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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.

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
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.

Mickey and Pluto from 1939, by Lorus
Rare collector's watch featuring Mickey
and Pluto in
"Society Dog Show"
from 1939, by Lorus

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.

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 Disneyana.

Go to American 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 The 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

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