Last year saw a new level of hype in the watch world. Both OMEGA and Swatch combined forces to bring us the MoonSwatch, with all 10 missions to the planets and Moon. Enough said on that. This week, we saw this hype re-invigorated with teasers drop early in the week for the Mission to Moonshine TM Gold. And this got the watch world buzzing all over again!
OMEGA and Swatch have done it again, with a brand new Mission to Moonshine TM Gold. For anyone living under a rock these past few days, I’ll sum it up in a nutshell: It’s the Mission to the Moon MoonSwatch, but the Chronograph hand is coated in left over Moonshine TM Gold from OMEGA’s factory. But wait, it was coated (or made) under the February full moon, and this we’re told was done due to the powers that a full moon can possess and it’s influence on many things, including humans. Yes, you read that right!
Prior to the launch, the internet was abuzz with speculation on what the new model could be. Some pundits suggested that it could be a Moonshine TM Gold coloured MoonSwatch, or maybe it was a completely new looking model, based on the Moonshine TM Gold Speedmaster with green dial, released last year. Would it be a high level luxury version of the MoonSwatch, made from actual Moonshine Gold? the possibilities were endless.
But on March 7th, the world found out. Did the hype and hysteria live up to the reality? What was this mysterious MoonSwatch we couldn’t wait to see? Drum roll please… An all new Mission to the Moon, but this time, the central Chronograph seconds hand was Moonshine TM Gold. Not solid as some reports would have suggested, but coated in recycled Moonshine TM Gold from OMEGA.
Now I like the idea of OMEGA recycling their leftover Moonshine TM Gold and putting it to good use, this is quite a good and commendable idea. And we are starting to see the watch world do more environmentally sustainable practices, such as ORIS and Breitling using recycled ocean plastics and waste in their dials, straps and packaging, to other brands using recycled metals, like Panerai’s eSteel. That being said, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by this new release.
Interestingly, it seems that the online forums have been divided on this release. The fact that this model is only available in selected cities: Zurich, London, Milan, Tokyo meant that it wasn’t easy to get unless you happen to be close by in one of these four cities, and if not, you will just have to wait for the next full moon. Why? Because the gold can only be painted on the hands during that time. Why? Moon magic, remember?
The other fact is the hand itself. Promotional images have the chronograph hand gleaming against the black Mission to the Moon dial, in the stunning Moonshine TM Gold that OMEGA uses on their higher end Speedmasters. However, several videos and images from some of the first lucky buyers show a slightly different picture. A lacklustre centre seconds hand, barely indistinguishable from the other hands and blending into the dial. Now as a photographer, I understand how lighting and editing can play a major role in making great images, but I can’t help wonder, just how much they have been enhanced?
But for MoonSwatch fans, this really doesn’t matter. Pictures and videos from outside the Swatch pop up Boutiques show thousands of people lining up outside to get their hands on the first lot of Mission to Moonshine TM Gold editions. A lot are there out of the love for the MoonSwatch, but many are flippers – with quite a few of these already popping up on eBay and other sales forums for in excess of AUD $3,000. Not bad for a circa $400 plastic, sorry, Bioceramic battery operated watch.
And it won’t end here, with more pop ups around the world planned for the next full moon cycle, there will no doubt be swathes of collectors who missed out this time lining up. And whilst it’s not limited in production, it’s limited by accessibility to the general public worldwide, so in essence, the MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine TM Gold is a limited piece. Will this collector be lining up for one soon? I don’t think so. Would I buy one if I could get it online easily? Probably, but just to say I have one and maybe let my daughter play with it, I think she’d love it. For now (some of us) will wait with baited breath…