Omega held a star-studded party in London last night to celebrate the watchmaker’s role in the Apollo 11 moon landing, which is marking its 50th anniversary on July 20.
Luna Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, who set foot on the moon 20 minutes after Commander Neil Armstrong made the giant step for mankind, was wearing an Omega Speedmaster Professional. Commander Armstrong had left his watch on board the lander.
The 50th anniversary is Omega’s biggest marketing drive outside of the Olympic Games, and it has made the limited edition Moonwatch an instant sell-out.
The watch features in television advertising playing in prime time slots including ad breaks in yesterday’s World Cup Cricket semi-final between England and Australia.
The production run of 6,969 watches world-wide has been such a hit that the £7000 watch is already trading on the secondary market at almost 50% mark-ups, despite the fact that customers who pre-ordered the model are only just taking delivery.
WatchPro visited an Omega store on Bond Street in London yesterday and was told they were sold out. Berry’s, one of Omega’s largest independent retailers, says it has none left either.
Speedmasters have always been a favourite Omega model within the collector community, but the success of what is a large production run for a limited edition has the potential to make the watches popular with investors as well.
Flippers who buy hard-to-get models from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet and sell them on secondary market sites have lit a fire under demand for watches that sell at above retail prices, and Omega could become the next big thing for them.
The vagaries of the secondary market driven by flippers and forums will likely be lost on Omega’s guests at the Moonwatch anniversary party where they saw a live performance by astronaut actors before being served a dinner underneath a 4.5 meter suspended moon.
Guests included Lara Stone, Riz Ahmed, Dan Stevens, Pixie Geldof, Douglas Booth, Laurence Fox, Jack Fox, Alfie Allen, George Barnett, Malachi Kirby, Tom York, Josh Whitehouse, Doina Ciobanu, Richard Biedul, and Professor Kevin Fong.