After a cryptic Instagram teaser followed by two days of anticipation, the new MoonSwatch has arrived — and it’s not at all what we thought. Swatch teased us with the name “Mission to Moonshine Gold” and so we speculated and predicted our little precious metal-loving hearts out. Turns out the real thing is less a new variation, and more a riff on the original.

What we have is effectively a MoonSwatch Mission to the Moon with a golden twist by way of the chronograph seconds hand which, as you can see, is a different color than the other hands. This is due to a coating of Omega Moonshine gold made of recycled gold coming from the Swatch Group’s own certified refinery.

Each golden seconds hand was produced under a full moon in the month of February and comes with a special certificate stating that fact upon purchase. The Moonshine coating affects the price of the new MoonSwatch, but only by CHF 25 (about $25 as well).

Now you might remember (since it is very much still the case) that the original MoonSwatch cannot be purchased online. Well, that’s very much the same case here…and it doesn’t end there. This new Mission to Moonshine Gold will only be available to purchase today, Mar 7, 2023, in London, Milan, Tokyo, and Zurich. Why those cities? Well, Swatch indicates that this is due to their association with gold.

For example, London was chosen because it is the location in which the price of gold is fixed on a global level. On the other hand, the Paradeplatz in Switzerland is known for its banks and gold reserves. I cannot make this stuff up.

These watches are not technically limited editions, but they are limited in production in the sense that they are only available today. Will there be more? Swatch indicates that they will likely hold another event like this in the future – possibly under another full Moon (I’m not kidding, this is real information).

When it comes to how many of these initial MoonSwatch Mission to Moonshine Gold models were produced, Swatch at least had a sense of humor in the press materials when it conveyed: not enough.

Well, I really didn’t think we were getting a solid gold MoonSwatch. I had a hunch this would involve a coating of some sort, but I at least hoped we would get a golden-hued Bioceramic case, or at least an homage to a MoonShine gold Omega Speedmaster.

Instead, what we have is a global event on a smaller scale than the pandemonium that was the original MoonSwatch launch. And what’s for sale is a limited (production-wise) special edition Mission to the Moon with Moonshine gold-coated hand. When you spell it out like that, it sort of loses its luster a bit. But I’m the kind of person that likes to read between the lines.

This feels like a teaser to me. In fact, Swatch put a note in its announcement for this watch to stay tuned – maybe even next month. Whether that means that Swatch and Omega are waiting for the next full moon to coat new seconds hands-on special Missions to the Moon models in new cities remains to be seen.

I find this interesting because many folks reading this story won’t be able to purchase these watches purely by virtue of the fact that they don’t live in or near London, Milan, Tokyo, or Zurich. I know I don’t. Does this hyper-limited part of the release mean that we will see crowds equal to last year’s madness in those select cities? That remains to be seen (and we’ll be here to let you know if it happens).

For now, I can just tell you what you can expect to get if you do queue up for this new MoonSwatch today, and today only. It’s the same Mission to the Moon that you know, grey Bioceramic case and all – but with that shiny Moonshine Gold (an 18k yellow gold alloy with a paler hue than traditional gold) chrono hand sparkling back at you at a premium of about 25 bucks.

If you’re heading out to pick one of these up today, I wish you the best of luck. But more importantly, send pictures! I’d love to see wrist shots of the Mission to Moonshine Gold flood my inbox today. And stick with us, as we’ll be keeping our eye on the scene in these select cities today.