The release of the Omega and Swatch’s MoonSwatch created chaos at retail locations and on the resale market. First released last weekend, the 11-piece collection of watches offered an affordable take on Omega’s iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch and drew in herds of shoppers — many who left stores empty-handed or injured from overcrowding. The scene, while not unusual for streetwear or sneaker releases, is uncommon for watches, especially considering the MoonSwatch is not limited-edition and will restock down the line.
Still, there’s a certain pride in owning something others don’t, and new owners of the MoonSwatch have begun sharing photos and videos of their achievements online. Among them, some fans have noticed the watches leave a dye stain on the wrist when worn — disatisfying twist even with the timepiece’s lower price point.
Time out — “Crystal upon unboxing had scratches all over it. And the dye on the planet seems to leak into your skin,” wrote a Facebook user about his blue MoonSwatch. “Honestly, the watch feels super super super cheap… It is super cheap but not worth $260USD.”
Much of the appeal around the MoonSwatch was its affordable price. At $260, the watch costs a mere fraction of the original Moonwatch, which retails for around $7,000. Granted, the MoonSwatch could also be described as a mere fraction of the Moonwatch itself: Instead of a stainless steel construction, the MoonSwatch is made of Swatch’s BioCeramic, a mixture of two-third ceramic and one-third bio-based plastic derived from the seeds of a castor plant. A quartz-powered battery also stands in place of a mechanical movement that doesn’t require replacement.
During the launch, these changes seemed more palatable than in light of other grievances. A Reddit user — who owns the same “Mission to Neptune” design as the previous complaint — posted to the platform asking if others had dealt with staining and scratches. The user even questioned the authenticity of his MoonSwatch in disbelief.
Following the string of complaints, YouTubers have taken it upon themselves to test out the timepieces. Many of their posted clips show people rubbing the back of the watches with Q-tips — only to find the cotton tips stained with dye.
Not all watches — Still, a handful of Reddit users have claimed that their MoonSwatches don’t stain, thanks to their design. Only the blue “Mission to Neptune” watch causes the dye transfer, they say, with one user noting how the staining could just be from initial wear. Either way, the dye transfer isn’t a good look for Swatch, or particularly, Omega, the latter of which prides itself on a refined customer experience. Between the staining and the apocalyptic release conditions, the MoonSwatch doesn’t speak to luxury like the two brands might have hoped — but if anything, it might make the watch easier to buy for those who still want it anyway.