The Omega x Swatch Moonswatch was perhaps the most popular watch of 2022. It brings 11 colorful configurations to a timeless silhouette in the Omega Speedmaster. While the initial release had some major hiccups regarding fulfillment and quality control, those problems are largely behind us. Today I’d like to share my impressions of the Moonswatch, some potential strap options, and the story behind my particular example. This is more than a plastic quartz Swatch; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a watch that generates more smiles than this – especially at $260.
Quick Review/Impressions of the Moonswatch
More than a year after its release, you’re probably pretty familiar with the Moonswatch. I won’t bore you with an exhaustive list of specifications; I’ll just bore you with what matters. First and foremost, the case is made of Swatch’s Bioceramic: a blend of ~66% ceramic and ~33% naturally-derived plastic. Simply put, it feels like plastic. . . and that’s okay. It seems as though the quality control issues from the initial release (e.g. residue rubbing off on skin, pushers breaking off) have been remedied. This material is beyond satisfactory given the price.Despite being a 42mm watch, the Moonswatch’s proportions are very forgiving. They’re nearly identical to the infamously-wearable Omega Speedmaster Professional. The 47.5mm lug-to-lug dimension is generously curved to hug your wrist rather than sit across it. Don’t let the 13.25mm thickness fool you – much of that height comes from the boxed-and-domed acrylic crystal. Although I usually stick to 38mm-40mm watches, I feel comfortable with a Moonswatch on my 6.75in (~17cm) wrist. While the 11 different dial configurations vary in terms of aesthetics, they all have a few things in common: running seconds at 6 o’clock, chrono seconds at center, chrono minutes at 10 o’clock, and chrono 1/10 seconds at 2 o’clock. This is pretty standard quartz chronograph functionality. The Moonswatch will keep and record time accurately as it should. Functionality isn’t the star of the show here – it’s looks.
Saturn Moonswatch: Strap Monster
Even though I love the look of the Moonswatch, the OEM strap leaves a lot to be desired. Mine (not pictured) is sealed away in a moving box as I know I won't be using it any time soon. The stubby end at 6 o’clock makes for strange proportions on the wrist, the whole thing is covered in text and logos, and the lack of heft doesn’t pair well with the plastic case. In short, there’s a reason that the Swatch salesperson told us “this also looks great on a NATO strap”.
That’s exactly where my Moonswatch lives: a NATO strap. Although it’s not much heavier than the Velcro, it provides comfortable and familiar proportions on the wrist. This beige NATO pairs nicely with the Saturn Moonswatch’s hue without the logos and text found on the OEM strap. The added thickness of a double-pass NATO strap is worth mentioning. It will add a few extra millimeters, as pictured above.
My Everest Universal Rubber strap is also a great pairing with the Moonswatch. It offers a bit more heft than the NATO or Velcro without feeling imbalanced with the watch itself. The curved ends minimize any potential gap between the case and springbars. Biocemaric’s matte finish pairs well with the similarly matte FKM rubber. On the underside, the 316L stainless steel hardware keeps the watch secure while offering some nice textural variety.
The Story Behind My Moonswatch
I recently visited Geneva, Switzerland for Watches and Wonders 2023. Around the corner from my hotel was a Swatch store. While admiring the Moonswatches on display, I realized that it was my first time seeing one in person. I mentioned this a few days later to Michael DiMartini, the owner of Everest. “Well, did you try to buy one?”, he asked, referring to their still-somewhat-limited availability. When I told him I hadn’t, we went in to see if they had any in stock. Among the five or so Moonswatches available, Saturn was my clear choice. Not 2 minutes after leaving the store, I had to unbox the watch and put it on my wrist. It’s hard not to love this thing.
While some may dismiss the Moonswatch as a plastic quartz watch, I appreciate mine for its story, the joy it brings to myself and others, and the historical significance of both Swatch and Omega. This release – while frustrating to many people for many reasons – will go down in history as one of the most important of its kind. As watch enthusiasts, we should embrace the fact that people are excited by an analogue timepiece: this is categorically rare and extraordinarily cool. If you haven't gotten your hands on a Moonswatch, I highly reccomend visting your closest Swatch store. You never know what they might have.