Out of this world alternatives to the MoonSwatch!

Out of this world alternatives to the MoonSwatch!

5 min read
Richard Brown


Guides Reviews

Richard Brown


Guides Reviews

You admire the looks and story behind the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch but, like so many of us, you’re just not sure whether to buy one or not. It's probably a combination of reasons.

Perhaps you don’t like the feel of the bioceramic case or have build quality concerns? Perhaps you own an original Speedmaster Moonwatch and can see no good reason to buy, but still secretly love the colours and style? Or, like us, you may just be mildly baffled that the first special edition of this watch has been called Moonshine…Did no one in Omega research the difference between Moonbeam and Moonshine? Moving on...

Omega Swatch Moonswatch

The Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch - an acquired taste? Credit WatchGecko 

There as many reasons to not buy a MoonSwatch as there are to get one, so we pooled our ideas at WatchGecko Mission Control and came up with a few clever alternatives that give you the appearance of the MoonSwatch but perhaps deliver rather more robust products for your money.

Boldr Venture Rally II Wells 201 Chronograph Watch - £299

The Boldr Rally is inspired by Boldr’s brand ambassador & champion rally driver Daniel Wells. Rallying is one of the toughest motorsports, so it was natural for Boldr to design a watch inspired by this extreme activity.

Boldr Venture

Boldr Venture Rally II Wells - Credit WatchGecko 

The watch uses Boldr’s signature 38mm Venture titanium case, which keeps the watch light and easy to wear. Like all Boldr watches, the Rally has a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating to ensure superb scratch resistance and legibility. The Rally delivers 200m water resistance, so you can take it places that your car can’t go. The watch is powered by a Japanese Seiko VK64 meca-quartz chronograph movement which just adds to the accuracy, durability and reliability.

At just £299 this field chrono delivers in every department from build standard to quality of materials. It has a distinct similarity to the Moonshine with its gold chrono-hand but would be a far more reassuring choice for a holiday on the ISS.

FORZO G2 Drive King Chronograph LE Watch Light Blue - £449

The limited-edition FORZO G2 Drive King Limited Edition is a 40mm racing-style chronograph offering impeccable clarity thanks to its thick sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and generously applied Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 lume. The light blue dial features a multi-layer design with applied indices and tachymeter scale, a striking red seconds hand and recessed sub-dials to measure elapsed time.

Forzo King drive

Forzo G2 King Drive LE Light Blue - Credit WatchGecko 

The solid 316L stainless steel case has polished and brushed textures, benefitting from a signed screw-down crown and embossed screw-down caseback, giving this watch a water resistance of 100 meters / 330 feet.

Powering the watch is a reliable Seiko VK64 mech-quartz movement, providing you with the precision of a quartz movement with mechanical features like a sweeping seconds hand and an instant resetting chronograph function.

This a limited edition model and only 50 pieces are available. If you are a fan of the light blue MoonSwatches the Forzo is a viable alternative. A bit more expensive but expertly made to give a lifetime of accurate time reading. Also check out the Forzo Drive King in yellow!

Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph - £469 (Bulova UK)

If you want a first class alternative to the MoonSwatch that’s priced about the same, why not buy a genuine Moonwatch?

On moonwalk 2 of Apollo 15’s mission Commander Dave Scott noticed that his Omega Speedmaster was missing its crystal; a victim of the high and low temperatures on the Moon. Fortunately, Scott carried a backup watch which was a fascinating Bulova chronograph.

Bulova Lunar Pilot on ZULUDIVER LUNAR

Bulova Lunar Pilot - Credit WatchGecko

Every chronometer in the Apollo capsules was made by Bulova using their propriety Accutron mechanism which operated with a triple-pronged crystal fork vibrating at a much higher frequency than a normal quartz clock, thus giving unparalleled accuracy. Bulova was keen to get a wrist watch on the Moon and developed a non-commercial unique model for Dave Scott as his backup watch. On the failure of the Omega, Scott deployed the Bulova on EVA3. The watch performed perfectly, and there is clear photographic proof of it both on the surface of the Moon and after splashdown.

When the original watch was sold in 2016 for over $1 million we had our first good look at it. A simple beautiful design less cluttered than the Speedmaster, with larger push buttons for easy use with bulky space suit gloves. Thankfully Bulova released a near-perfect copy of it for sale in 2017.

The dial is superbly legible. Sub-dials are slightly sunken and the Bulova has a striking deep channel around the dial which lifts it and almost seems to mirror the Hadley Rille gorge next to Apollo 15s landing spot. The push buttons on both models are large, giving them a distinctly 1970s look and they are topped off with a substantial chunk of sapphire crystal and the ever-present tachymeter for rocket burn calculations.

The Bulova is a large watch at 45mm. It stands proud from the wrist so if you want a watch with presence and to make a statement then it does this certainly more so than the Speedmaster. Possibly the most interesting element is that Bulova have made a clever decision to equip the watch an ultra-modern 262kHz Precisionist high performance quartz movement which derives its operation from the original NASA chronometers. Bulova guarantee an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds a year with this movement. 

Alan Bean Apollo 12 with Omega Speedmaster

Our greatest adventure and the ultimate test area for a tool watch - Credit Wiki/Common/Unrestricted

By selecting the Bulova you can wear a watch which looks the same as Dave Scott’s Apollo 15 original but with a movement that replicates the clocks in the Apollo capsule; quite possibly a NASA fan’s perfect storm.

So there are alternatives to the MoonSwatch which provide a very similar look and deliver on technical capability. Of course any one of these brands would envy the stratospheric success of the MoonSwatch, and there will only ever be one bioceramic gem, but if you cast your net a bit more widely there is a universe of choice out there. 

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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