Our post is all about these two marvelous pieces. A criss-cross between Omega MoonSwatch and the new Rolex GMT Master II. Sure, they’re different in many parameters and similar in a few others.
If you haven’t heard of Omega, you’ve surely heard of Rolex. Let me tell you that both brands represent some of Switzerland’s watchmaking hotshots, and seeing them recently shifting towards unconventional routes, has made many watch enthusiasts wonder what they’re up to.
On one hand, we have Omega (owned by Swatch), entering into a collaboration with the latter, a collaboration that brought to life a $260 Speedmaster lookalike, part of a colorful collection of Bioceramic chronographs inspired by the planets of our solar system. (More about it below).
On the other side of the ring, we have the almighty Rolex, entering the Watches and Wonders 2022 with their GMT Master II, with a destro configuration. The watch isn’t reserved for left-handers specifically, but for anyone who loves wearing it on their non-dominant hand.
Market’s Perception and Availability
I guess controversy is what Omega MoonSwatch and the new Rolex GMT Master II have most in common. Some think there wasn’t enough effort put into the Omega MoonSwatch, but controversially, there were tons of others who waited in queues for hours to get one. For Rolex, there is another story. The brand already has an issue with supply (to not compromise quality, the manufacturer has chosen to keep its production limited, which results in an immense scarcity issue), so imagine how watch enthusiasts felt when they saw Rolex bringing a watch for southpaws to their arsenal.
To explain, the new GMT Master II, with its destro configuration, is really appealing only to a specific audience (10% of the world’s population that is left handed). If the Swiss watchmaker would have brought a normal GMT Master II, it would have been used to fill the already existing gap, and aid in fixing the scarcity issue, somehow. This is, at least, what some watch experts think. I think that if you can get your hands on a Rolex, little does it matter on what hand it should sit. If it was for timekeeping purposes only, I’d go for a smartwatch, or just rely on my phone. But it is about prestige, to show the world that you made it, and that, doesn’t necessarily need a watch blog telling you on what hand you should wear your Rolex.
The mass-produced Omega MoonSwatch was readily available for purchase from every Swatch official retail shop. The new GMT Master II is also available for purchase from every Rolex authorized retailer in the world.
The New Rolex GMT Master II
Only 10% of the world’s population is left-handed, so most watch brands don’t even bother manufacturing left-handed watches. Instead, they make products that appeal to the masses. But here we are! Rolex, the crown itself, is honoring southpaws by making a destro watch, something that, let me tell you, is not in their DNA.
Rolex, which is well-known for having difficulty manufacturing (and supplying) enough timepieces for everyone who wants them, is now catering to a whole new segment of buyers who want watches that fit on their right wrists. So, will the small audience make them simpler to obtain? We’ll see!
The new Rolex GMT Master II, which was revealed at Watches and Wonders 2022, has a monobloc Cerachrom bezel insert in a bold green and black ceramic colorway. The crown and crown guard have been relocated to the left side of the watch case, and the date aperture and Cyclops lens have also been relocated to 9 o’clock.
The first GMT Master was released in 1955 as a navigation tool for professionals who needed a watch that could show the time in two separate time zones at the same time. 65+ years passed, and Rolex has shifted from a maker of tool watches to a manufacturer of real status symbols known globally. And if you’re asking why this destro configuration now, I wouldn’t be that surprised. Throughout the years, there are many historical references that show that Rolex has tried to fit the needs of its leftie customers.
A few years back, auction mansion Phillips listed two unique Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542 models from the 1950s. Most likely commissioned pieces, these watches came both with a left-hand configuration. These two vintage left-handed Rolexes did technically establish a destro precedent (one further favored by the existence of left-handed Submariner and Cellini models). Add here the famous Rolex of Charlie Chaplin (left-handed), from 1952, and it is not hard to believe the new left-handed GMT Master II exists.
Omega MoonSwatch – From the Sun to Pluto
Watches and Wonders 2022, the watchmaker’s biggest event, took place a few weeks back, from March 30th to April 5th. Over the course of seven days, we saw many crazy, exotic, as well as conventional watches with a modern twist being released. Although not part of the summit, Omega and Swatch were able to shift their attention toward their latest release. In fact, I’ve never seen a watch release create such a buzz, long lines, and inspire memes as the MoonSwatch did.
Swatch Group owns a bunch of watch brands, one of them being Omega. After years of technology sharing, it was only right for both brands under the same house to have a collaboration. That comes from the least expensive Swiss-made watch, Swatch, and one of the most expensive ones, Omega. This polymerization brought to life an unexpected watch collection. Baptized as the Omega x Swatch Bioceramic MoonSwatch Collection, this entire troupe of watches draws inspiration from the solar system, from the Sun to Pluto. A space exploration themed watch that makes perfect sense in today’s world.
Made for anyone to enjoy, these watches are fun and affordable. With inclusivity in mind, the MoonSwatch represents Omega’s efforts into creating an inclusive environment for the ones who want to have a reputable brand adorning their wrist without having to break the bank. Swatch has been doing this since their start, offering Swiss excellence at affordable prices. Until you can afford the real Omega Speedmaster, get a load of these bad boys.