Swatch has launched a five-watch space collection inspired by NASA and the exploration of space. On sale today in Swatch stores and from 8 June on-line, the watches feature the famous “worm” NASA logo. These are going to be hot.
The collection consists of two different model sets. The first set of three watches are Big Bold watches with Bioceramic 47 mm cases and take their cues from NASA flights and spacesuits. The Big Bold Chrono Extravehicular riffs on the spacesuits from the ISS; the Chrono Launch model uses the orange pumpkin suit from the Shuttle era; and the Jumpsuit uses the blue flight suits donned for ground-based activities.
Bioceramic is Swatch’s latest innovation. It’s a new material composed of two-thirds ceramic along with one-third bio-sourced plastic from castor oil. Swatch says that it’s “lightweight, resilient and resistant with a silk-like touch”.
The second set are more traditional Swatch models: the Space Race is white with black accents and a silver dial in a 41 mm case. The Take Me To The Moon model comes with a 34 mm transparent case.
Prices are as follows:
Extravehicular – GB£137
Launch – GB£141
Jumpsuit – GB£108
Space Race – GB£79
Take Me To The Moon – GB£70
Available now from Swatch stores and on-line from 8 June. I think these will sell well, so if you are interested, I wouldn’t hang around.
With only a month to go until the next 007 film, “No Time To Die“, there’s plenty of James Bond-themed goodies for the spyhunters out there.
As Mr Bond’s watch brand of choice in the recent films, Swiss timekeepers Omega have the Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition which comes in a 42 mm titanium case on a titanium mesh bracelet, though a brown, grey and beige Nato strap more in keeping with the military is also available. You know that this isn’t going to be cheap so get your credit card out for this one at GB£7,390.
Staying with watches but significantly reducing the price, Swatch have their Swatch X 007 collection. It’s a range of six watches based on different Bond films, one for each of the actors that has played 007.
Sean Connery – Dr No
George Lazenby – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Roger Moore – Moonraker
Timothy Dalton – Licence to Kill
Pierce Brosnan –The World is Not Enough
Daniel Craig – Casino Royale
A seventh Swatch model will be worn by Q in the forthcoming film and is pictured left – I quite like that. The Swatches are more reasonably priced at around £70-£80, though the price for the Q watch hasn’t been confirmed.
Moving away from watches and over to stamps, the UK’s Royal Mail has James Bond special stamps featuring both the actors and the vehicles from the films. There’s quite a collection on show from a character set at £7.20 through to silver stamps at £199. The stamps have hidden features which are only revealed under UV light. Very spy.
There’s plenty of other James Bond tie-ins out there – these were just a couple that caught my eye. If you really want to get into the world of 007, check out Bond Lifestyle for links to all the clothes, sunglasses and real-world gear used in the films.
In news reported by the BBC, it seems that Swatch‘s opposition to Apple‘s application for an iWatch trademark in the UK resulted Apple’s smartwatch simply being branded “Apple Watch”. Overall, the ruling from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office upheld Swatch’s complaint that iWatch was too similar to iSwatch and Swatch, and shouldn’t be used for watches. Although we can’t be privy to the internal thinking of Apple, one could infer that the inability to claim the iWatch trademark in key markets back in 2014 killed iWatch in favour of Apple Watch when announced in 2015.
The whole ruling is here, but aside from the trademark evidence, decision-making and ruling, there’s some interesting commentary on the use of shell company registrants, in this case BrightFlash USA LLC to hide the actions of Apple. If I read the judgement correctly (and I’m certainly not a lawyer), Swatch had tried to accuse Apple of “bad faith” by using BrightFlash to register the trademark, but the registrar dismisses the complaint and Swatch has to to pay Apple GB£2,767 on balance. You win some, you lose some.
Swatch, the Swiss watch maker best known for its colorful and untraditional designs, is looking to enter the smartwatch market. It’s still unclear as to what exactly Swatch is planning. But at a recent company meeting, Swatch CEO Nick Hayak stated that Swatch’s smartwatch will be launching in two countries within the next three months.
2015 is definitely shaping up to be the year of the smartwatch. And while tech companies like Apple, Motorola and Pebble have all made headlines this year in the smartwatch space, it seems few established watchmakers have entered the fray. Given its history as a known and trusted brand in watchmaking, could Swatch bring a new perspective to the field?
Little is known yet about Swatch’s proposed smartwatch. Will Swatch develop a proprietary OS? Will the company implement some version of the Android operating system? During that company meeting, Hayak said that Swatch will launch its smartwatch in two countries. The first will be Switzerland and the other was only described as a “large country.” It seems logical that this other country would be the United States. But Swatch has made deals with China UnionPay, a Chinese financial firm, and it’s likely that the Swatch smartwatch will ship with a near field communication chip that could allow the device to make mobile payments. Given the prevalence of the Apple Watch and Android Wearables in the U.S., perhaps Swatch’s second launch country will be China instead.
Despite its rapid growth in recent months, the smartwatch space is still fairly new and much is likely to change. If Swatch is able to bring a product to consumers that’s unique and reasonably priced, the watchmaker might just find a whole new market to tap into.