Watch maker Swatch's online sentiments have skewed 17.8% negative after its Blancpain X Swatch watch dropped in Singapore with online chatter leaning mostly negative in tandem, according to media intelligence firm CARMA.
The Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection consists of five mechanical watches that are a collaboration between Blancpain and Swatch. They are an interpretation of Blancpain’s most iconic watch, the Fifty Fathoms and feature a fun take on the iconic dive watch.
News of the collaboration dropped on 7 September by the brands on social media and went on sale globally two days later.
So far, much of the social chatter that skewed negative revolved around Blancpain, with users commenting that they could not understand how budget watches and luxury ones partnered up together and noting that it was an unusual collaboration considering that not many are interested in Blancpain.
Netizens also shared their disdain for the make of the watch, with comments saying that it was "pointless" to pay so much for a "disposable watch".
Some of the negative conversations addressed the hype, noting that Singaporeans “have absolutely nothing else to do”.
A spokesperson from CARMA added that while conversations were largely negative, Swatch was still seeing an almost equal positive sentiment at 18.7%. Positive conversations surrounding the collaboration stemmed from the comfort of the strap and that it was a fun collaboration.
The muted reactions come as a surprise considering that last year, when Swatch and OMEGA announced the drop of its BIOCERAMIC MoonSwatch collection, consumers were extremely excited.
The launch of the watches saw consumers queuing in the wee hours of the morning not just in Singapore, but across markets such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and many others. The global frenzy prompted Swatch to release a statement on its website that the watches will be limited to one watch per person until further notice, reemphasising that this isn’t a limited edition collection and the watches will be available in select Swatch Stores for the coming weeks.
In Singapore, the police were also deployed as consumers started getting agitated and to ensure crowd control. This saw some members of the police force being shouted at by consumers too.
Singapore's minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam also addressed an unfortunate incident where a man was seen shouting at police officers after standing in queue. The minister asked for consumers to not “lose [their] minds over these situations [as] it's not life and death.”
He said, “We have to have a sense of perspective- there is a war going on, people are suffering in many places. […] Yes, it can be frustrating that time is wasted and he can’t immediately get what he wanted, but that is not going to be solved by shouting at the police.”
This time, the launch was met with more preparedness and orderly queues were reportedly seen at the Swatch boutiques at ION Orchard and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Security personnel also reportedly set up queue areas the night before the watch went on sale. While there were many people in the queues, the process was significantly calmer and more ordered.
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