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What we know so far about the Blancpain x Swatch collaboration

The Blancpain x Swatch collab will be inspired by nudibranchs from the five oceans, with three modern designs and two vintage-inspired ones.

Get ready to camp outside Swatch’s boutiques on 9 September.

Just one week ago, Swatch took out a mysterious print ad across the world, featuring an image of crystal-clear waters with the outline of a sharply angular crown and just two letters, with the date of 9 September 2023. Many collectors quickly guessed that it would be a new partnership like the MoonSwatch, and they were right. It’s now been announced that the next collab with Swatch will be with Blancpain.  

A Swatch ad promoting the upcoming Blancpain x Swatch collaboration released at the end of August 2023.
A Swatch ad promoting the upcoming Blancpain x Swatch collaboration was released at the end of August 2023.

At a press event at Swatch HQ, Marc Hayek and Nick Hayek Jr. made this announcement, explaining that plans for this began in August last year, months after the MoonSwatch was launched in February. We had heard rumours of another collaboration, but speculation was rife that it was with a different company in the industry that had customers facing long interest lists (no, not that one). Here’s what we know so far.  

The Blancpain x Swatch collab will be inspired by nudibranchs from the five oceans, with three modern designs and two vintage-inspired ones.
The Blancpain x Swatch collab will be inspired by nudibranchs from the five oceans, with three modern designs and two vintage-inspired ones.

There are five watches.  

In the initial launch on 9 September, five models will be launched, named for each of the oceans in the world. The Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific will be modern designs, and the Arctic and Antarctic will reference Blancpain icons. The watches will be housed in five new Bioceramic colourways inspired by a nudibranch native to each ocean. Nudibranchs are sea slugs that are everywhere; in fact, Singapore has some of the most interesting nudibranchs in the world. They are shell-less molluscs with exposed gills that come in all shapes, forms, and colours.  

The Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain from 1953, the first modern diving watch in the world.
The Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain from 1953, the first modern diving watch in the world.

It (sort of) looks like a Fifty Fathoms.  

The case shape outlined in the ad might be a Fifty Fathoms, and given it’s the 70th anniversary of the collection, it makes sense that this would be the watch Blancpain wishes to highlight this year. In fact, Act III of the Fifty Fathoms anniversary model is due to be launched later this month, so it’s quite the perfect timing to introduce this watch. (Check out Acts I and II on the website.) 

The MoonSwatch is a quartz chronograph, inspired by the original Moonwatch from Omega.
The MoonSwatch is a quartz chronograph inspired by the original Moonwatch from Omega.

It’s a mechanical watch (we hope).  

The MoonSwatch was a quartz-based chronograph in order to ensure affordability and attract the attention of many potential buyers, but given that the performance of the quartz chronograph was at times questionable for some buyers, we’re hoping Blancpain x Swatch will be a mechanical partnership. Blancpain has a significant history in that it’s never made a quartz watch, even during the heights of the ’70s crisis, and Marc Hayek attested to that as much. So, in all likelihood, this will be a Sistem51 model or a standard Swatch mechanical. Since the Fifty Fathoms is a dive watch, it really just needs to tell the time and have strong legibility.  

This yellow box will be showcased at Swatch boutiques that will carry the Blancpain x Swatch collab models.
This yellow box will be showcased at Swatch boutiques that will carry the Blancpain x Swatch collab models.

It’s launching on 9 September 2023 at select Swatch boutiques.  

The five watches are designed by Gregory Kissling, the VP of Product at Omega who also oversaw the development of the MoonSwatch. We're sure the Blancpain x Swatch models will be just as exciting. They will be available for in-store retail; boutiques will feature the yellow holding box in their windows from today onwards. Swatch has confirmed that The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands will be a sales point for Blancpain x Swatch; we’re guessing ION Orchard will also be another. While Blancpain boutiques are also featuring the yellow box, they will not be retailing the watches.  

In all likelihood, this will again be a non-limited launch, so we’ll advise patience for those who don’t have a FOMO issue and can wait to buy the watch. More updates will be coming; stay tuned.  

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.