When Raynald Aeschliman, Omega’s president and CEO, developed the MoonSwatch concept directly with Swatch Group’s CEO Nick Hayek, they knew it would cause waves across the industry, not least because it was announced just days before the return of Watches & Wonders Geneva, the biggest luxury watch fair in the world, but one in which no Swatch Group brand participates.
But how big would it be, and would MoonSwatch benefit Omega, which lent the legendary Speedmaster’s design to the £207 bioceramic Swatch?
“From the beginning I was not sure about the huge success. It would we too arrogant for me to say we knew it,” Mr Aeschliman says in an interview with Esquire UK.
Wild and, at times, dangerous crowds fighting to get a MoonSwatch in the early weeks of its launch, were hardly on message for the conservative Swiss watch industry, and Mr Aeschliman hints that things might have been handled differently had the team anticipated the hysteria.
“Maybe,” he admits. “Production might have been much bigger”.
Crowd control might also have been easier had Swatch started selling MoonSwatch online.
Instead, Mr Hayek made the decision to make MoonSwatch a magnet for its global network of physical stores by making them the only point of sale for the watches.