Swatch x Blancpain collab has debuted. But will it have the same lasting momentum as the MoonSwatch?Zach Blass
Well, considering the big launch yesterday I think we all know what the news of the week is: the new Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection. The Swatch x Omega MoonSwatch was a groundbreaking collaboration. Upon its debut, not only did it shake up watch enthusiasts, it also affected the mainstream. Genuine collectors and prospective flippers all raced to their nearest Swatch boutique, competing for a chance to snatch up a MoonSwatch. I need not remind you that these queues were insane, wrapping around multiple city blocks – even getting so heated that police had to intervene.
The unveiling came just ahead of Watches & Wonders 2022, yet, even in a Palexpo with dozens of brands debuting new novelties, all anyone could talk about was the MoonSwatch. Even now, nearly 18 months later, it has remained a part of the zeitgeist. Clearly, the MoonSwatch is a hard act to follow. Being the first certainly helps, and you could also argue that Omega and the Speedmaster have enough crossover appeal to get more than just watch nerds excited. But, Blancpain? The brand has much more of a niche following, begging the question – can the ‘Fifty-One Fathoms’ have the same lasting momentum as the MoonSwatch?
The comparison is a bit apples and oranges, but in terms of a horological proposition, I think the Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms is a much better watch. Granted, its jump to an automatic movement, among other things, has also resulted in a price increase. While an automatic movement and more water resistance have greater horological appeal, the Fifty Fathoms does not have the same cultural context and cut-through that the first watch on the Moon has. It is also arriving at the peak of MoonSwatch fatigue, at a time where the lasting conversation primarily surrounds a persistent level of inaccessibility and frustration with the lack of novelty offered within the six MoonSwatch Misson to Moonshine Gold models that succeeded the original 11.
Only time will tell, but I am most interested in finding out the answers to the following four questions:
- What will demand look like for the Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms? In the short term? Long term?
- Can they ever meet demand with their persistent in-store-only method?
- Will the collection be limited to these initial five models? Or, will there be staggered sequels that attempt to keep its momentum and relevance going?
- How will this new collaboration affect, if at all, the sales of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms?
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Watch meme of the week: Are you guys for scuba?
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Of course, social media is rampant with Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms memes – @brodinkee has already shared five. My favourite is a deep cut (at least in 2023) which references the film Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. That being said, in a small role with a big comedic impact, Hank Azaria’s character’s persistent inquiries into whether or not people ‘are for scuba’ is perfect for this moment.
Wrist shot of the week: Fathoms flexin’
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Have to give credit where it is due. Hodinkee broke the launch with some live shots, one of which had all five Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms on a single arm. Let’s see just how soon this can organically happen in the wild.
Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto
There’s little doubt that the Khaki Field is one of the most respected field watches on the market. This latest variant, the Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto, only improves on its steel, automatic predecessor by sporting a completely stealthy titanium case and bracelet, with some lovely azurage touches on the dial.
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INTRODUCING: The new Swatch x Blancpain BioCeramic Fifty Fathoms Scuba
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