Shoppers in Sydney CBD queue for 15 hours to buy Swatch X Blancpain Fifty Fathoms watch
Watch enthusiasts have queued for more than 15 hours in Sydney’s CBD to get their hands on an exclusive release from two of the world’s biggest watch makers.
Swatch unveiled its collaboration with Blancpain on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the heritage watchmaker’s famous Fifty Fathoms dive watch.
The Swiss manufacturer has designed five Fifty Fathoms watches based on the five oceans and assigned a corresponding nudibranch to each ocean.
Nudibranchs are colorful sea slugs found all over the world, which is why each watch features an illustration of a nudibranch native to its waters.
Each watch cost 630 AUD and was only available in select stores.
Dedicated watch fans were seen camping out overnight (above) to purchase the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection launching on Saturday morning.
One of those chosen stores was the Swatch storefront in the Sydney CBD.
Photos and videos circulating on social media showed excited customers began camping outside the store on Friday evening ahead of the 9 a.m. launch on Saturday.
A photo posted to Facebook showed dozens of Swatch and Blancpain fans settling in for a cold Friday evening in the Pitt St shopping centre.
“No jokes in Sydney, queues formed just after 6 p.m.,” read the caption.
The watches were also available in select stores in Brisbane and Melbourne.
The queues have fascinated Sydneysiders on Reddit and Twitter, with many surprised customers prepared to wait more than 15 hours amid a cold snap.
One Reddit user wrote, “Man, I get excited for some things to come out, but I never get excited for the lines on the first day.”
“Between JD, Swatch and even this BTS store, every trip to work now seems to include walking past lines and lines of resellers and hypebeasts,”
The collaboration between the two Swiss watchmakers involves five watches (above) designed after the world’s five oceans.
Each Fifty Fathoms watch features an illustration of a sea slug native to the ocean assigned to the watch (pictured, the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection)
Swatch said the new Fifty Fathoms watch “honors the first true dive watch.”
“Created 70 years ago by a passionate diver, it revolutionized watchmaking by becoming the first timepiece to successfully meet all the needs of underwater exploration,” we can read on its website.
“The five mechanical watches in the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection faithfully reproduce all the characteristics of this icon of Swiss watchmaking while referencing our own line of diving watches, the SCUBA.
“Taking inspiration from the deep sea, each design celebrates one of the five oceans and the magnificent, colorful animals called nudibranchs, which inhabit their depths.”
Sales of the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection were limited to one watch per person.
A previous collaboration between Swatch and Omega drew similarly large crowds in March 2022.
Some customers waited in line (above) for more than 15 hours between Friday evening and the Swatch store opening at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Police were called to a Sydney Westfield to try to control crowds at the highly anticipated launch.
Thousands of customers flocked to stores in Sydney and Melbourne for the chance to purchase the limited edition MoonSwatch.
Melbourne journalist Luke Dennehy tweeted about the launch: “The Swatch store probably has five customers at most. It will be an interesting day.