The Final Moonshine MoonSwatch
It has been an absolute whirlwind of a year with Swatch’s follow-up to the MoonSwatch phenomenon that took over the industry in 2022. And it truly was – nay, is – a phenomenon. I mean, think about it: Swatch and Omega, two brands under the Swatch Group umbrella, collaborated to release an (extremely) affordable take on the classic Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch design via a bioceramic quartz chronograph on a velcro strap.
- It was an instant smash hit that quickly broadened the scope of watch enthusiasm
I’m hard-pressed to go anywhere these days without seeing a MoonSwatch on a person’s wrist. I personally have one and wear it often.
But 2023, as I have covered monthly here on Hodinkee, has been all about MoonSwatch’s second act: The Mission to Moonshine Gold. You can go back into the 2023 archives and read my previous stories to catch up but essentially the two brands took this year to add a bit of shine to their hit watch via a Moonshine Gold-coated chronograph seconds hand.
We’ve seen a new one every month since March (including the uber-popular Neptune-based blue model in August), and we’ve reached the end of the year and the end of this chapter.
- Swatch all but confirmed the end of the series with an Instagram post showing one last open slot in the collection
The Cold Moon Edition
In the holiday spirit, and in line with the theme of the Moon, the watch continues with the base Mission to the Moon colorway and includes a Moonshine chrono hand with a snowflake motif. As many of us know, the “Snowflake” moniker is one of great renown from the Tudor MN “Snowflake” Submariner divers in blue, to the famed (and vastly more modern) Grand Seiko “Snowflake.”
It’s for this reason that I hesitate to add the MoonSwatch to the lineage of “Snowflake” watch models even if that gold-coated hand is begging me to do so. In any event, I think the Cold Moon is a good enough nickname in its own right.
It is slated to go on sale, worldwide, on December 27 – and only on December 27 – at select Swatch locations. Just like with many of the past releases this year, there isn’t much more to say about this beyond the pattern on the hand. But of course, this one is significant because it’s the last of the run, the finale.
- Available only on 12/27 at select boutique locations
- Signifies the end of the 2023 Moonshine series
Who knows what that means, of course. We could just as soon see a fresh batch of these arrive in January and February (the two months not accounted for last year). In a year that saw this initiative spawned, and one that saw the Swatch Group double down on the success of the original MoonSwatch with a new collaboration between Swatch and Blancpain via the “Scuba Fifty,” I think there are many more MoonSwatch iterations in our future.
I know quite a few people who would love to see a new batch of colorways, or heritage-inspired editions. I happen to have it on good authority that this train isn’t stopping any time soon, be it MoonSwatch or further collaborations.
The Future Looks Bright
Based on the runaway success of the MoonSwatch project and willingness to experiment with new styles like Scuba Fifty, it seems likely we will continue to see fresh takes on the bioceramic speedmaster homage next year. Whether new colors, limited editions linked to events or themes, or even collaborations with other watch or fashion brands, the formula seems ripe for ongoing reinvention and collectability.
For affordable watch enthusiasts and those newer to the hobby, the MoonSwatch series has opened doors to an entire world of horology, and Swatch Group surely recognizes the opportunity to court these new audiences. We may one day look back at 2022’s MoonSwatch launch as a pivotal moment that shaped the industry for years or decades hence.