It’s Happening: Swatch x Blancpain

Strangely enough, less than a week ago I had an unsettling feeling that we’d be hearing about a new Swatch collaboration soon. After the news of Rolex’s acquisition of Bucherer, I was thinking about the Tourbillon retail stores owned by Swatch Group. Tourbillon serves as a retailer for many of the Swatch Group’s higher-end brands of watches. From there, I started thinking about the Swatch MoonSwatch, released in collaboration with Swatch Group’s Omega, that was launched back in March of 2022. Since the initial release of 11 MoonSwatches, Swatch has released a few limited edition models that have been created under the light of a few full moons since (insert massive eye roll here). As things have been getting very old with the Moonswatch releases, I started to think that now might be a good time for Swatch to release a new watch modeled after another one of the group’s iconic watches.

Naturally, my first thought was that we might see a Swatch Omega Seamaster. If Swatch wanted to play it safe, this makes sense as the Seamaster is one of the most popular watches in the world, and would be a natural fit next to the Speedmaster. Thiswas definitely where I thought they would go as I thought Swatch would play it safe. If they wanted to be bolder, there was one other watch that came to mind: the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms.

When it comes to trying to figure out how they likely narrowed it down to the Fifty Fathoms, let’s take a look at Swatch Group’s watch brands. For starters, they have Rado, Longines, Tissot, Hamilton, Mido, and Certina. Within these brands, there are a number of well-known models, but the problem becomes that if Swatch released a recreation of the majority of the watches made by these companies at a couple hundred dollar price point, the relative closeness in price between the Swatch version and the non-Swatch version would take potential buyers away from the real deal. Therefore, all of these are a no-go.

Turning to other Swatch brands, Harry Winston is known more for their gem-set watches (as well as their Ocean/Project Z and Opus lines), and Jaquet Droz has switched to doing more highly limited production pieces, so neither of those would be great to make Swatch versions of. That leaves us with three names: Breguet, Blancpain, and Glashütte Original.

  1. Starting with Glashütte, their PanoMatic Lunar is a beautiful dress watch, but can anyone really see that translating well into a Swatch version? If we look at the Seventies sports watch, we have the same issue. Beautiful watch, but not the best candidate for translating to a Swatch well. Although, this is definitely the strongest candidate from Glashütte, in my opinion, to get a Swatch version in the future, though unlike the Speedmaster and the Fifty Fathoms, it lacks the historical prominence the other two have.
  2. Moving on to Breguet, we get to the same issue as the PanoMatic line… almost everything Breguet makes is a dress watch, and that won’t work for Swatch. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy or be repulsed by a potential Swatch version of the Breguet Tradition, but I doubt that will ever see the light of day. Breguet does have two sports models though: the Type XX (and its variants) and the Marine. The Marine is a neat watch, but if Swatch is releasing a Fifty Fathoms Swatch and potentially an Omega Seamaster Swatch later on, that’s going to be a lot of dive watches. If I had to bet, I’d say we see a Breguet Type XX Swatch either as the third Swatch collaboration or after Swatch possibly releases an Omega Seamaster.
  3. Finally, we get to Blancpain. Blancpain has a number of great watches such as the Villeret series and the Air Command, but the winner here every time is going to be the Fifty Fathoms. I could make an argument for the Villeret, but almost everyone would agree that the Fifty Fathoms is the watch that comes to mind when you think of Blancpain. In addition to just being strongly associated with the brand, the Fifty Fathoms has the horological and historical prominence within the watch industry to make it an icon. While the Omega Marine was the first commercially available dive watch (1932), Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms (1953) was the first modern dive watch with a unidirectional rotating bezel. Zodiac would release their Sea Wolf later on that same year, which would then be followed by the Rolex Submariner in 1954. If Swatch Group has an iconic watch outside of the Speedmaster and Seamaster, it’s the Fifty Fathoms, so it seems only right that this would be Swatch Group’s pick for their next Swatch collaboration.

We’re still waiting to see what the new Swatch x Blancpain watches will look like. Technically, it has yet to be confirmed what exact model the Swatch watch will be taking its design cues from, but I can’t imagine it will be anything other than a Fifty Fathoms. The teaser shown here on Instagram shows the five oceans, likely being a reference to Blancpain’s dive watch, the Fifty Fathoms. Now, the only thing we don’t know is what the watch and its variants will look like. Swatch is expected to announce the new watches on September 9th. As stated before, the current teaser lists the five oceans: the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Antarctic. Most in the industry are assuming that these will operate similar to how the Sun and planets did with the MoonSwatch’s “Mission to ____” variants. Therefore, there will likely be five Fifty Fathoms variants. Swatch could go one of two ways with them, either having different historical dials offered for each ocean or that each ocean would represent a different color Fifty Fathoms Swatch model. As long as it isn’t overdone (as in hopefully not being so colorful that it looks like a GA2100-4A red G-Shock), I’d probably prefer the latter, but either way, we’ll see what the final products look like in five days.

Lastly, I have to say I haven’t been a fan of the MoonSwatches… The way things were rolled out, the quality control issues with the Mission to Neptune, the hype over something that, while albeit kind of cool and at an affordable price, seems very low quality in the metal… or I guess in the plastic in this case. I thought the whole idea could be kind of cool in the beginning, but the way things were handled early on, and the now absolutely ridiculous “full moon” made variants of the MoonSwatch that have been released since, have been really annoying. All I can say is I hope this Blancpain Swatch watch will be handled a lot better, because this could actually be something kind of fun. Full details of the new Swatch x Blancpain watch/es will be released on September 9th, we will be updating our Instagram with all the info as soon as it’s released! Make sure to follow @WatchMeWatchBlog on Instagram to stay on top of all developments!

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