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Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch mania spreads across the world

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The first visible sign for me was at 11pm on Friday night as I was in a taxi home from dinner in London.

The Swatch store on Oxford Street, the capital’s main shopping thoroughfare, had a line of half a dozen people camping on the pavement to be first through the door when it opened and the new MoonSwatch went on sale the next day.

Are these people mad?

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Fast forward to Saturday morning and Instagram is lighting up with reports of pandemonium outside Swatch outlets from Tokyo to Dubai and Amsterdam.

These are the sort of scenes you used to get when a new iPhone or Playstation came out, not what you expect for day one sales of a bioceramic version of an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch made by Swatch Group stablemate Swatch.

My son likes his watches and lives in Dubai. He wasn’t first in line at the Swatch store in one of the city’s biggest mall but, because he is a wheelchair user, he was ushered (or he barged) to the front and was let in, alone, by staff.

That caused the frenzy outside to escalate as shoppers hammered on the grill demanding to be let in.

He was trapped for half an hour, and eventually left — clutching a prized MoonSwatch (black, like the original Speedmaster) — and needed police to help him out of the crowd.

“I had somebody chasing me demanding “can I see it” … “I will give you 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 dirhams”,” my son was offered.

6,000 dirhams is around £1,000. The MoonSwatch is priced at £207. No wonder Swatch is rationing customers to no more than two watches.

The word on the street is that this has been cut to one each.

The scene is being repeated in Amsterdam, although the crowd is better behaved, according to my niece, who was sent into the fray by her watch-obsessed father.

This was the scene at 9am in Amsterdam, an hour before the Swatch shop was due to open.

The queue was several hundred souls deep. In Dubai, they had 100 watches for the store on day one.

Before Dubai there was Asia.

This is what happened when the doors opened in Taipei.

This is Rome.

And  Saint Germain des Prés.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is crazy! Tulipmania level of insanity. I too desire to get some of these Bioceramic watches, but I will wait for it to be available online and hope that they will deliver to my country.

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