Words: Omar AlBataineh
Founder of watchaholics.net
History is usually remembered when it has an impact on a large number of individuals. The high-end watch market has experienced a historic, disruptive shift from time-telling wrist watches to investments that trade at high premiums.
Demand for luxury watches has considerably outstripped supply due to a combination of lockdowns, savings, surging markets (until recently), and a larger interest in alternative assets. Waiting lists have grown longer, and second-hand market prices have skyrocketed.
Buyers have always outnumbered available timepieces. Rolex is expected to produce roughly 1.1 million watches per year, while Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet each produce between 65 000 and 45 000, hardly enough to please luxury watch market buyers.
The pandemic's stock market/crypto bull run has created wealth to individuals that fueled the growth of alternative asset classes (luxury watches).
BIOCERAMIC MoonSwatch Collectionj by Omega and Swatch.
However, with the rise of economic distress, the gray market premiums have been slowing down and some sellers may have problems with liquidity, which may be caused due to the high correlation of Crypto currencies and the luxury watch gray market.
Meanwhile, the gray market shrinks; Swatch and Omega hit a home run with the "Mission to Mars"; collection, Swatch is proudly promising accelerating supply to meet everyone's demands, but the gray market has not digested that yet.
The Swatch Group has successfully utilized the power of being the mother company of Swatch and Omega in a collaboration that has been very hot since its release. Watch Collectors and Fanatics have never imagined seeing endless queues in front of Swatch stores, but The Swatch Group has managed to do it!
A year after Apollo's program was launched, the hunt for a time piece started; the qualifiers to the testing stage were Omega, Longines-Wittnauer, Rolex and Hamilton. Hamilton were the first to get disqualified for not complying with the requirements, they presented a pocket watch, and that's not what NASA was looking for.
The rest were put through a rigorous series of tests, of which only the Omega Speedmaster survived. NASA then suggested some improvements to the Speedmaster and it was worn by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in 1969 on the Apollo 11 spacecraft mission. Omega managed to continue being flight qualified with the most recent Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional watch release.
Buyers queuing for hours to own The Swatch-Omega Speedmaster "MISSION TO THE MOON" collection is a ticket to being a part of Omegas history in being the first watch onto the lunar surface.
Each MoonSwatch features its own mission statement, inspirational engravings and joint OMEGA X SWATCH logos on the dial and crown. The battery cover on each watch features a depiction of its planet. A spacesuit-ready VELCRO© strap adds a final touch of astronaut chic.