If you’ve been waiting to pick up a Moonswatch online then you’ll probably be disappointed to know that Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek is going to spoil your plastic watch dreams. According to an interview with Fratello, Hayek said that the watches will be sold only at boutiques and not online.
“There’s no emotion in online buying. It’s a carefully produced Swiss Made watch and not a commodity. After the whole world had to stay at home for two years because of COVID, it was about time to celebrate and to bring the people back on the streets, meet together, and revive the brick-and-mortar stores,” he told Fratello. This is, it should be noted, a cop out.
Swatch stores have been long a loss leader for the Swatch Group. They’re the base of the sales pyramid and they aim to turn passive consumers into true watch lovers – a gateway watch shop, as it were. No one, not even Hayek, could imagine how popular the Moonswatch was going to be especially after the launch of the Sistem51, an automatic Swatch, which, while popular, definitely didn’t get many motors revving.
What happened with the Moonswatch is rare. A mixture of hypebeast brand awareness, social media, reseller scalping, and design turned what amounts to a super boring plastic chrono into a winner for the company and by playing hard to get the Swatch Group can get more people into its stores, thereby increasing their return on investment.
The Moonswatch craze won’t last long, however, so Hayek will milk it for a few more months and you’ll be able to walk into any boutique and pick one up without having to knife fight a guy on the sidewalk. Ultimately, whether or not he sells online doesn’t matter because, like all fads, the mania fades. It will be interesting to see how quickly it fizzles and how quickly Hayek will change his tune.