According to Bloomberg UK: “The Speedmaster Moonwatch model, which retails for about $7,000 and is lionized for being the first watch worn on the moon, increased sales in Omega stores by more than 50% since the launch of the $250 MoonSwatch in March, Swatch Group AG CEO Nick Hayek said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland.”
I think some of us had expected this to happen and some of us were sceptical whether this exercise in collaboration will adversely affect Omega’s brand image.
I think, however, this might be a short term hype-related reaction and the full effect this has had on the brand’s image is not yet known. However we can be certain that this has definitely increased brand recognition (at the very least) for Swatch, as the brand was apparently going through a stagnation phase.
One thing we might be ignoring is the indirect benefit for other brands. Somewhat related to the moon and space, I know at least one watch that has definitely grown in both sales and popularity, but is overlooked by the hypebeast crowd because it isn’t as… well… hyped. And the watch in question is the Bulova Lunar Pilot.
Now in my very unscientific research (asking the question to a couple of Bulova retailers and trying to remember what they told me) was that the sales of the Bulova Lunar Pilot have definitely increased since the release of the Moonswatch. The most popular is still the original re-edition in stainless steel, but the all-black version has also seen a resurgence in popularity.
I won’t bore you with the details (as there is plenty of information already online about the Bulova), however if you would like us to do a deep (space) dive on this versus the Omega Speedmaster or even the Moonswatch, sound off below.
Back to the Bulova, the watch pictured is mine. And yes I was one of many who were indirectly influenced by the moonswatch, believe it or not. This is one of the reasons why I love watches. This watch gives me a great story, and it doesn’t cost a kidney.
I have always vaguely known about Bulova’s connection to the moon missions, but I never gave it another glance, simply because 1)I really don’t know and don’t care about the brand and 2) IT’S. A. QUARTZ! Now, I have nothing against quartz watches. I have a number of them. But my preference is to have a mechanical watch. But you know what? The fact that with this one watch I can potentially annoy two* sets of fan boys was just too good to pass up. (Good natured annoying, of course. It’s a fantastic community after all.)
The Bulova Lunar Pilot is indeed a quartz, but it is high frequency (at 262khz it’s a lot higher than your run-of-the-mill quartz), making it accurate to an incredible +/- 10 seconds a year! The case is 45mm, but wears smaller on the wrist. Classic Speedmaster style looks with excellent legibility.
What pushed me over the line was that The Bulova is available at a discount. A fairly hefty one at that, and it brings the price of the watch to around the vicinity of the MoonSwatch. Given the price point, and the availability (or lack thereof in the case of the Swatch), as well as the legit moon-cred, the choice was easy.
The Bulova retails for $850 for the stainless steel on strap and $950 for the black version on strap. However you can easily find them for $500, sometimes even less. Do yourselves a favour and have a look at the Bulova, do your research and decide for yourselves how much is the hype worth to you.
*In case you’re wondering, the two groups are the Speedy nerds and the Grand Seiko enthusiasts. I won’t elaborate further.
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