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MICKEY'S BIG HAND IS ON THE ...
The Mickey Mouse Watch
Disney items like the Mickey Mouse wristwatch make great keepsakes, and they're popular collectibles — whether you're an experienced collector or a novice. And there's a certain Mickey Mouse watch — manufactured under the brand name Ingersoll by the Waterbury Clock Company — that's a real treasure.
The Walt Disney Company's collaboration with the Waterbury Clock Company in 1933 was one of the first examples of cross-promotional synergy.
MOUSE BRINGS JOY TO HARD TIMES
The children's wristwatch with the colorful round dial made its debut at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago, and it quickly became the must-have toy for both boys and girls.
Despite its three-dollar price tag — no small sum for folks struggling through the Great Depression — more than 900,000 watches sold in the first year of production.
Original 1933 Mickey
Mouse Watch with
decorated leather band, by
Waterbury Clock Company
In fact, Waterbury credited its Disney business with saving the company from imminent bankruptcy.
Disney also profited from the 1933 Ingersoll deal. Throughout succeeding
decades, the company teamed up with other manufacturers to produce new
models of the watch. The original design, which had Mickey pointing to the
hours and minutes with his yellow-gloved hands, underwent various
evolutions. By the late 1930s, a rectangular watch face was offered as an
alternative to the traditionally round face. Even Mickey himself received
the occasional makeover: In one particular version, the cheeky mouse winks at you from the dial.
Rare collector's watch featuring Mickey
and Pluto in
"Society Dog Show"
from 1939, by Lorus
APPEALS TO EVERYONE
The Mickey Mouse watch proved more than a fading trend. The cheerful
critter's boundless appeal soon became evident when toddlers, teens,
businessmen, and even celebrities such as Grace Kelly, John Lennon, and
Andy Warhol flaunted their playful side by donning the watch.
Following the tremendous success of the first whimsical watch, Mickey and
his friends began popping up all over the commercial market. Today,
Disneyana remains one of the largest and most active categories for
collectors, and Disney's lovable cartoon characters are hot sellers at
auctions, conventions, and flea markets. All this can essentially be traced back to the Mickey Mouse watch.
THE MARKET TODAY
Today, expect to pay several thousand dollars for an original Ingersoll
— an original box in prime condition can sell for hundreds in itself!
If you'd like to own the watch, but you're not looking for the
authenticity (and investment) of a high quality original, you can find
later editions or even brand-new replications of the 1933 watch at online
auctions. Other sources for searching for Mickey Mouse watches (Ingersoll
or otherwise), or anything vintage and Disney, include web rings and clubs devoted to
Go to American
Time.com to learn more about the 1933 Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watch and
why it was honored as one of the top twenty wristwatches of the 20th century.
And for an in-depth history of this Disney icon, check out
Mickey Mouse Watch: From the Beginning of Time by Robert Heide
Buy Brand Name Watches at Discount Prices
The Mickey Mouse Watch:
From the Beginning of Time
by Robert Heide
The Collector's Encyclopedia of Disneyana by David Longest, Michael Stern
Stern's Guide to Disney Collectibles: Second Series by Michael Stern
Amazon's Clock & Watch Selections
Complete Price Guide to Watches, 21st Ed
by Cooksey Shugart
Wristwatch Annual 2001
by Peter Braun
Watches, Volume 4
by Benoit Flammang
Encyclopedia of Antique American Clocks
by Robert Swedberg, Harriett Swedberg
Watches International 2000:
The Original Annual of the World's Finest Wristwatches
by Caroline Childers
by Caroline Childers, Roberta Naas
Watches International 2001
by Caroline Childers
Clock Repairing As a Hobby
by Harold Kelly
Price Guide to Antique Clocks
by Robert Swedberg, Harriet Swedberg
Chronograph Wristwatches: To Stop Time
by Reinhard Meis, Gerd Lang
The Clock Repairer's Handbook
by Laurie Penman
Watches: A Collector's Guide
(Miller's Collector's Guides
by Frankie Liebe
A Connoisseur's Guide
by Frank Edwards
Automatic Wristwatches from Switzerland:
by Heinz Hampel