model costing $260, which means you can buy a complete 11-watch set for much less than a mechanical Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch.
Currently, Omega displays the watches in its store windows worldwide, but you won’t be able to purchase them until March 26th at Swatch stores – they won’t be available online yet – where each customer is limited to two watches per store.
In the past couple of years, watch brands have been eager to work with creatives in the outdoors, and have earned young people’s cred by working with respected names in fashion and streetwear, but the idea of watch brands working together still seems like new territory.
Collaboration is still, on the customer-facing side of things at least, a fairly new phenomenon in watchmaking – with the likes of IWC and Porsche Design in the ’80s, but then IWC was decades ahead of its time.
Maybe MB & F and H. Moser & Cie working together Lately, it could have been taken as a sign that things have been changing, but both of these brands are known as resilient independents with a history of tearing up established practices.
Until now, collaborations have been rare and usually limited to semi-secret plays, and business, such as the sharing of movements between Tudor and Breitling.
Watch companies are so precious about their carefully nurtured brand, the idea of sharing space on the dial with another watchmaker will remain unthinkable for many brand CEOs. But what about when these two companies are part of the same group, with the same owners?
Swatch’s collaboration with Omega sure feels like something very new, perhaps even a watershed moment. It not only confronts the reality of co-branding, but it also does so with brands at very different price points. He’s undoubtedly very clever, not to mention a bold move on the part of Swatch Group CEO, Nick Hayek Jnr. It’s the kind of movement that only one owner can pull off.
But Swatch is one of the few brands that can collaborate in almost any field and still feel authentic, after all it’s been in collaborations since the ’80s, it’s the godfather of watch collaborators.
Here, Swatch takes on the industry icon – you can read the entry for HYPEBEAST’s Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch ICONS here – and makes a playful homage to his rich history by using his own lexicon, i.e. colors and materials. The Swatch side of the collaboration is clearly visible; It’s collectible, accessible and, above all, fun. It’s hard to be cynical about the set – although some will certainly try – when it’s not being produced as a limited edition.
Hayek and Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann were very clear when they met HYPEBEAST last week for a sneak peek, that the concept only works because the watch is very clearly Swatch, not a halfway house between the two brands. Both agreed that they would have opposed the concept if the watch were metal.
Swatch’s new bio-ceramic A mixture of plastic and ceramics derived from castor oil – it was, in fact, the genesis of the entire concept, as Hayek used the material to create existing cases. He tried it on Blancpain’s fame fifty fathoms Another brand that falls under the Swatch Group umbrella – but decided it didn’t work. He also mentioned using the material to make a popular watch case that Swatch Group doesn’t own, but he didn’t disclose which one. Despite this, they both agreed that the Speedmaster worked when it was created in soft-touch Bioceramic.
In other watch news, URWERK takes a look at the date of the time with New UR-100V Series.
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