last year, after Swatch president Nick Hayek Jr. says “active provocation” is a key part of the brand’s mission. That might explain the first follow-up to the original series of 11 MoonSwatches, announced today but with a cryptic social media message beforehand (like the original release).
Over the weekend, the Swatch Instagram account announced the imminent arrival of Mission to Moonshine Gold. Each MoonSwatch is named after a different planet with a “Mission to…” prefix (Mission to Mars, Mission to Neptune, etc.), while Moonshine Gold is Omega’s proprietary hardened gold alloy used in some of its watches, including some A highly sought-after watch – an all-gold Speedmaster, after all.
This has sparked speculation about what kind of gold-inspired — or indeed all-gold — MoonSwatch is on the way. Here’s the answer this morning: an identical version of the Moonshot in gray (the closest thing to a classic Speedmaster), but with the chronograph seconds hand individually coated in Moonlight Gold (retails at £250 ($298)), as opposed to the regular version’s £228 ($272)).
Hayek’s willingness to confuse happy-drinkers with the hype his own brand created didn’t end with such a decidedly underwhelming release (if the Instagram comments are anything to go by). The main feature of the MoonSwatch story is that since its launch, Swatch stores around the world have been inundated with buyers and flippers, it has been scarce, Swatch boutiques are seriously in short supply and watches are not available online.
So far, the situation has largely calmed down: Swatch reports expected sales of 1.5 million MoonSwatches in the year since launch, while resale prices have plummeted. On watch marketplace Chrono24, the Moon Mission is now priced at around £350 ($417), a £228 ($272) offering that’s a solid return by any measure, but down from last spring’s more than £800 ($417) $953).
Perhaps the real mission of Mission to Moonshine is to raise the issue of scarcity again. It’s only available today, and in only four locations around the world: Tokyo (starts at 9:30 JST), and Milan, Zurich, and London — excluding the US. Swatch says all locations have a thematic connection to gold: the City of London (the watch goes on sale at 6.30pm in a pop-up shop at the Royal Exchange, the historic financial trading center) is home to the price of gold Zurich, for example The Paradeplatz is the central hub of the city’s banking district.
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