Sydney CBD shoppers queue for 15 hours to buy Swatch X Blancpain Fifty Fathoms watch
Dedicated watch fans waited in line upwards of 15 hours in Sydney’s CBD to get their hands on an exclusive release by two of the world’s leading watch manufacturers.
Swatch released its collaboration with Blancpain on Saturday for the 70th anniversary of the heritage watchmaker’s famous Fifty Fathoms scuba-diving watch.
The Swiss manufacture designed five Fifty Fathoms watches after the five oceans and gave each ocean a corresponding nudibranch.
Nudibranchs are colourful sea slugs found across the world so each watch features artwork of a nudibranch native to its waters.
Each watch cost A$630 and was only available in select stores.
Dedicated watch fans were seen camping overnight (above) to buy the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection released on Saturday morning
One of those chosen stores was the Swatch storefront in Sydney’s CBD.
Photos and videos circulating on social media showed eager customers began camping outside the store on Friday night ahead of the launch at 9am on Saturday.
One photo posted on Facebook showed dozens of Swatch and Blancpain fans settling in for a cold Friday night in Pitt St mall.
‘No mucking around in Sydney, queues formed just after 6pm,’ the caption read.
The watches were also available in select stores in Brisbane and Melbourne.
The queues fascinated Sydneysiders on Reddit and Twitter with many amazed customers were willing to wait more than 15 hours in the middle of a cold snap.
One Redditor wrote: ‘Man, I get excited for some stuff coming out but never wait-in-a-line-on-the-first-day excited’.
‘Between JD, Swatch and even that BTS store, every commute to work for me now seems to include walking past lines and lines of resellers and hypebeasts,’
The collaboration between the two Swiss watchmakers features five watches (above) designed after the five oceans of the world
Each Fifty Fathoms watch features artwork of a sea slug native to the watch’s assigned ocean (pictured, the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection)
Swatch said the new Fifty Fathoms watch ‘honors the first true diver’s watch’.
‘Created 70 years ago by a passionate scuba diver, it revolutionised watchmaking by becoming the first timepiece that successfully met all the needs of underwater exploration,’ its website reads.
‘The five mechanical watches in the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection faithfully reproduce all the hallmarks of this Swiss watchmaking icon while referencing our own diving watch line, the SCUBA.
‘Drawing inspiration from the deep seas, each model celebrates one of the five oceans and the magnificent, colourful animals known as nudibranchs, that dwell in 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 were lined up (above) for more than 15 hours from Friday night to when the Swatch store opened at 9am on Saturday
Police were called to a Sydney Westfield in an effort to control crowds at the highly-anticipated launch.
Thousands of customers were seen rushing to stores in Sydney and Melbourne for a chance to buy the limited-edition MoonSwatch.
Melbourne journalist Luke Dennehy tweeted of the launch: ‘The Swatch shop probably holds five customers at the most. Will be an interesting day.’