Well, well, well. What a saga the MoonSwatch is turning out to be.
First, the Omega x Swatch collaboration was leaked ahead of its planned announcement. When it did, it damn near broke the internet, Kim Kardashian style. People around the world waited in lines at Swatch stores, and the things quickly sold out (though Swatch has promised that plenty more MoonSwatches are coming).
Now, lo and behold, there seems to be a slight issue with those first watches to hit the streets: as happy new owners began flexing on social media, some noticed that the cases were leaving stains on their wrists.
The problem is best documented on the dark blue "Mission to Neptune" model, but it's also been reported on other models with darker colors. Videos online show YouTubers testing the Neptune model with wet cotton swabs, with the pigment clearly turning the cotton blue.
It's been confirmed that the problem is coming from the case itself, which is made of Swatch's Bioceramic material, not the battery cover (which also features a colored image). Presumably this would mostly be a problem only with the Neptune and red Mission to Mars models — basically, the colors you wouldn't want to toss in with your whites if you were doing a load of laundry.
According to Bloomberg, Swatch has reassured customers that "The pigment is not hazardous to skin, non-toxic, so this effect is completely harmless for the wearer," and that it won't result in the watch case itself changing. The occurrence is "very, very rare," they added, and "we have reported this to the quality management of our production facilities that have already taken all necessary measures on this matter."
That's good to know, but not much consolation. Leaking dye is something associated with ultra cheap and fake products, and really a bad look for Swiss watchmakers. You wouldn't want that dye rubbing off onto your shirt sleeve, right?
And while a price of $260 might seem good for something with the Omega name on it, it's not nothin'. Swatch makes mostly fun and design-centric plastic watches, and you shouldn't expect amazing quality or much more than a toy Speedmaster for this price. This issue, however, points to a failure of quality control — one that likely would've been completely overlooked if the watches weren't hyped to high heaven as they were.
What Swatch is doing with ceramic technology is very cool and interesting, offering the normally luxury material of ceramic at much lower prices by mixing it with plastic. Color us intrigued by the possibilities, but there are obviously are still some bugs to be worked out.