Omega x Swatch queue chaos: ‘It’s not life and death’, says Shanmugam

Swatch-OMEGA queue chaos at ION Orchard and Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam. (SCREENSHOTS: YouTube)
Swatch-OMEGA queue chaos at ION Orchard and Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam. (SCREENSHOTS: YouTube)

SINGAPORE — A video showing a man shouting at police officers while he was queuing for the watches from the new Omega x Swatch collection was “an ugly incident”, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Sunday (27 March).

In a post on Facebook, Shanmugam said, “A man queuing up for a watch (by Swatch/Omega), gets so angry about whether the queue is working – he shouts at police officers, as if it’s their fault.”

The minister called for a "sense of perspective", saying there is a war going on while people are suffering in many places. “We don’t need to lose our minds over these situations. It's not life and death.”

His comments come after the Swatch outlets at ION Orchard and Marina Bay Sands were swarmed on Saturday morning with thousands of people who turned up hours before the launch of the Speedmaster "MoonSwatch" collection. Police had to be called in to manage the long queues, with videos of the incident going viral.

In the incident referred to by Shanmugam, a man who was wearing a black shirt could be heard shouting at several police officers at the Swatch outlet at ION Orchard amid a massive crowd gathering there.

The man was visibly agitated and shouted at the officers, "From 4am together lah. Then you cut us out like that and then shout at us. We cooperate with the bloody brand manager. He asked us to move back, we move back. That's why we are behind. And then he cut us behind. Then you all doing what?"

Then he shouted in Mandarin, “Use your gun to shoot me then!”

Swatch in Singapore posted two messages to keep customers updated on Saturday morning. In one post, Swatch advised customers without queue numbers to refrain from visiting its stores as it had run out of stocks of the Swatch x Omega watches.

“We would therefore like to remind that there will be more opportunities to purchase the watches in the selected Swatch Stores in the coming weeks as it is not a limited edition.”

Long queues for the Omega x Swatch collection have also been reported in countries such as Australia, Japan, the UK and Malaysia when it was launched on Saturday.

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