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Budget Omega Watch Lures Mobs of Shoppers, Buoys Swatch Stock

  • MoonSwatch sells at a fraction of Speedmaster’s $6,700 price
  • Watchmaker is trying to drum up new interest in its timepieces
People crowd outside the Swatch store on Carnaby Street, in London, on March 26.
People crowd outside the Swatch store on Carnaby Street, in London, on March 26.Photographer: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Swatch Group AG shares gained Monday after the release of a low-priced Swatch version of the Omega Speedmaster timepiece caused stores to be mobbed over the weekend.

From Melbourne to Hong Kong to Geneva, thousands of shoppers queued for the new timepieces, a collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker’s luxury Omega brand and its entry-level Swatch marque. Called the MoonSwatch, the $260 timepiece resembles the iconic Speedmaster Professional, known as the “Moon Watch” because it was worn by U.S. astronauts.