During the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962, Walter Schirra became the first astronaut to wear an Omega Swatch chronograph watch in space. Watches from the business were also worn during the first spacewalks, with an Omega Speedmaster Professional being worn by astronauts when they took their first steps on the moon. It's since become a classic clock, and Omega and Swatch have collaborated to develop a more cheap version.
Space aficionados who wish to wear the same watch as the Apollo astronauts must be prepared to part with a small sum of money. The Omega Speedmaster Professional isn't the most expensive watch on the market (you can easily pay close to half a million dollars on a watch that barely works), but it will set you back well over $5,000 depending on whether you buy new or used, and what condition it's in. As a result, the Speedmaster Professional isn't exactly a collectible piece of space memorabilia, but that's about to change thanks to the new Omega Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch.
It's not every day that you see a respected brand like Omega willing to create a more affordable and accessible version of one of its most recognizable pieces, but Omega is owned by The Swatch Group, which also owns Tissot, Hamilton, Rado, and Swatch—a company that's built a reputation for high-quality but also highly affordable timepieces that occasionally still feature true mechanical movements.
But Swatch and Omega aren't just releasing one edition of their new Omega Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch cooperation; they're releasing 11 separate versions, each with unique colors, face designs, and individual hands. The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the Moon are among the celestial objects included on each watch.
The Mission to the Moon model is the MoonSwatch that most closely resembles the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, however every version has the exact same specifications as the original: 42 millimeters in diameter, 13.58 millimeters in height, and 20 millimeter lugs. The MoonSwatch watches, on the other hand, aren't exact replicas of Omega's famed Moonwatch.
Omega x Swatch co-branding is visible on the watch's face, with Speedmaster and MoonSwatch labels on either side. The MoonSwatch, unlike the Speedmaster Professional, is powered by a battery and electronic quartz movement rather than a wind-up mechanical mechanism. The most notable difference between the two is that the MoonSwatch foregoes a metal case in favor of Swatch's BioCeramic material, which is made out of a blend of ceramics and plastic generated from the castor plant. It isn't quite a luxury timepiece, but it has the appearance of one.
Instead of a metal bracelet or leather strap, all MoonSwatches come with a matching velcro strap, which astronauts would have used to secure the Omega Speedmaster Professional to their enormous spacesuit wrists. (On a spacewalk, you can't just pull up your sleeve to check the time.) Users may easily switch in a different strap, but because of the materials used, each MoonSwatch will cost only $260 instead of thousands of dollars. That's still more expensive than a simple Casio or Timex watch. However, for anyone who has lusted after a genuine Omega Speedmaster Professional, these all appear to be a very fine and far less expensive alternative. ne.
Starting March 26, the Omega Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch will be officially available only at select Swatch retailers across the world.