The Omega Moonwatch Dilemma: Buying the Hesalite vs. Sapphire Sandwich vs. MoonSwatch

Sure, there is a lot of hype with the recently announced Swatch and Omega collaboration (aka the MoonSwatch), but I wanted to also discuss my personal journey into buying the mechanical Speedy Moonwatch. This is a dilemma that I’m sure many watch enthusiasts may have experienced, when trying to pick between the “more traditional” hesalite version vs. the “more modern” sapphire sandwich timepiece.

My first-time purchase of an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was last summer and I opted for the outgoing 1861 caliber Speedy with the hesalite crystal. To me, it harkened back to the original Moonwatches that were flight tested by NASA for space missions, and the full kit also came with a lot of Omega merchandise (loupe, silver medallion, extra straps).

But if we fast forward to today, I currently own the recent gen sapphire sandwich Moonwatch, with the co-axial caliber 3861. The reasoning? I liked that Omega updated the manual-wound movement to a co-axial master chronometer and it looked amazing through the sapphire display caseback. In addition, there are subtle details on the dial that help, like having an “OMEGA” applied logo, a ridge around the printed hour markers and minute track, which taken together, provide some more visual interest over the outgoing 1861 models.

The thickness is also very reasonable at just over 13mm in height and I really like the vintage-inspired bracelets that Omega is doing for the new Speedy models. The articulation is great and I find the bracelet more comfortable to wear over the outgoing 1861 model Speedmasters.

Regarding the MoonSwatch’s that SWATCH will release in their boutiques this weekend, I really like them! They are affordable, have great colour options, and nice bioceramic cases. However, I do worry that they might dilute the mechanical Omega speedies value. Especially for the special editions Moonwatches like the Dark Side of the Moon, which also have a ceramic case as part of the selling point. I’m sure the hype will die down though and these MoonSwatch’s will bring more people into this great hobby. I’d love to know if any of this resonates with you guys though...?

Which Omega Moonwatch would you guys opt for, if you could only have one? What colour MoonSwatch if your favorite? 

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I think either you are an Omega customer or a Swatch customer.  Given the financial means required to purchase an Omega, I think Omega owners can and will buy the Swatch because it’s cheap and fun.  But I don’t think the reverse is true.

I also think that Swatch owners are unlikely to make a Speedy Pro their next purchase.  Why would they?  They already have a Speedy.  Why not get something different next time.

I‘ve got no dog in this fight.  I traded off my Speedy Pro a while ago with no regrets. I don’t think this new release will have any affect whatsoever on Omega after the initial hype is gone. 

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I picked up the 3861 sapphire sandwich last May - I prefer the crisper/cleaner look, and I'm not anal about the need for a hesalite crystal. I also feel that the movement deserves to be visible.

I really like some of the new MoonSwatch variants, and when the hype dies down and these become available online, I'll probably opt for the Mercury or the Jupiter (or maybe both).

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I pickup up the hesalite version in december. My AD convinced me that this is the real deal heritage version. My wife convinced me that it was more "toolwatch" and less "luxury" then the sapphire version and that this was more me.. :)

Concerning the moonSwatch,  I would opt for the mission to earth version 

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Hi Toran-just joined 😎!

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I think it's a big positive for Omega, anything that pushes their name outside the enthusiast space is a good thing. Rolex didn't become what it is by only appealing to enthusiasts, they flogged their brand at every opportunity that came up over the years, and still do. 

Personally I think the Pluto is among the nicest versions, and will likely pick one up at some point when they become available online. 

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I made the mistake of watching the first 2 minutes of the Bark & Jack YT review of the Moonswatches, and promptly unsubscribed from his channel.  All the YT commentary about potential "dilution" of the Omega brand is, to my cynical ears / eyes, nothing more than an attempt to get more YT views.

I do quite a bit of work on pricing strategy for multinationals, and the idea that the Moonswatch will somehow harm the Omega brand or cannibalize sales of the Moonwatch Professional is very hard to imagine.

Let me use a car analogy to make the point:

  • The top-of-the-line Porsche Cayman is the GT4 RS.  It's MSRP is $141k, without any of the cool options.  After you click a few things, MSRP is gonna be like $175k.  But, MSRP is a fiction.  They'll be fetching something upward of $300k on the different auction sites, like Dupont Registry
  • Meanwhile, a base 718 Cayman goes for ~$60k
  • The price ratio is only 5x in the case of going from a base Cayman to a Cayman GT4 RS
  • If you have the means to purchase a GT4 RS, the fact that the base model exists will NEVER influence you to forego the purchase of the top-of-the-line model.  If you are devoted to track days, if you're an enthusiast, if you're a car collector, and you have money, you will purchase the GT4 RS.  Hell, if you have the means, you probably already own 10 cars, and you're just adding the GT4 RS to your garage, which also has a Bentley Continental GT Speed, an Aston Martin Vantage, and an AC Cobra, amongst others
  • Now, maybe you're rich and you just want to dip your toes in the water, and test drive the Cayman for a while, before deciding whether or not to buy the GT4 RS.  Sure, you might go ahead and buy the base model.  And you'll either decide to then get the GT4 RS or not.  But, in  no scenario did that cannibalize GT4 RS sales
  • If you're a diehard enthusiast, and your GRAIL is the GT4 RS, you ain't gonna settle for the base Cayman.  You may buy the base Cayman today, but that's only because it's a placeholder for your real GRAIL.  In which case, the base model did not cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS
  • There are new car buyers in the market, who don't know much about cars, who all of a sudden have some extra cash and want to get something that looks cool.  If they got enough scratch to lease a $60k car, they might lease a base Cayman.  And, then, after a few years, they've gotten another promotion at work, they fall into a mountain of cash, they win the lottery, or they off a wealthy relative who's designated them in their will, etc., etc., and then they think, "Wow, I really liked the base Cayman, and the GT4 RS is THE top-of-the-line, let me get that!"

Now, this is all a long-winded way to say, in the case of the base Cayman, in no way did it ever cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS, and the price ratio there is only 5x.  

The price ratio between the Moonswatch and the Moonwatch Professional is ~20x.

In the same way that a GT4 RS owner might buy an extra base Cayman, to use the base Cayman as their "beater" car, Moonwatch Professional owners might buy a Moonswatch as their "beater" or "fun" watch or to gift to friends and relatives.  In the same way that somebody who doesn't know anything about cars, but wants a Porsche, might buy a base Cayman, and then one day want the GT4 RS, people who aren't into watches might buy the Moonswatch for the awesome colors, and then learn about watches, and then decide their grail is the Moonwatch Professional.

In the meantime, I'm busy unsubscribing from all the Youtubers who are cynically trying to get more views by wringing their hands over "Emergency!  Emergency!  Click here to see 'What does this mean for the Omega brand???'"

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Here is my version of @Omeganut ‘s POV.

TLDR; it does not dilute.

Why? Allow me a few analogies:

Analogy 1: If you are Lexus owner, and Toyota comes up with a scooter and puts a Lexus branded leather seat on the scooter, will you suddenly overnight feel your Lexus in your garage loses value?

Analogy 2: Assuming you have a Picasso on your wall which is authentic and tomorrow the Museum of Modern Arts issues detailed color posters of the same artwork framed up for sale as souvenirs, do you suddenly wake up feeling angry with MOMA because you feel your Picasso suddenly loses value?

Let me reveal to you where the root cause of this value degradation perception comes from: it is the amount the person associates his/her watch purchase as purely a status symbol.

In the world of luxury, if you know, you know. If you own a 1861, any omega fan will know that it is a professional moonwatch. If you own a 3861 sapphire sandwich, any enthusiast will know once they look for the clues. Because if you know, you know. Will the true watch enthusiast now look down at your 1861 or 3861 just coz of the MoonSwatch? If they are out to troll you to see you squirm coz YOU care - of course yes! But if you knew what you bought and why you bought it and it had nothing to do with being a flex - the moonswatch has nothing on you. 

The only people who are all hot, bothered and flustered now are those who spent money buying the moonwatch ‘coz a major part of why they bought it was they wanted to brag or flex that they are better than others. You will have to ask yourself honestly: Are you that person? Well, if you are, then I actually hate to break it to you, the problem isn’t the Moonswatch, the problem is actually… the man in the mirror.

This thing about watches as status symbols is unfortunately the dark side of the watch hobby so I’m with @Omeganut - I am incredibly disappointed in the YouTubers propagating this devaluation ideology - and the truth is they do so to get the clicks and to go viral - as controversy sells!

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watchaddictwt

Here is my version of @Omeganut ‘s POV.

TLDR; it does not dilute.

Why? Allow me a few analogies:

Analogy 1: If you are Lexus owner, and Toyota comes up with a scooter and puts a Lexus branded leather seat on the scooter, will you suddenly overnight feel your Lexus in your garage loses value?

Analogy 2: Assuming you have a Picasso on your wall which is authentic and tomorrow the Museum of Modern Arts issues detailed color posters of the same artwork framed up for sale as souvenirs, do you suddenly wake up feeling angry with MOMA because you feel your Picasso suddenly loses value?

Let me reveal to you where the root cause of this value degradation perception comes from: it is the amount the person associates his/her watch purchase as purely a status symbol.

In the world of luxury, if you know, you know. If you own a 1861, any omega fan will know that it is a professional moonwatch. If you own a 3861 sapphire sandwich, any enthusiast will know once they look for the clues. Because if you know, you know. Will the true watch enthusiast now look down at your 1861 or 3861 just coz of the MoonSwatch? If they are out to troll you to see you squirm coz YOU care - of course yes! But if you knew what you bought and why you bought it and it had nothing to do with being a flex - the moonswatch has nothing on you. 

The only people who are all hot, bothered and flustered now are those who spent money buying the moonwatch ‘coz a major part of why they bought it was they wanted to brag or flex that they are better than others. You will have to ask yourself honestly: Are you that person? Well, if you are, then I actually hate to break it to you, the problem isn’t the Moonswatch, the problem is actually… the man in the mirror.

This thing about watches as status symbols is unfortunately the dark side of the watch hobby so I’m with @Omeganut - I am incredibly disappointed in the YouTubers propagating this devaluation ideology - and the truth is they do so to get the clicks and to go viral - as controversy sells!

Damn!  About 200x better said than me!!!

You know that famous saying by Blaise Pascal?  "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

Incredibly succinct and brilliant!

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In the same vein, got this off of Reddit's WCJ.  Was dying laughing.

r/WatchesCirclejerk - I can't believe the hypocrisy of some of those people
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HotWatchChick69

Damn!  About 200x better said than me!!!

You know that famous saying by Blaise Pascal?  "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

Incredibly succinct and brilliant!

Well, you had set the stage - I merely asked for the mic after you! 😂  - and in truth - I had this ‘rehearsed’ as I had already shared my exact POV more than once to a few friends over the past day or so. If anything I’m glad to find a kindred spirit in this niche corner of the universe!

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Oh but to answer the question @EverydayWatchGuy , I do like the Mission to Mars one - it is just a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself seriously (which is what a Swatch is supposed to be) and has enough nods to the Speedy geek that it puts a smile on my face!

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KristianG

I think it's a big positive for Omega, anything that pushes their name outside the enthusiast space is a good thing. Rolex didn't become what it is by only appealing to enthusiasts, they flogged their brand at every opportunity that came up over the years, and still do. 

Personally I think the Pluto is among the nicest versions, and will likely pick one up at some point when they become available online. 

Thanks for the feedback. I'm also hoping to pick up a Pluto moonSwatch at some point :)

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HotWatchChick69

I made the mistake of watching the first 2 minutes of the Bark & Jack YT review of the Moonswatches, and promptly unsubscribed from his channel.  All the YT commentary about potential "dilution" of the Omega brand is, to my cynical ears / eyes, nothing more than an attempt to get more YT views.

I do quite a bit of work on pricing strategy for multinationals, and the idea that the Moonswatch will somehow harm the Omega brand or cannibalize sales of the Moonwatch Professional is very hard to imagine.

Let me use a car analogy to make the point:

  • The top-of-the-line Porsche Cayman is the GT4 RS.  It's MSRP is $141k, without any of the cool options.  After you click a few things, MSRP is gonna be like $175k.  But, MSRP is a fiction.  They'll be fetching something upward of $300k on the different auction sites, like Dupont Registry
  • Meanwhile, a base 718 Cayman goes for ~$60k
  • The price ratio is only 5x in the case of going from a base Cayman to a Cayman GT4 RS
  • If you have the means to purchase a GT4 RS, the fact that the base model exists will NEVER influence you to forego the purchase of the top-of-the-line model.  If you are devoted to track days, if you're an enthusiast, if you're a car collector, and you have money, you will purchase the GT4 RS.  Hell, if you have the means, you probably already own 10 cars, and you're just adding the GT4 RS to your garage, which also has a Bentley Continental GT Speed, an Aston Martin Vantage, and an AC Cobra, amongst others
  • Now, maybe you're rich and you just want to dip your toes in the water, and test drive the Cayman for a while, before deciding whether or not to buy the GT4 RS.  Sure, you might go ahead and buy the base model.  And you'll either decide to then get the GT4 RS or not.  But, in  no scenario did that cannibalize GT4 RS sales
  • If you're a diehard enthusiast, and your GRAIL is the GT4 RS, you ain't gonna settle for the base Cayman.  You may buy the base Cayman today, but that's only because it's a placeholder for your real GRAIL.  In which case, the base model did not cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS
  • There are new car buyers in the market, who don't know much about cars, who all of a sudden have some extra cash and want to get something that looks cool.  If they got enough scratch to lease a $60k car, they might lease a base Cayman.  And, then, after a few years, they've gotten another promotion at work, they fall into a mountain of cash, they win the lottery, or they off a wealthy relative who's designated them in their will, etc., etc., and then they think, "Wow, I really liked the base Cayman, and the GT4 RS is THE top-of-the-line, let me get that!"

Now, this is all a long-winded way to say, in the case of the base Cayman, in no way did it ever cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS, and the price ratio there is only 5x.  

The price ratio between the Moonswatch and the Moonwatch Professional is ~20x.

In the same way that a GT4 RS owner might buy an extra base Cayman, to use the base Cayman as their "beater" car, Moonwatch Professional owners might buy a Moonswatch as their "beater" or "fun" watch or to gift to friends and relatives.  In the same way that somebody who doesn't know anything about cars, but wants a Porsche, might buy a base Cayman, and then one day want the GT4 RS, people who aren't into watches might buy the Moonswatch for the awesome colors, and then learn about watches, and then decide their grail is the Moonwatch Professional.

In the meantime, I'm busy unsubscribing from all the Youtubers who are cynically trying to get more views by wringing their hands over "Emergency!  Emergency!  Click here to see 'What does this mean for the Omega brand???'"

Thanks for your candid insight into this moonSwatch release. 

Overall, I think it's a great release that will bring more people into the hobby. But I'm curious as to how the first few weeks will unfold.

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HotWatchChick69

I made the mistake of watching the first 2 minutes of the Bark & Jack YT review of the Moonswatches, and promptly unsubscribed from his channel.  All the YT commentary about potential "dilution" of the Omega brand is, to my cynical ears / eyes, nothing more than an attempt to get more YT views.

I do quite a bit of work on pricing strategy for multinationals, and the idea that the Moonswatch will somehow harm the Omega brand or cannibalize sales of the Moonwatch Professional is very hard to imagine.

Let me use a car analogy to make the point:

  • The top-of-the-line Porsche Cayman is the GT4 RS.  It's MSRP is $141k, without any of the cool options.  After you click a few things, MSRP is gonna be like $175k.  But, MSRP is a fiction.  They'll be fetching something upward of $300k on the different auction sites, like Dupont Registry
  • Meanwhile, a base 718 Cayman goes for ~$60k
  • The price ratio is only 5x in the case of going from a base Cayman to a Cayman GT4 RS
  • If you have the means to purchase a GT4 RS, the fact that the base model exists will NEVER influence you to forego the purchase of the top-of-the-line model.  If you are devoted to track days, if you're an enthusiast, if you're a car collector, and you have money, you will purchase the GT4 RS.  Hell, if you have the means, you probably already own 10 cars, and you're just adding the GT4 RS to your garage, which also has a Bentley Continental GT Speed, an Aston Martin Vantage, and an AC Cobra, amongst others
  • Now, maybe you're rich and you just want to dip your toes in the water, and test drive the Cayman for a while, before deciding whether or not to buy the GT4 RS.  Sure, you might go ahead and buy the base model.  And you'll either decide to then get the GT4 RS or not.  But, in  no scenario did that cannibalize GT4 RS sales
  • If you're a diehard enthusiast, and your GRAIL is the GT4 RS, you ain't gonna settle for the base Cayman.  You may buy the base Cayman today, but that's only because it's a placeholder for your real GRAIL.  In which case, the base model did not cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS
  • There are new car buyers in the market, who don't know much about cars, who all of a sudden have some extra cash and want to get something that looks cool.  If they got enough scratch to lease a $60k car, they might lease a base Cayman.  And, then, after a few years, they've gotten another promotion at work, they fall into a mountain of cash, they win the lottery, or they off a wealthy relative who's designated them in their will, etc., etc., and then they think, "Wow, I really liked the base Cayman, and the GT4 RS is THE top-of-the-line, let me get that!"

Now, this is all a long-winded way to say, in the case of the base Cayman, in no way did it ever cannibalize sales of the GT4 RS, and the price ratio there is only 5x.  

The price ratio between the Moonswatch and the Moonwatch Professional is ~20x.

In the same way that a GT4 RS owner might buy an extra base Cayman, to use the base Cayman as their "beater" car, Moonwatch Professional owners might buy a Moonswatch as their "beater" or "fun" watch or to gift to friends and relatives.  In the same way that somebody who doesn't know anything about cars, but wants a Porsche, might buy a base Cayman, and then one day want the GT4 RS, people who aren't into watches might buy the Moonswatch for the awesome colors, and then learn about watches, and then decide their grail is the Moonwatch Professional.

In the meantime, I'm busy unsubscribing from all the Youtubers who are cynically trying to get more views by wringing their hands over "Emergency!  Emergency!  Click here to see 'What does this mean for the Omega brand???'"

The Timeless Watch Channel is beating the overly serious drum at the moment. He should look at the plus side… bioceramic will probably be softer than the sharp edges of the steel 3861 Moonwatch on soft wrists. Plastic is much less likely to cut someone. 🐸 🍵 

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Omega is dead to me.. Long live OmegSwatch 😜

That said .. "Uranus Blue" .. best troll on Rolex