It’s been a banner year for watch collabs, from TAG Heuer x Porsche to Timex x Adsum to Hodinkee x Bamford x Snoopy, among many others. While some of these were a long time coming, others caught the global watch scene by surprise. None, however, caused as much excitement as the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch, a first-of-its-kind partnership between two of the biggest names in watchmaking. The collection included 11 colorful variants of Swatch’s take on the NASA-approved Omega Speedmaster, each one dedicated to a different celestial body. Priced at $260 (some $6,000 less than Omega’s famed “Moonwatch”) and only available in-person at select Swatch boutiques, the collab attracted thousands of watch collectors and gray market flippers who lined up—sometimes days in advance—to cop one. Then things got a little wild. Shops were overwhelmed by the demand, riot police were called, and at least one guy got mugged for his spot in line at knifepoint.
Although the MoonSwatch wasn’t billed as limited-edition release, that didn’t stop eager buyers from reselling them for $1,000 a pop, an ironic (if predictable) fate for a watch ostensibly intended to offer Omega vibes at Swatch prices. And while the watch-collecting community mostly had good things to say about the design of the MoonSwatch, Swatch’s choice to roll out the watch in such limited quantities—and the rampant profiteering that it encouraged—rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
But if you have your heart set on a black-on-black Mission to Moon or a cotton-candy-pink Mission to Venus (or ambitions to collect the whole set, Pokémon style), things are looking up. A wider range of Swatch boutiques are carrying the collection IRL this season, and the brand recently announced a series of rolling pop-ups in cities like San Diego and Jacksonville, with surprise locations announced via Instagram in between. Elsewhere, gray market prices have also come back to earth for most models, and you can now find unworn options with original packaging for under $300 on sites like eBay, Chrono24, and StockX. (The one exception seems to be the blue Mission to Neptune edition—thanks to rumors that it’s going out of production, though Swatch assures us that isn’t the case, it continues to sell for upwards of $1,800.) Not to yuck anyone’s yum, or to take anything away from one of the most unusual watch drops of recent years, but with vintage Omega Speedmasters starting at around $1,500 on Chrono24, there’s no planet on which that seems like a good deal.
So why not head over to the Swatch website and cop a Night Flight chronograph—a watch with much of the same midcentury appeal as the original Speedy—for just $210, or satisfy your fix with the NASA-endorsed EXTRAVEHICULAR? Sure, they aren’t the MoonSwatch, but they are exactly the kind of fun, accessible watches that have made Swatch such a beloved brand for decades, and you won’t have to line up overnight (or pay an extortionary premium on the aftermarket) to get one.
Still dead set on snagging a MoonSwatch, prices be damned? Start here.
Ready to skip the headache entirely? We got you too.