MoonSwatch charity auction raises CHF 534,670 for Orbis International MoonSwatch charity auction raises CHF 534,670 for Orbis International

MoonSwatch charity auction raises CHF 534,670 for Orbis International

Zach Blass
  • Omega raised CHF 534,670 for long-standing partner Orbis through a dedicated charity auction held with Sotheby’s.
  • The average final price per briefcase was CHF 48.6k, 16 times the cost of purchasing the 11 MoonSwatches at retail.
  • Orbis International is an organisation that fights against avoidable blindness and vision loss.

 

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The launch of the Swatch x Omega MoonSwatch was arguably the largest watch phenomenon and moment of the 21st century. It was trending news both inside and outside of the watch-collecting community, with massive queues forming outside boutiques on launch day, reminiscent of the queues for the first iPhones. It was also an enduring talking point. You could not talk about watches for months without the MoonSwatch coming up. Then, we entered the era of the Mission to Moonshine Gold sequels, in which configurations that subtly switched up the design of the central chronograph seconds hand in Moonshine gold trickled out during special phases of the moon.

MS ORBIS Suitcase Open 2880 5120

With each new configuration, which was ultimately not very new or novel in aesthetic, MoonSwatch fatigue appeared to set in. People were frustrated they still had problems chasing down one of the original 11 models they desired, with some perceiving each of the Mission to Moonshine Gold models as trolling: “Just make the original eleven more accessible! Or enough with the new “not new” MoonSwatches!”

But, a recent dedicated charity auction held by Omega and Sotheby’s makes a strong case that the MoonSwatch still has a ton of momentum. Omega supplied 11 briefcases filled with all 11 Mission to Moonshine Gold configurations to Sotheby’s, with the proceeds benefiting Omega’s long-standing partner Orbis – an organisation that fights against avoidable blindness and vision loss. The total yield of the eleven lots of the auction: CHF 534,670.

Doing some quick math…

  • 11 briefcases, each containing the 11 variations of the MoonSwatch Mission to Mooonshine Gold watches – CHF 534,670
  • Average final price per case – CHF 48,606
  • Average final price per watch – CHF 4,418
  • Each of the MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine Gold configurations retail for CHF 275 individually, equating to CHF 3,025 to purchase all 11 configurations at retail and CHF 33,275 to purchase eleven sets of all eleven watches

MS ADV ORBIS Detail Suitcase 5120 2880

This is not to shame the bidding benefactors who went to great financial lengths to win, paying on average a little over sixteen times the retail amount to purchase all eleven configurations. And, this is, of course, an oversimplification as this auction allowed bidders to win all eleven in one go, and in the special briefcase, rather than having to hunt down these hard-to-get watches at points of retail during the time windows they were released. Ultimately, it is evident that even in the wake of MoonSwatch fatigue, the MoonSwatch still has momentum and is perceived to be a coveted collectible. It is also clear that Omega and Swatch hold a lot of power, and with great power comes great responsibility, to quote Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben. This is why I would really love for Omega to create a precious metal piece unique of the MoonSwatch, the ultimate insane hype piece, and auction it off for a good cause. Just imagine a platinum MoonSwatch with a meteorite dial. Now that would have to yield at least a six-figure result.