Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse watches are the most cheerful collectibles in the world of horology. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously. The genre was created by the world’s most famous watch designer – Genta designed the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Cartier Pasha – and like these pieces (though not quite to the same extent), Gerald Genta’s Mickey Mouse watches fetch respectable prices at auction. They are always limited editions, and they contain mechanical movements, most of which include complications.
The latest release is the Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde With Mickey Mouse Playing Football – a model name that says it all, really. It’s a triple complication with caliber BVL 300, a bi-retrograde automatic movement – which means it has two retrograde scales. A retrograde minutes on the upper dial is read by (Mickey’s white-gloved hand in a 210° arc. A retrograde date index appears on the on the lower dial, and a jumping-hour aperture is positioned at 10 o’clock. The famous (famouse?) Disney character has his eye on a soccer ball (soccer is called “footbal” in Europe, hence the name of the watch) that hovers in the 30-minute position.
The 41mm case is polished steel, and the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters. The dial is mother-of-pearl with a lacquered minutes “hand” and arm. The strap is textured rubber. It is a limited edition of 200 pieces, priced at $24,000. The Gerald Genta brand was acquired by Bulgari in 2000. Genta, who passed away in 2011, created his first Mickey Mouse piece in 1969. During the 1980s, Genta obtained special licensing with The Walt Disney Company and distributed a limited edition of Disney character watches to the public; previously, they had been an unofficial private request by one of Genta’s repeat customers. During his lifetime, Genta created some 100,000 watch designs.