About a year after the MoonSwatch blew up the internet, with everyone wondering what could possibly follow it, the next chapter finally arrived. A social media teaser campaign revealing only the new MoonSwatch's name, Mission to Moonshine Gold, whipped up wild speculation, but the end result is, it's safe to say, not what anyone guessed. You got us pretty good, Swatch.
Now, a month after its release in only three cities, it's coming to a total of 14 locations around the world on April 6th only.
MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold availability: when and where can I get one?
On Thursday, April 6th, the MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine Gold will be available at 14 Swatch locations worldwide — and only on that day, pop-up style. The Times Square boutique in New York City is the only US destination (some Americans might find it easier to travel to Toronto) and you can find all locations and times it'll be available below.
It's not been disclosed how many will be available at each location, but it's certain they'll sell out right away. If you're not trying to get one, it's advisable to avoid Times Square on rush hour that day (and on most days).
In typically playful Swatch marketing form, the brand's Instagram post promised that it'd be available in other locations during the next full moon. And that's exactly what it's done: Thursday is the next full moon. (Turns out tracking moon phases might be more useful than you thought.)
Availability (or lack thereof) was a big part of the original MoonSwatch's story and the hype that surrounded it. This time it's going to be even harder to get — far harder to get: the MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold was only available in four boutiques around the world initially, and the latest exercise in hype doesn't do much to democratize it.
When it was released on March 7, 20223, the MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold was available only at boutiques in Tokyo, Zurich, Milan and London. Swatch also explicitly stated that "it is not limited and will not be available online" — and that it's not replacing the existing Mission to the Moon.
It's got a Moonshine Gold seconds hand
Yup, that's what was behind all the hype and prognosticating. Otherwise, it's exactly like the Mission to the Moon, which is the MoonSwatch's closest approximation to the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. We guessed that calling the model Moonshine Gold might mean mixing the proprietary gold alloy into Bioceramic, but instead we have the same gray Bioceramic case paired to the familiar, monochromatic dial.
Weirdly, Swatch states that the Moonshine Gold seconds hands were "produced exclusively during the full moon of February," and the new watches will come with a special certificate testifying to it. The significance of that and whether it imbues them with some special power is up to your own interpretation.
It costs $285
Or the equivalent in your local currency: the (retail) price is only nominally more than the existing MoonSwatch models. The exclusivity factor and that little bit of actual 18k gold on the dial would seem to give it a higher value — of +$25. Just like the original MoonSwatch, however, it's full of irony and the secondhand (fill in your own puns here) market will be a different story from the retail price. The description of one UK Ebay seller's listing aiming to hawk it for over $1,800 at launch read "confirmed place in queue."
What is Moonshine Gold, anyway?
You might be wondering how Moonshine Gold is different than regular gold. Watch brands often create their own alloys to make their gold watches even more special. According to the brand, the alloy has "a distinctive paler hue than traditional 18K yellow gold," and it's promised to keep its luster and color longer, too. You'll have to look closely at that seconds hand to appreciate all that.
Moonshine Gold was announced in 2019 when Omega released a tribute to the first-ever gold Speedmaster on its 50th anniversary. Solid gold Speedmasters were presented to the Apollo 11 astronauts (and Richard Nixon) in 1969, following their mission, and they've been legendary to collectors ever since.
Just as the MoonSwatch boosted sales and awareness of the Omega Speedmaster, perhaps Swatch Group is hoping to similarly give its Moonshine Gold a little more spotlight with this release.
How are people reacting to the MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold?
While plenty of frustration surfaced online about the original MoonSwatch's availability issues, the hype has still got some legs. Lines outside the few stores where you can get a Moonshine Gold MoonSwatch are inevitable.
Clearly, Swatch is going for as much hype as possible, and its teaser campaign really got everyone's attention. With many people expecting anything from a solid gold MoonSwatch (which would be ridiculous) to at least a new model, there's some disappointment with an existing model that's merely been tweaked. It's the kind of thing that happens in the watch industry often (new dial color, new text color, etc.).
If you think about it, though, it could be a cool way for MoonSwatch fans to get something even more special than one of the existing models. Those are still hard to get for some people, but their exclusivity factor is waning (as it were). This gives superfans a new opportunity to flex — if they can get one.
Also worth noting is the timing of the release. Just like last year, the new MoonSwatch is announced just ahead of the major watch industry trade show at the end of this month, Watches & Wonders Geneva. This time, rather than taking wind out of the show's sails, it perhaps helped draw attention to it.