No watch business is more closely associated with space travel and lunar landings than Omega, but its parent organisation Swatch Group has more than one link with the industry.
Did you know, for example, that in 1996 Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier wore a simple Swatch as he boarded the Columbia Space Shuttle on a mission to release an Italian satellite.
The watch worn during the mission was gifted to Nicolas G. Hayek and is still exhibited in the Planet Swatch museum.
Now Swatch is rekindling its association with NASA by launching the Space Collection, which celebrates the agency in a family of Bioceramic watches made from two-thirds ceramic and one-third bio-sourced plastic.
Three watches from a collection of five are directly inspired by the spacesuits worn by NASA astronauts.
BIG BOLD CHRONO EXTRAVEHICULAR
Swatch’s Big Bold Chrono Extravehicular looks to the iconic white spacesuit for inspiration. First worn in 1983 by NASA astronauts Story Musgrave and Donald Peterson, the white suits shield astronauts from the sun’s radiation.
The white chrono has a 47mm Bioceramic case and a bio-sourced plastic glass.
The chrono timer is not set to the usual full hour marker but ten seconds prior and highlighted in red as a nod to the final countdown to liftoff.
The crown is positioned at 3 o’clock alongside two pushers, while the red and blue strap loops, hands with Swatch glow and NASA logo complete the design.
BIG BOLD CHRONO LAUNCH
The orange Advanced Crew Escape Suit, also known as the Pumpkin Suit, inspires the Big Bold Chrono Launch, which comes in all orange with silver hands.
A Big Bold Jumpsuit uses a blue associated with the everyday blue jumpsuits astronauts wear for press conferences or working in the NASA facility.
Rounding up the Swatch Space Collection is Take me to the Moon Gent in a transparent case, and Space Race New Gent, which has a mirror-effect silver-colored dial.
Swatch at Selfridges
Swatch unveiled a window display at the main entrance of Selfridges’s London this month to promote its new Biocermaic Big Bold collection.
A selection of fixed and suspended rocks set amidst artistic lighting, provides the backdrop to display key pieces from the range (monochrome and tri-colour) as part of the scheme.
The overall decoration has a chalky and dusky finish to reflect the thermal qualities of the innovative material from which the collection is made: two thirds ceramic.