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How the Secret ‘Project Galileo’ Gave Rise to the MoonSwatch

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IN APRIL, THE president of the Swiss Confederation (and de facto head of state), Ignazio Cassis, visited Japan to hold talks with the country’s prime minister, Kishida Fumio. As is customary, gifts were to be exchanged, and Cassis’ office requested an example of what had just become the hottest Swiss watch to launch in years, if not decades: the MoonSwatch, a $260 Swatch-produced version of Omega’s Speedmaster Moonwatch, the chronograph famous for being worn by NASA astronauts on the moon. 

The Swiss president, however, was out of luck. “We were pleased, but we told them, the only way that he can get the watch is if he sends someone from his office queueing and hoping that at the Swatch shop in Bern they can find it,” says Nick Hayek Jr., chief executive of Swatch Group, the world’s largest watch producer, which owns both the Swatch and Omega brands. 

Hayek, a 67-year-old billionaire who drives himself to work in a Mini and has a pirate’s flag flying outside his office, prides himself on the fact that privileged access—a feature of the luxury watch world—is entirely absent with the MoonSwatch despite the intense demand. “It doesn’t help if you have deep pockets. The Patek Philippe and Rolex client, the Breguet client, the Richard Mille client, they all rang. They all want one. But even if you give us $10,000, it makes no difference. You have to wait, you have to buy it in the store. That’s the game changer.”

But finding the MoonSwatch at any Swatch shop anywhere has been a question of luck, timing, and sheer endurance since its launch on March 26 to scenes of pandemonium around the globe. 

News had been dripped out gradually during the preceding week. On March 17, cryptic ads appeared in select newspapers with blank pages bearing the legend: “It’s time to change your Omega … Swatch” and “It’s time to change your Swatch … Omega.” Social media feeds hinted at something with a planetary theme before the timepieces were announced on March 24: eleven Swatch watches faithfully resembling the iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch, but battery-powered, in bright colors, and made from Swatch’s ecoplastic alternative, Bioceramic. 

The colorways were inspired by planets in the solar system: there was the Mission to the Sun in bright yellow, the Mission to Neptune in deep blue, the Mission to Jupiter in beige and orange, and of course the black Mission to the Moon, closely resembling the Omega original. 

5x5 tiled grid of OMEGA MoonSwatch watches in different colors

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As a mash-up of high and low, luxury and affordable, legendary and novelty, the MoonSwatch follows the blueprint of ultra-hyped, worlds-collide collaborations that have become a staple of the fashion world: Gucci x Adidas, Tiffany x Supreme, Balenciaga x Barbie. In fact, it’s a model that Swatch itself pioneered: Its collaborations with artists, designers, brands, institutions, and more (including NASA itself last year) have been central to its identity—“joy of life, and positive provocation” as Hayek defines it—since the 1980s. But bringing this to the austere world of luxury watches, with a riff on one of the most collected, lionized, and theoretically untouchable models ever made, had little precedent. 

“These are two brands known worldwide, two brands with a clear message on the opposite side of the scale, and a total surprise for everyone,” says Hayek when I ask him why the MoonSwatch has caught on so. “It’s simple to understand for everybody, whatever background you have. It was straight to the heart of the people.”

The Dark Side of the MoonSwatch

Back of OMEGA MoonSwatch that features green paint and picture of Earth

Once news of the product was out, along with the message that distribution would be limited to just 110 physical Swatch boutiques worldwide, the hype train took over. At Oxford Street in London, the queueing began soon after the announcement on March 24, even though the watches would not be on sale for two more days. Around the world tents were pitched, lines formed, and crowds grew. 

On sale day, store managers found themselves facing throngs of thousands, many of them “scalpers”—seasoned resellers who ply their trade in the worlds of sneaker culture, street fashion, and PlayStations, intent on charging high markups. Swatch’s original plan to allow buyers two watches each had by then been reduced to one each, hardly helping a mood that had reportedly changed, in several cases, from camaraderie to restlessness and agitation. It hasn’t changed much since.

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At 9 am on March 26, stores opened. London’s Carnaby Street location lasted half an hour before police were called, and all three London shops were forced to shut. In New York, scuffles broke out amid rumors of a stabbing in the line. A Swatch shop in Singapore was forced to shut for 10 days in a bid to let the mayhem play itself out first. 

Customers congregate at the doors to the closed Swatch store on Carnaby Street in central London

At locations around the world, police were needed to assist staff as the vast majority of punters left empty-handed: most of the shops had fewer than 200 watches available. Deals were done within queues as scalpers flipped watches for profit to those waiting outside. Within minutes of the first sales, MoonSwatches were hitting eBay and other platforms, attracting bids into the thousands.

“We informed everybody: It’s not limited; don’t buy on the internet from flippers; you will be able at some point in time to get your MoonSwatch,” says Nick Hayek when we meet at Swatch Group’s HQ in Biel, Switzerland, a couple of months after the launch. He rejects the idea that Swatch could have been better prepared. “We knew for sure this would be a success, because the product is beautiful, provocative, high quality, and the price is fantastic, and we kept it a secret. But what happened … I think nobody in the world could have expected that. It was really crazy.”

The crowds may have dispersed, but the MoonSwatch’s continuing lack of availability, with restocks selling out in moments and Swatch declining to make them available online, has led to widespread consternation. Some of the comments on Swatch’s Instagram posts, not to mention across Reddit, Discord, and Facebook, do not make pretty reading. 

Except, that is, from those who happen to have gotten hold of a MoonSwatch. What could have been construed as a downmarket desecration of a legendary timepiece has received near universal enthusiasm: It’s imaginative, fun, expressive, and reaches across cultural divides.

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“It’s very daring and very positive,” says James Marks, head of Phillips Perpetual, the contemporary watch division of the Phillips auction house. “It’s captivating the next generation of collector with a play on something that’s otherwise inaccessible to them. You now have all these people globally who have this bright watch on their wrist that has history, intrigue, the connection to space.”

“I’d love to get one,” Marks adds, “but I haven’t even handled one.”

Closeup of OMEGA MoonSwatch face dial and crown

The targeting of this next generation is perhaps the most enterprising part of the MoonSwatch launch. Luxury watch buyers are not young: A recent study of 8,000 people by an insurance firm in the UK found the average age of the Rolex owner in the country to be 68. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch now outsells the entire combined Swiss watch industry, taking its biggest chunks out of the market for battery-powered watches, where Swatch operates. What better way to expose a completely new, younger audience to Omega than through such an affordable collaboration? And it seems to be working. Hayek says that since the arrival of the MoonSwatch, Omega stores are seeing a spike in sales and footfall.

According to Derek Morrison, general manager EMEA for StockX, an online marketplace for collectible sneakers and streetwear, the MoonSwatch has had huge cut-through with the platform’s Gen Z audience. The site reported more than 2,000 MoonSwatch trades in less than a week after launch and had seen over 11,000 trades by June. 

“It’s the best-selling watch release in StockX history, and it’s had the highest premium of any item released this year,” Morrison says. “There’s a lot of foresight, from a branding point of view. If this is a discovery point for Omega, it compares with what Virgil Abloh [the late fashion designer and Off-White entrepreneur] did so well: using an approachable medium to shine a light on things that have been reserved for the elite, and inspiring them to learn more about them.”

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More simply, Swatch will obviously benefit financially from MoonSwatch, which will give the brand a welcome revenue boost. In the early 1990s, Swatch sold 20 million watches a year. But sales in 2021 are down to 3.2 million. Morgan Stanley estimates Swatch could sell up to 500,000 MoonSwatches this year alone, providing revenue of $128 million. If the MoonSwatch’s estimated gross margin is indeed approaching 90 percent ($115 million), it would restore the brand’s fortunes. And keep in mind MoonSwatch has not yet been launched in China. Once it is, total annual sales could hit one million units.

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How Do I Know If My Local Harley Davidson Dealer Is Trustworthy?

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How Do I Know If My Local Harley Davidson Dealer Is Trustworthy?

When purchasing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, finding a trustworthy dealer is essential to ensure a positive buying experience. A reliable dealer will offer high-quality bikes, transparent transactions, and excellent customer service. But how can you determine if your local Harley Davidson dealer is trustworthy? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Research and Reviews

One of the first steps in evaluating the trustworthiness of your local Harley Davidson dealer is conducting thorough research and reading reviews.

Online Reviews and Ratings

Check online reviews and ratings on platforms like Google, Yelp, and motorcycle forums. Reviews from other customers can provide valuable insights into the dealer’s reputation.

  • Google Reviews: Look for detailed customer reviews and ratings.
  • Yelp: Read through customer experiences to identify any recurring issues or praise.
  • Motorcycle Forums: Engage with fellow riders and ask for their opinions on the dealer.

Word of Mouth

Personal recommendations can be incredibly valuable. Ask friends, family, and fellow riders about their experiences with the local Harley Davidson dealer.

  • Friends and Family: Seek recommendations from people you trust.
  • Riding Groups: Join local riding groups or clubs and ask for their feedback on the dealer.

Evaluate the Dealership’s Reputation

A trustworthy local Harley Davidson dealer will have a solid reputation within the community and the motorcycle industry.

Longevity and Stability

Consider how long the dealership has been in business. A well-established dealer with years of experience is more likely to be reliable and trustworthy.

  • Years in Business: Longer-established dealerships often have a proven track record.
  • Stability: A stable dealership is less likely to engage in unethical practices.

Industry Recognition

Check if the dealership has received any awards or recognition from Harley-Davidson or other industry organizations. Such accolades can indicate a high level of service and professionalism.

  • Awards and Certifications: Look for any industry awards or certifications.
  • Dealer Recognition: Harley-Davidson may recognize top-performing dealers with special accolades.

Assess Customer Service

Excellent customer service is a hallmark of a trustworthy dealer. Pay attention to how the dealership treats you during your interactions.

Professionalism and Courtesy

Evaluate the professionalism and courtesy of the dealership’s staff. They should be knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to answer your questions.

  • Knowledgeable Staff: Staff should be well-informed about the bikes and services they offer.
  • Respectful Interaction: Professional and courteous interactions are key indicators of good customer service.

Transparency

A trustworthy dealer will be transparent in their dealings. This includes providing clear and accurate information about pricing, financing options, and the condition of used bikes.

  • Clear Pricing: Prices should be transparent, with no hidden fees.
  • Accurate Information: Information about the motorcycles should be honest and accurate.

After-Sales Support

Consider the level of after-sales support the dealership offers. Reliable dealers provide ongoing support, including maintenance and repair services.

  • Service Department: A well-equipped service department with skilled technicians is a positive sign.
  • Warranty and Support: Ask about warranty options and after-sales support.

Inspect the Dealership’s Facilities

The physical condition of the dealership can also provide clues about its trustworthiness.

Cleanliness and Organization

A clean and well-organized dealership reflects the professionalism and attention to detail of the dealer.

  • Showroom Condition: The showroom should be clean, well-lit, and organized.
  • Service Area: The service area should be tidy and well-maintained.

Inventory Quality

Inspect the inventory of new and used motorcycles. Quality bikes that are well-presented indicate a dealership that cares about its products and customers.

  • Bike Condition: Both new and used bikes should be in good condition and properly maintained.
  • Variety: A wide range of models and options shows the dealer’s commitment to meeting customer needs.

Verify Licensing and Accreditation

Ensure that the dealership is properly licensed and accredited. This provides legal protections and confirms the dealer’s legitimacy.

Licensing

Check that the dealer holds the necessary licenses to operate. This information is often displayed in the dealership or available upon request.

  • Business License: Verify that the dealer has a valid business license.
  • Sales License: Confirm that the dealership is authorized to sell Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Accreditation

Accreditation from industry organizations can indicate a higher level of professionalism and adherence to best practices.

  • BBB Accreditation: Check if the dealership is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and review their rating.
  • Industry Memberships: Membership in industry organizations can be a positive sign.

Conclusion

Determining if your local Harley Davidson dealer is trustworthy involves research, evaluating customer service, inspecting the dealership’s facilities, and verifying licensing and accreditation. By reading reviews, seeking recommendations, assessing professionalism, and ensuring transparency, you can find a dealer that meets your needs and provides a positive buying experience. A trustworthy dealer will offer quality motorcycles, excellent customer service, and ongoing support, ensuring you enjoy your Harley-Davidson purchase to the fullest.

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Unveiling the Best in Review Ter: A Comprehensive Exploration

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Unveiling the Best in Review Ter: A Comprehensive Exploration

Explore the world of review ter with our detailed guide. Learn about the nuances, benefits, and FAQs related to this intriguing subject. Discover everything you need to know for an informed perspective.

Introduction:

Delving into the intricacies of review ter unveils a fascinating realm filled with insights and opportunities. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate through various aspects, shedding light on the significance, applications, and common queries associated with review ter.

Review Ter Demystified

Understanding Review Ter

Embark on a journey to comprehend the essence of review ter. This section will unravel the core concepts, providing a foundation for your exploration. Review ter, often underestimated, plays a pivotal role in various domains, influencing decisions and shaping perspectives.

The Dynamics of Review Ter

Explore the dynamics that make review ter a critical component in today’s landscape. From its impact on user experiences to its role in shaping online narratives, grasp the multifaceted nature of review ter.

Why Review Ter Matters

Dive deep into the significance of review ter. Understand why businesses, individuals, and communities value the input and opinions encapsulated in reviews. Uncover the ways in which review ter contributes to credibility and trust.

Navigating the Review Ter Landscape

Types of Review Ter

Discover the diverse categories within the review ter domain. From product reviews to service evaluations, this section sheds light on the various types, helping you discern the nuances and specificities of each.

Positive Review Ter

Explore the positive side of review ter. Understand how positive reviews can be a driving force for businesses and individuals alike. Learn the art of cultivating and leveraging positive feedback for optimal results.

Dealing with Negative Review Ter

Navigate through the challenges presented by negative reviews. Gain insights into effective strategies for handling criticism, turning negative feedback into an opportunity for improvement.

Review Ter: Real-life Experiences

Personal Encounters with Review Ter

Embark on a journey through real-life experiences involving review ter. This section shares anecdotes and insights, offering a glimpse into the impact review ter can have on individuals and businesses.

Success Stories through Review Ter

Uncover success stories shaped by positive reviews. From small enterprises to industry giants, witness how review ter has been a catalyst for growth and success.

Overcoming Challenges with Review Ter

Navigate through challenges recounted by individuals who faced negative reviews. Learn valuable lessons on resilience, adaptability, and the transformative power of constructive criticism.

Addressing Common Questions

FAQs about Review Ter

How to Encourage Positive Reviews?

Discover effective strategies to encourage positive reviews organically. From excellent customer service to engaging online presence, explore actionable steps for cultivating a positive review environment.

Can Negative Reviews be Turned Around?

Gain insights into the art of turning negative reviews into opportunities. Learn from real-life examples where businesses successfully addressed negative feedback, showcasing resilience and commitment to improvement.

The Impact of Reviews on Consumer Decisions

Explore the profound influence reviews wield on consumer decisions. Understand the psychology behind decision-making and how reviews play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions and choices.

Effective Platforms for Review Ter

Navigate through the diverse platforms available for review ter. From dedicated review websites to social media platforms, discover where and how reviews can make a significant impact.

Legal Implications of Review Ter

Unravel the legal considerations associated with review ter. Gain an understanding of the boundaries, responsibilities, and potential repercussions related to posting reviews online.

Strategies for Businesses in Managing Reviews

Delve into effective strategies for businesses in managing and leveraging reviews. From cultivating a positive online presence to addressing negative feedback, learn the art of strategic review management.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, review ter is a powerful force that shapes perceptions, influences decisions, and drives growth. Embracing the positive aspects while effectively managing challenges can lead to a transformative journey for individuals and businesses alike.

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Melenchon: Navigating the French Political Landscape

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Melenchon: Navigating the French Political Landscape

Jean-Luc Melenchon, a prominent figure in French politics, has long captured the attention of both supporters and critics. From his early political endeavors to his impactful policy positions, Melenchon’s journey is a fascinating exploration of political ideologies and public perception.

Early Life and Political Beginnings Melenchon

Born in Tangerang, Indonesia, Melenchon’s early life was marked by diverse cultural influences. His entry into politics occurred during his college years, where he became actively involved in student movements. This early engagement laid the foundation for his subsequent political career.

Political Ideology

Melenchon’s political ideology is a blend of socialism, left-wing populism, and environmentalism. Over the years, he has evolved his stance on key issues, adapting to the changing dynamics of French and global politics.

Key Policy Positions

At the core of Melenchon’s political identity are his key policy positions. Advocating for social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic reforms, he has positioned himself as a champion for the working class.

Popularity and Support

Melenchon’s popularity among voters, especially the youth demographic, has been noteworthy. His charismatic speeches and commitment to progressive ideals have garnered a substantial support base.

Challenges and Controversies

However, Melenchon has not been immune to challenges and controversies. From policy disagreements within his own party to public clashes with opponents, his political journey has been marked by tumultuous moments.

Impact on French Politics

Melenchon’s influence on French politics cannot be understated. Whether through alliances with other parties or his solo endeavors, he has played a pivotal role in shaping political discourse.

International Relations

On the global stage, Melenchon has taken a stand on various international issues, advocating for diplomatic solutions and promoting cooperation among nations.

Media Presence

Utilizing social media and traditional platforms, Melenchon has effectively communicated his message to a broad audience. His media strategy has been a key component of his political success.

Election Campaigns

Active participation in election campaigns has been a defining aspect of Melenchon’s career. While some campaigns resulted in significant electoral gains, others presented challenges that tested his resilience.

Public Persona

Melenchon’s public image is a complex interplay of admiration and criticism. His passionate demeanor and unapologetic approach have made him a polarizing figure in French politics.

Achievements and Failures

Among Melenchon’s notable achievements is his role in shaping progressive policies. However, like any political figure, he has faced setbacks and failures, providing insights into the complexities of governance.

Future Prospects

As Melenchon continues his political journey, speculation about his future prospects abounds. The direction he takes and the impact on French politics remain subjects of keen interest.

Critics’ Perspectives

Critics have raised concerns about Melenchon’s policies, labeling them as impractical or economically unsound. How he responds to these critiques may influence his standing in the political arena.

Melenchon: Shaping the Political Landscape

Explore the life, career, and impact of Melenchon, a key figure in contemporary politics. Uncover the ideologies, controversies, and global influence, offering a comprehensive understanding of this influential personality.

Introduction

Melenchon, a prominent name in modern politics, embodies the essence of left-wing ideologies and social justice advocacy. This article delves deep into the life, career, and impact of Melenchon, shedding light on key milestones, controversies, and the enduring legacy that shapes political landscapes.

Melenchon’s Early Life

Born into a modest background, Melenchon’s childhood laid the foundation for his future in politics. His educational journey further fueled his passion for societal change, setting the stage for a remarkable political career.

Political Career

From the early days of entering politics to achieving significant milestones, Melenchon’s journey has been marked by a commitment to progressive ideals. This section explores the pivotal moments that define his political career.

Ideological Stand

At the core of Melenchon’s political identity lies a dedication to left-wing politics and the relentless pursuit of social justice. Understanding his ideological stand is crucial to grasping the motivations behind his policy decisions.

Melenchon’s Impact

The influence of Melenchon extends beyond political spheres, resonating with a diverse audience. This section explores the charismatic leader’s impact on public opinion, analyzing the factors that contribute to his popularity.

Key Policy Positions

Melenchon’s policy framework covers a spectrum of issues, including economic, social, and foreign policies. Gain insights into his stances on critical matters that shape his political agenda.

Controversies

No political figure is without controversy. This section delves into the criticisms faced by Melenchon, offering a nuanced perspective on how he navigates and responds to challenges.

Melenchon’s Vision

Peering into the future, Melenchon’s vision for the country unfolds. Discover his aspirations and plans for bringing about positive change, both domestically and globally.

Public Persona

Examining Melenchon’s communication style and public image provides a holistic view of the leader. Understanding how he connects with the public is essential to appreciating his political prowess.

Electoral Campaigns

Strategies and tactics employed during electoral campaigns play a pivotal role in Melenchon’s political narrative. Uncover the behind-the-scenes efforts that contribute to his success at the polls.

Melenchon’s Global Influence

Beyond national borders, Melenchon’s influence is felt in international relations. Explore his impact on the global stage and the diplomatic relationships he forges.

Personal Insights

Get a glimpse into the personal side of Melenchon through interviews and personal statements. Understanding the person behind the politician adds depth to the narrative.

Melenchon and Media

Media coverage shapes public perception. Analyze how Melenchon is portrayed in the media and the implications of this coverage on his political career.

Achievements and Awards

Recognition and honors bestowed upon Melenchon highlight his contributions to politics. This section compiles the notable achievements that mark his distinguished career.

Melenchon’s Legacy

Assessing the enduring impact of Melenchon on politics provides valuable insights into his legacy. Explore how his contributions continue to shape the political landscape.

Support Base

Understanding the demographics of Melenchon’s supporters and grassroots movements provides a comprehensive view of his political influence.

Opposition and Challenges

Political adversaries and challenges are inherent in any political journey. Examine how Melenchon navigates opposition and overcomes challenges to pursue his political agenda.

Lessons from Melenchon

Leadership lessons and political insights derived from Melenchon’s experiences offer valuable takeaways for aspiring politicians and engaged citizens alike.

Melenchon’s Writings

Beyond politics, Melenchon’s literary contributions add another dimension to his multifaceted persona. Explore his published works and their impact on societal discourse.

Future Outlook

Speculations on Melenchon’s future endeavors and his lasting legacy in the years to come provide a concluding perspective on the influential political figure.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Jean-Luc Melenchon’s impact on French politics is a multifaceted tale of political conviction, challenges, and public perception. As he navigates the complex landscape of French governance, his journey continues to shape the nation’s political discourse.

FAQs

  1. Is Melenchon a member of a specific political party?
    • Yes, Melenchon is associated with La France Insoumise, a left-wing political movement.
  2. What are Melenchon’s views on environmental issues?
    • Melenchon is a strong advocate for environmental sustainability and has proposed policies to address climate change.
  3. Has Melenchon ever held a ministerial position in the French government?
    • No, Melenchon has not held a ministerial position in the French government.
  4. How has Melenchon utilized social media in his political campaigns?
    • Melenchon has leveraged social media platforms to connect with voters directly, sharing his message and engaging in online discussions.
  5. What is the significance of Melenchon’s impact on the youth demographic in French politics?
    • Melenchon’s appeal to the youth demographic highlights a growing interest in progressive and socially conscious political ideologies among younger voters.

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