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Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch: the challenges of success

Published 26 May 2022 in Luxury • 4 min read

Swatch has a smash hit with its latest product, the MoonSwatch. But the newest supply chain choke point is making it difficult to react and harvest the benefits of the launch

A crossover star and its challenges 

It’s the best challenge a supply chain manager can have: a wildly successful product launch that exceeds the demand projections. This is what Swatch is facing with its launch of 11 ‘MoonSwatches’ in a first ever in-house collaboration with Omega, a luxury brand in the same consolidated company. Since the introduction of the watches in late March, lines began forming in front of the select Swatch stores that carry the new collection.  

While the MoonSwatch is a co-branded product, the execution of the supply chain is being handled by Swatch, not Omega. Though both brands are parts of the same company, the supply chains function independently to better segment between the distribution of luxury Omegas and the more consumer-oriented Swatch brand channel. For official Swatch retailers that are allowed to carry and sell MoonSwatches, this means irregular deliveries of small batches which have sold out completely. 

Managing success  

Swatch quickly deployed a one-per-customer policy  scheduled to last until inventory position normalizes. Because the launch is exclusively in Swatch offline stores, the policy should not have been difficult to implement; nonetheless, it has proven challenging. Without recording customer personal data to ensure compliance, the rule has been enforced sporadically. Furthermore, the policy has apparently been unclear to some retailers, with different branches applying the one-per-customer rule variously by day, week or month. The result is a robust secondary market, with MoonSwatches now fetching four times the prices at online sellers like Ebay.  

Importantly, in the absence of resellers, the backlog of customers would clearly be optimal for products of Omega x Swatch collaborations due to the ability to return people to stores because of their willingness to purchase the budget watch with luxury branding on it. However, because of the rising secondary market, the risk that the backlog transforms into lost opportunity for cross-selling remains for Swatch. 

The choice to sell MoonSwatches exclusively in select retail outlets, and not online, has been a huge success in  driving new loyal and non-loyal customers through the doors to discover the broader Swatch product offer.  

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