Hands-On With The Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse Watch
“A what?” And “How much did you say that thing costs?!” These have been recurring comments I’ve heard while wearing this Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch. Or, as it is officially called, the Arena Retrograde Mickey Mouse reference 103613. And I understand. Especially when a bit of context is missing.
Truth to be told, it was often comments made by people who know I do something to do with watches. People who have heard of Rolex, and perhaps of Patek Philippe, but that’s about it. Yes, I also hang out with that other kinds of people (I won’t say “normal”). My first encounter with a Retrograde Mickey Mouse watch must have been years ago when my colleague Gerard brought back some brochures (remember those?) from Baselworld. I think it was a version where Mickey Mouse was wearing a race-car driver outfit.
The Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse Watch
Anyway, Michael Stockton already gave you some background on this particular watch, when it was introduced during the Geneva Watch Days. So I don’t want to repeat what has been written already, instead, let me share with you my experiences of wearing this Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch on the wrist. But before I do so, let’s start with some watch specifications. The Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch has a diameter of 41mm, 43mm including the crown guards, a lug-to-lug of 48mm, and a thickness of 12mm. All measured with a yellow plastic caliper I once received from the late and legendary Chuck Maddox, a different one than the one seen in the pictures though. So, my measurements might be a little bit off “after the comma”, as it’s not a digital caliper. Perhaps good to also note my wrist size, which is 19cm.
Action on the dial
As you can see in the pictures, the Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch has a retrograde minute hand and a jumping hour. Mickey’s lacquered left arm points to the minute scale on the dial, using large printed Arabic numerals. The rest of the Mickey Mouse character is static, it just brings a lot of color and contrast to the rhodium-plated sunburst dial. You will also find an aperture at 5 o’clock for the jumping hours. As soon as the 60th minute is reached, Mickey Mouse’s arm quickly resets to 0 and the hour jumps to the next one. An interesting but very fast animation to witness on your watch, accompanied by a very satisfying mechanical clicking sound. Like a midnight date advancement basically, but every hour on the hour.
Aside from specifications, pricing, etc., this Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch has been pure fun to me so far. Unlike some of my colleagues, I don’t mind having a cartoon character on my dial. Mickey Mouse, who turned 90 years old in 2019, is not only one of the best-looking mice, but also very credible. Perhaps some will even see a luxury watch with a cartoon character as self-mockery. Don’t take life, and yourself, too seriously all the time, have some fun. Just because a watch is a costly luxury item doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, right? The watch is very wearable, fits my wrist perfectly, and the red fabric strap follows the shape of my wrist very nicely. This is a very comfortable watch for sure.
There’s more to this mouse
The retrograde visible on the dial already shows that this isn’t just any ordinary cartoon watch. If that wasn’t enough already, the transparent case back will be sure to convince you. It proudly demonstrates the Bvlgari caliber BVL262. This is a self-winding movement that has retrograde minutes and jumping hours, and ticks at 28,800 vph. The caliber BVL262 provides 42 hours of power reserve. As you can see in the picture, it has a balance bridge instead of a balance cock, and the main plate and rotor have been nicely decorated. The GG initials have been engraved and filled in the rotor. The case back has been engraved with some specifications, including a Disney copyright logo.
100 meters water resistant
On the left side of the case, at 9 o’clock, you will find a mini corrector to advance the hours separately from the minutes. By unscrewing the typical Genta design crown, you can pull it in the first position to set the time. If you’re not patient enough, you can also use it to show how cool the retrograde and jumping hours work to those who are interested. Besides a screw-down crown, the Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch also has a case back that has been mounted with six screws. It ensures a water resistance of 100 meters (or 10 bar). I am pretty sure that the red fabric strap is also suitable for use in water. The strap comes with a double folding clasp, signed with the Gérald Genta innitials logo.
I have to say, I could wear a watch like this every single day. Comfortable, fun, versatile, and with a nice mechanical movement (and complication). It ticks a lot of boxes. I can imagine that those who bought this Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch, or one of its predecessors, wear it several times per week, or even daily. It is one of those ultimate “I don’t give a f*&^” watches. Most people would opt for something that is toned down a bit, or perhaps something in gold or something more in line with what others might expect you to buy at this price point.
Not many people will expect to see you choosing a Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch over the usual suspects. I think that has something cool to it. You do need to have this suave though, the watch will not make you cool, you need to be cool to be able to pull it off, I guess.
All good things come to an end
This Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse watch has been the office darling as long as we had it. I now have to wrap it up and box it again, unfortunately. Only 150 pieces will be made, and as far as I know, most of them have already been spoken for. And I can imagine why. This Genta with a beautiful lacquered Mickey Mouse is a looker. It is just not for everyone, and that’s fine. It shouldn’t be either, in all honesty.
The retail price of this watch is €16,500 (/ CHF16,000 and approximately $19.500USD), so that also ensures it is not for everyone. Also not for me, unfortunately. I had a little spark of hope and looked for one of the older Retrograde Mickey Mouse watches on the pre-owned market, but they’re rare and keep their value, it seems. If you are one of the lucky 150 that ordered one of these beautiful watches, at least know that I envy you. Well done!
More information via the Gérald Genta website.