Omega’s collaboration with Swatch to create the MoonSwatch, arguably the most significant launch of any Swiss watchmaker in 2022, was always going to be tough to top.
But Swatch Group stablemate Blancpain gave it a go last year with a bioceramic version of its iconic Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch.
Despite its peerless place in the Parthenon of mechanical dive watches, the Fifty Fathoms is less well known than the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, but Swatch and Blancpain compensated for that by using the Sistem51 automatic movement, giving customers a route into the world of Swiss-made mechanical watches for a mere £340.
It is too early for publicly-listed Swatch Group to share figures on the success or the Omega X Blancpain launch, but one way to judge its success is to look at how it is performing on the secondary market.
Fifty Fathoms or MoonSwatch?
Not as well as the MoonSwatch, it is reasonable to conclude from analysing recent sales on eBay.
The highest sold price in the past two months has been £400, and they have been changing hands for as little as £250.
Let us hope that many of the flippers, who crowd out genuine customers at Swatch launch events, have had their fingers burned.
Or perhaps not.
Blancpain x Swatch
Today we see a sixth model added to the Blancpain x Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection, and finally we have a model in the classic black and white of the original.
The 42.3mm watch has a sunray effect black dial. It is water resistant to 300 feet and sold on a strap made from recycled ocean plastics.
Flippers sense a winner, and are listing it for over £1,000 on resale sites before it even goes on sale tomorrow.
Only two points of sale will have the new “Ocean of Storms” edition: Swatch stores in London’s Covent Garden and Edinburgh.
They will not be sold online.
The watch’s Sistem51 mechanical movement is visible through a transparent sapphire glass back and features an illustration of the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) region of the moon and the Okenia Luna nudibranch, a species of sea slug, in digital print.
It also carries five messages — passion for diving, license to explore, ocean breath, protect what you love and immerse yourself — that chime with Blancpain’s stated mission to protect the world’s oceans for the preservation of marine life and the enjoyment of mankind.