Omega and Swatch dropped their "MoonSwatch" collab on March 26 and fans of both watch brands experienced something streetwear and sneaker enthusiasts are all too familiar with – a little thing we call "hype culture."
Omega x Swatch easily joins adidas x Gucci and Dap Gap as one of this year's biggest collabs, combining the legacies of two Swiss watch icons in one appreciable package, immediately garnering immense worldwide attention.
On drop day, hundreds of people lined up at Swatch flagships across London, New York, and Singapore as Omega and Swatch fans eagerly waited to get their hands on the collab's colorful MoonSwatch timepieces.
I mean, can you blame them? The watches, which channel Omega's NASA-endorsed Speedmaster, were affordably priced at $260. If I were a big watch fan, I'd try for one myself.
For the Omega x Swatch drop, people started camping out as early as the night before the launch, staying overnight to beat the early morning release crowd.
Customer videos even showed people bum-rushing malls as soon as security opened the doors (sneakerheads, sound familiar?).
The initial release of the Omega x Swatch collab appeared to be extremely limited, with stores allegedly receiving only a few hundred watch units apiece.
In a "Swatch Release" note for customers, the King of Prussia mall security stated that the store "may be able to only satisfy 35-50 customers," though the line reportedly exceeded 100-plus individuals.
Swatch released a statement updating customers about the collaborative release, saying that "the launch of the Bioceramic MoonSwatch Collection is an incredible success that exceeded expectations."
"We would therefore like to remind you that there will be watches available in the selected Swatch stores in the coming weeks as it is not a limited edition."
But, of course, resellers will resell, swooping in to flip the Omega x Swatch watches on flipping sites like Chrono24 and eBay for nearly 10 times the retail price.
The "Mission to Uranus" MoonSwatch, nicknamed the "Tiffany Blue" MoonSwatch, is currently reselling for roughly $4k on eBay as we speak.
No worries, Swatch is already aware of resellers' tricks.
"For the moment, we have to update the purchase limit to one watch per person until further notice." the luxury watch label stated. "We will revert back to two watches per person as soon as possible."
At first, this seems like a PR team's dream: a globally hyped release desired by thousands that received scant marketing on the company's end.
But the disorderly crowds that the hyped release kicked up look a lot more like a nightmare.
Due to the MoonSwatch's crazy demand, wildly long queues formed and police shuttered a few Swatch stores during release day over safety concerns.