Mickey Mouse watches
Mickey Mouse watches are wrist watches with Mickey Mouse design features.
The first Mickey Mouse watches were the product of a partnership between Ingersoll-Waterbury and Walt Disney Productions. The watchmaking company, Ingersoll-Waterbury, was then struggling to overcome its financial difficulties. Walt Disney Productions, on the other hand, was looking for new and creative ways to market its merchandise.
When the Mickey Mouse watch was introduced at the Chicago Exposition of 1933, it instantly became a hit. It is said that in the Mickey Mouse watch, the public saw the wit and child-like innocence of the beloved cartoon character which they used as way to dispel the gloom brought about by the 1920s and 1930s Depression. The product became so popular that 11,000 watches were sold at less than three dollars apiece in New York on the opening day of its release and eventually saved the Connecticut watchmaker from bankruptcy.
The first Mickey Mouse watch had Mickey in the center of the circular watch. His gloved hands served as the hour and minute hands. At the bottom, three miniature Mickeys served as the seconds counter. Aside from the wristwatch, a pocket watch version and a clock version was also released by Ingersoll-Waterbury Company at around the same period.
In 1934, six years since Mickey Mouse had debuted in the movie “Steamboat Willie”, Ingersoll reached out to its fans in England by coming up with a distinct watch. The target market was smaller than that of the US market and thus a smaller number was produced for the English market. Because they are more uncommon than their US counterparts, the Mickey Mouse watches from this venture which can be identified by the mark “foreign” are considered more valuable by collectors.
Ingersoll continued to produce Mickey Mouse Watches, and in the 1960s it became US Times and Timex. This new period gave birth to the classic Mickey and Minnie Mod Watches.
In the '70s, production of Mickey Mouse Watches was taken over from Timex by Elgin National Industries. Helbros gave us the Electric Mickey Watch and Backwards Goofy Watch. Bradley Time Division gave us the Pie Eye Mickey Mouse Watch. The “pie eye” describes how Mickey Mouse is depicted based on earlier illustrations of the character from Steam Boat Willie.
In the middle of the '80s, Bradley Time Division offered the new technology of the Mickey Mouse Quartz Watch. Later on, Lorus (a subsidiary of the watch company Seiko) took over the rights to manufacture other popular designs. By the late 1980s, the right to produce Mickey Mouse Watches was given to Pedre and Seiko. They made faithful reproductions of the classic designs including the casings as a tribute to the originals.
Other companies that produced Mickey Mouse Watches are Colibri, Fossil, and Disney Time Works.
Through the years, various types of Mickey Mouse time pieces had been created ranging from cheap plastic ones to the luxurious jewel-encrusted ones. Mickey Mouse was often depicted alone although some feature him with his girlfriend, Minnie. Most featured him whole bodied, while some, focused on his face and still others, simply featured the text “Mickey Mouse.”
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