The full moon drives people crazy. He lets them sleep badly, makes them nervous and, according to popular lore, even turns some of them into bloodthirsty wolves. From a marketing point of view, Swatch’s latest coup can be considered either ingenious or daring: the Swiss watch manufacturer only wants to sell its latest model in the hyped “Moonswatch” series on days with a full moon. So that the customers, to stay in the language of the wolves, tear for it.
At least that’s how it was a year ago. When the “Moonswatch” came onto the market, this led to packs forming in front of sales outlets around the world, the likes of which were previously only known in front of Apple stores. Hundreds of watch lovers waited in long queues in the pedestrian zones in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Some even stayed in tents overnight to get a copy. In Berlin, the crowd on Kurfürstendamm was so large that the police got involved. Some watch lovers offered lucky buyers on the sidewalk – attention marketing gimmick – moon prices for their watches. On the Internet, prices just tripled.
The clock brings three-digit million sales
The “Moonswatch” is the result of a cooperation between the two Swiss watch manufacturers Swatch and Omega, with only Swatch selling the watches. It’s called that because it’s a replica of a famous watch called the “Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch”. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is said to have worn this watch on the moon in 1969. A photo taken by Neil Armstrong shortly before landing supposedly proves this.
So far, the “Moonswatch” has been available in eleven different versions, which are reminiscent of different planets in their design. They are called “Mission to Mars” or “Mission on Earth”. While the model, the mechanical “Speedmaster”, currently costs around 7500 euros, the models made of plastic are available for an affordable 250 euros. The strategy of selling a luxury watch to the masses paid off. The Swatch Group, which also includes Omega, sold more than a million watches in 2022 and achieved sales in the hundreds of millions.
There is also criticism on the internet
And now the new model, just in time for the first birthday of the Moonswatch: the “Mission to the Moon Moonshine Gold” – modest sounds different. It costs 276 euros and the manufacturer wants it to look even more exclusive than its predecessors. The quartz-controlled watch was initially only available in Zurich, London, Milan and Tokyo. The watches are not available online at all. The showpiece is the gold-plated second hand. According to the manufacturer, it consists – hear, hear – of “Omega Moonshine Gold”, a thin layer of recycled gold. The hands, which the company is obviously serious about, are only produced when the moon is full. As a look at the lunar calendar shows, the next batch will have to wait until April 6th.
After all, the marketing strategy is based on the principle of scarcity, even if the watches are not limited in principle. You can find that exclusively – or next to it. In any case, parts of the pack are quite angry on the Internet. Apparently, many people don’t feel like calling the shops every day, let alone queuing for hours. They demand online trading of the moonswatch.
And there is also criticism of the new edition itself in social networks. Apart from the gold-plated pointer, the new model “Moonswatch Mission to Moonshine Gold” does not have much more to offer than the previous model “Mission to Moon”. This gives some commentators the impression that the new model is just “more of the same”, i.e. an arbitrary repetition that was created to continue the success story of the “Moonswatch” no matter what. Pictures of waiting packs in front of the shops went around the world again on Tuesday. It was finally full moon.