Fans camp overnight outside Swatch store in central London
Fans camp overnight outside Swatch store in central London to get their hands on must-have £248 Omega X MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine Gold before it goes on sale at 6pm
- New watch will be available to buy from 7pm and is expected to retail at £248
- Customers were wrapped in sleeping bags and sat on deck chairs waiting
Customers have camped overnight outside a Swatch store in central London to get their hands on the newly-released Moonswatch Mission to Moonshine Gold watch.
The new watch, a collaboration between manufacturing giants Omega and Swatch, will be available to buy from 7pm and is expected to retail at £248.
Customers were today pictured wrapped in sleeping bags and sitting on deck chairs as they began sitting outside the Swatch store in the Royal Exchange, central London, from 6pm yesterday evening.
The queue was patrolled by security guards in high-visibility clothing who took photographs of everyone waiting in line to make sure no one jumped in.
The Mission to Moonshine Gold will closely resemble its predecessor Mission To The Moon, released in March last year.
Customers wait in line for the launch of the MoonSwatch at the Swatch store in the Royal Exchange
Customers have camped outside a Swatch store in central London to get their hands on the newly-released Moonswatch Mission to Moonshine Gold watch
Superfans were eager to get their hands on this £248 Omega X MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine Gold watch
The earlier release sparked similar scenes, with Swatch being forced into closing its London stores after being open for just half an hour when chaotic scenes as customers fought to get their hands on the highly-anticipated timepiece.
The Mission to Moonshine Gold differs to the watch released last year by having a golden chronograph hand.
It will be sold in a special gold box along with a ‘Full Moon Production Certificate’.
In an Instagram post earlier today, Swatch said the watch was only available in ‘very special places’ and would not be available to purchase online.
The manufacturer said only stores in London, Zurich, Milan and Tokyo would be selling the timepiece.
Each city is said to have been chosen due to its close connections to gold.
It said: ‘This Mission to the Moon has a seconds hand made of OMEGA’s Moonshine Gold.
‘This special seconds hand has been produced exclusively during the full moon of February, as stated in the certificate that comes with the watch.
Customers wrap themselves in a blanket with their hoods pulled up as they wait outside the store
A man is seen wrapped in a green and grey sleeping bag to protect himself from the cold as he waits
Customers are said to have starter queuing outside the Swatch store at around 6pm yesterday evening
Two men wrap themselves in foil blankets as they sit in deck chairs waiting outside the store today
‘It is available for purchase in very special places in Zurich, London, Milan and Tokyo on March 7th, and in other locations during the next full moon. It is not limited and not available online.
‘The Mission to the Moon with a special seconds hand is not going to replace the Mission to the Moon.’
A father and son who have built a watch collection worth £46,000 were among collectors who queued overnight for the release.
Seb Easton, 51, hailed his son Taz, 19, as a ‘real businessman’ as they waited to get their hands on Swatch and Omega’s new Mission to Moonshine Gold timepiece on Tuesday.
They said they had been sitting outside on camping chairs since 9pm on Monday and had not slept.
Taz, a stylist who started collecting watches when he was 13, said his and his father’s joint collection was worth £46,000 – but that his interest in the new Moonswatch release was more about its exclusivity than its value.
He said: ‘This one is not going to add any value on top. It’s cheap plastic rubbish, it’s made out of plastic. But it’s just because it’s exclusive, you feel me?’
Father Seb, an airbrush artist, said they were both opportunists whose main interest was making money.
‘I’ve had a trainer collection since way back, from New York, but I never wore them and just kept them in the wardrobe,” he said.
‘I used to pull them out to show him and I think over the years he has taken it on in his own way – he’s a real businessman.
‘He came down and started doing this and started getting me involved. It’s not as much of a passion for me but I don’t want to hear someone has done well and I haven’t, so I thought I’d come down.
‘I’m an opportunist. If there’s money involved, I’m in it.’
The Moonswatch range proved massively popular in 2022 after 11 different high-colour watches made from plastic-esque “bioceramic” material were released at £207 each.
The watches currently retail on resale websites for as much as £1,400.
In an Instagram post earlier today, Swatch said the watch was only available in ‘very special places’ and would not be available to purchase online
The watches are being sold in a special gold box along with a ‘Full Moon Production Certificate’
A 19-year-old sneaker reseller who gave his name as Connor said ‘money, literally money’, as he explained why he had chosen to queue since 10.30pm on Monday.
He said: ‘It’s just chance really. You never know how many people are going to be here so you just have to come as early as possible.
‘The whole thing is really just a chance. ‘I slept a little bit but it is quite difficult when there are so many security guys around.
‘It’s not as bad as people think. It’s a lot different to what you probably think it has been like.’
The MoonSwatch is an affordable take on the famous collector’s favourite Speedmaster Professional – also known as the Moonwatch because it was the first watch worn by an astronaut walking on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
Each watch in the series is based on a space theme and titled after a planet or moon – with all the names beginning with the word ‘Mission’.
‘Mission to Mars’, ‘Mission to Mercury’ and ‘Mission to Uranus’ are among the different names.
The watches have been designed so the colours and layouts reflect the planets they are named after.
‘The Swatches are perfect for budding Moonwatch fans, and I can’t think of a more appropriate icon for our shared project,’ Raynald Aeschlimann, president and chief executive officer of Omega, said last year.
‘We went to the moon; now we’re exploring the whole Milky Way.’
Swatch said it had sold one million timepieces from the MoonSwatch line last year.
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