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πŸ”΄ Omega and Swatch, a model for exploring market innovation

Omega and Swatch recently partnered to create a limited edition "cheap" version of the iconic Speedmaster. We'll discuss why it's probably a wickedly smart move for Omega's innovation strategy.
πŸ”΄ Omega and Swatch, a model for exploring market innovation

Now part of the Swatch group, Omega is admittedly one of the top five most well-known watchmakers. The Omega Speedmaster "moon watch" ad campaign has been the mother of all brand storytelling throughout the years.

The value space of icons

How best to express the value of a highly engineered timepiece than sending it to space, with astronauts depending on it for survival (or close enough)?

The mother of all brand storytelling. 

This clearly beats the crap out of "just" walking to the top of Everest... :)

Guess where there's even less oxygen? : ) 

These last years, the watch market has been remarkably slow-moving. After the initial shock of the Apple Watch, things settled back to the usual routine of the Basel trade show, where high-end brands try to maintain some level of scarcity while hiking prices up a notch.

But a few weeks Omega announced a co-branding operation where Swatch would be allowed to produce a cheap version of the iconic Speedmaster.

On the left is the $260 Swatch version of the iconic $6,500 Omega Speedmaster on the right.

Shock and outcries ensued in the watchmaker community.

While for Swatch, the move is a jackpot opportunity (it's a quick way to capitalize on decades of Omega's brand value by premiumizing a fashion/commodity range of watches), what's in it for Omega? Why risk crossing boundaries and tokenizing a technology/luxury icon?

Don't be fooled; Omega's move is wickedly smart on three levels:

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