Lorenzo Buffa and his team at Analog Watch Co. just pulled off another marketing stunt.
The South Philly watchmakers, known for their watches made of wood and marble, announced their newest timepiece, the Lunar Watch — a $27,500 limited edition watch made from genuine moon rock sourced from the “Russian Federal Space Agency.”
Yep, it was an April Fools’ joke, and Gizmodo fell for it: Own a Sizeable Chunk of the Moon With This Lunar Watch. Update: “This watch is totally fake, and everything on the internet is officially insufferably terrible.” To Buffa’s credit, the watchmakers actually worked to make the prank as believable as possible.
To create a faux moon-rock watch face, Buffa’s design team spent three weeks gluing sand together with spackle and different colors of spray paint. (Editor’s note: three weeks?!)
They wrote a fake press release and fabricated information about the cut, precision and Swiss movement on the watch’s product page — all things that Buffa says would fool a normal person into believing it is the real thing.
“Somebody who knows watches is going to [catch on], read the product description and pretty easily figure out that it’s baloney,” he said.
Last year Analog Watch Co. fooled the world and riled up animal rights activists with its Ant Farm Watch. Several news outlets including TechCrunch, Adweek and The Guardian picked up the story. Buffa won Geekadelphia’s 2015 “Story of the Year” award for the shenanigans.
A master of marketing and crowdfunding, Buffa says this experiment is more about getting exposure for his brand than anything else. The joke landed him on Forbes, among major brands like H&M, Coke and Google.
“April Fools’ is my favorite holiday — it’s an opportunity for me to develop product where I don’t have to consider the end user,” he said. “I don’t have to think about market size [and] I don’t have to worry about costs and production. I just have to make a believable product.”