Omega and Swatch unveil the MoonSwatch

Omega and Swatch unveiled a surprising and colourful Swatch take on Omega's iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch. PHOTOS: OMEGA/SWATCH

SINGAPORE - For more than a week, the horological world was in a tizzy, wondering what was brewing between Omega and Swatch.

The mystery was finally revealed early on March 24, when the two watchmakers unveiled a surprising and colourful Swatch take on Omega's iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch.

The witty collaboration broke the Internet, for good reason.

There are 11 models, each in a different colour and named after planetary bodies. From powdery pink (Venus) to red (Mars) to deep blue (Neptune), there is a hue for everybody.

The $372 MoonSwatch offers an entry point into owning an Omega Speedy, considered a must-have in any self-respecting watch lover's collection, but which has a price tag of at least $9,000.

The new watches are fashioned from Swatch's latest eco-innovation: Bioceramic, a lightweight and scratch-resistant sustainable material which mixes ceramic and bioplastic derived from castor oil.

The idea for this next-level collaboration was sown nine months ago, when Swatch Group head honcho Nick Hayek; Omega chief executive Raynald Aeschlimann; Swatch creative director Carlo Giordanetti; and Omega head of product design Gregory Kissling met to brainstorm in Biel, Switzerland, where Omega's headquarters are located.

The group did not want the project to be gimmicky, but a true union of icons.

In an interview with GQ magazine, Mr Hayek said: "Here, we wanted to go a step further, because we have an iconic brand like Omega that has a product that is an icon in the Swiss watch industry - the Speedmaster.

"And on the other side, Swatch is an icon because it saved the Swiss watch industry. When everybody was focusing only on luxury, Swatch was there, and Swatch is an innovator," he added, referring to how the debut of its colourful plastic timepieces in the early 1980s saved the Swiss watch industry after it was marauded by the arrival of quartz watches a decade earlier.

In the same interview, Mr Aeschlimann also explained why Omega agreed to the collaboration.

"If this would have been only a recycled Swatch, or the normal shape of this watch, and just putting a name on it, I would have been totally against it. What we've been able to do, by having Gregory very much involved, it's like adding that with a new shape, new dials, everything is new in that. It's even a bioceramic material that has never been done."

The 11 models bear the same design features that make the Speedy such a classic: the asymmetrical case, twisted lugs, famous tachymeter scale with dot over 90 and distinctive Speedmaster subdials.

The collection has 11 models, each in a different colour and named after planetary bodies. PHOTO: OMEGA/SWATCH

Fitted with a Velcro strap, the MoonSwatch models - 42mm in diameter and 13mm in thickness - also get Super-LumiNova for the indexes and hands, with the same lume as that used in Omega Speedmasters.

An image of the respective planet sits on the caseback of each watch, which is fitted with a quartz chronograph movement.

Judging by the frenzied reactions online, the watches - available at the Swatch stores in Marina Bay Sands and Ion Orchard from March 26 - will probably be snapped up at warp speed.

Each customer is allowed to buy only two watches a transaction.

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