Mickey Mouse or Kermit the Frog? That’s the question at the heart of today’s Sunday Morning Showdown. Watches are usually quite serious objects. First and foremost, they need to accurately tell the time and be made of sturdy, well-finished material. And for most people, that’s enough. But some people are looking for something extra — a little something to make them smile when they look down at their wrists. Both the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition and the Unimatic Modello Uno Mickey Mouse are specifically made for this purpose. But which one does that job better?

It’s good that there are still brands out there that take the risk of launching something unexpected and fun. It keeps this hobby lighthearted and encourages people not to take themselves too seriously. But this is still the watch world, so there’s a very fine line between something fun and something over the top. Both Kermit and Mickey Mouse are well-respected characters and certainly bring a smile to people’s faces. But let’s see who’s the favorite among watch enthusiasts. However, before Jorg and Daan take their places, let’s check what happened in last week’s showdown.

Last week, on Sunday Morning Showdown — Tudor for the win

Last week’s battle was one between two downsized vintage-inspired divers from two brands that could drink each other’s blood. The Tudor Black Bay 54 was the big — or small — surprise at the start of this year’s Watches and Wonders, and the Longines Legend Diver 39mm was like a nice cocktail in the post-summer sun. Both did quite well at gathering votes, but the Black Bay 54 claimed victory with a total of 61%. This watch is praised for its high-quality finishing and super convenient T-Fit clasp. On the other hand, the Legend Diver is no slouch either, with its more original and distinctive design. However, when looking at the similar prices of both these divers, it seems that people feel the Tudor offers more bang for your buck. All right, back to this week’s business!

Daan: Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition

Just like Thomas, who wrote the introduction article for the ProPilot X Kermit Edition, I’m also a fan of both Kermit and Oris. I’ve probably watched the movie A Muppet Family Christmas a hundred times spread over several years. I also loved watching Sesame Street as a kid, in which the sensitive Kermit always got a little carried away. However, in the end, he would always finish it off with one of his very generous laughs. Yes, the Muppets are there to make you smile, but there’s also something very endearing about them, especially Kermit.

The same is true for Oris. My first luxury watch was the Oris Art Blakey. I bought it because I grew up with jazz music in the house. I love the subtle hint of the Gretsch base drum on the dial. It is a good-looking and well-made watch that makes me smile and feel good every time I look at it. This is something that can be said about more of Oris’s watches. There’s the Cotton Candy series, the Momotaro limited edition, and, of course, the Oris × Fratello Big Crown Pointer Date in bronze. All of these are serious watches with fun elements that don’t overdo it.

The PPX Kermit is serious fun

This is also what I like about the new ProPilot X Kermit Edition. The ProPilot X, on its own, is a very serious watch. Its case and bracelet are entirely made out of titanium. They both have an angular profile and a modern feel to them. The engine-turbine-inspired bezel adds a nice aviation reference, and the dial has an interesting texture to it. Moreover, inside, you’ll find the impressive Oris Calibre 400. With its five-day power reserve, ten-year service intervals, and extended warranty period, it beats many of the watches in the same price range.

To combine that good-looking watch and state-of-the-art technology with a character like Kermit on the date wheel takes courage. Heck, Oris even covered the entire dial in Kermit green. That takes some serious cojones. The result is a seriously fun watch that will make you laugh out loud every first of the month and put a smile on your face for the rest of it. Of course, it’s not for everyone. But for people who are Kermit fans or who simply think it’s a fun watch, it’s great that, at the same time, it’s also a high-quality timepiece.

This is not just another fun quartz Timex that’s made in China. No, it’s a proper mechanical watch that’s made in Switzerland, which also happens to be a lot of fun.

Kermit Day

© Disney

Genuine vs. gimmicky

I know Jorg’s contender from Unimatic houses a Swiss Sellita movement inside. Still, I feel like the Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse is a lot less special and original than the ProPilot X Kermit. It feels like the people at Oris carefully selected the green frog character to put on their watch. As far as I know, there weren’t any noteworthy watches with Kermit on them before this ProPilot X came out. Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse has been featured on probably dozens (or even hundreds) of watches before, with Gérald Genta’s pieces being the most noteworthy examples, I guess.

In general, I like Unimatic’s designs. But I’m also getting a bit tired of seeing the same cases again and again with different dials and materials. For me, it seems like the trick is wearing off a little bit. On the other hand, Oris seems to be more considerate and doesn’t overdo it. The result is that, to me, the Modello Uno Mickey Mouse feels gimmicky and a bit lazy, and the ProPilot X Kermit Edition feels more genuine and well thought out. However, I know Jorg is a big Unimatic fan, so maybe he knows how to change my mind about that. Let’s hear it, Jorg.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

Jorg: Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

Thanks, Daan! I love today’s question as it is as simple as picking Mickey or Kermit. Or is it? Despite your rather direct words, I salute you for defending the Oris ProPilot X Kermit. And I’ll gladly pick up the glove and defend Mickey Mouse here in a battle of the fun watches. Let’s start with a confession: I really like the Oris ProPilot X. When we had the three inaugural 39mm models in the office, I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the pink-dial version. I had it on my wrist for quite a bit and was impressed by its comfort. The lightweight titanium, the size, the Oris Calibre 400, and the dial color are all elements that make for a great watch.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

But we’re not here to talk about the regular ProPilot X. No, today, it’s all about the special Kermit version. And that’s where things take a sharp turn for me. Let’s start with matching the ProPilot X with a jolly character like Kermit — a character that I also love. Stylistically, the overall technical feel and angular lines of the PPX do not make for a nice canvas for Kermit to spread his joy. It just feels like a mismatch. Secondly, Daan, you talk about making the dial “Kermit green.” But I see lime green, not Kermit green. It has felt like an obvious faux pas in color matching from the first time I saw the watch.

The definition of a fun watch is…

Additionally, Oris presented this PPX Kermit with a lot of bravado as a great, fun watch. But is Kermit in the small date window all that much fun? In his introduction article for the watch, Thomas explained that Kermit only shows his smiling face on the first of every month, on what Oris calls “Kermit day.” As he described, you can see that as an “if you know, you know” thing. But if you market a watch to be a fun Kermit watch and mismatch the dial color, hide Kermit for at least 28 days straight, and ask €4,400 for it, I start questioning the fun factor. Seeing that last press image of the watch, why didn’t they make him play the banjo in the date window? Now that is a fun image!

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

Sure, the Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse might be a bolder and more obvious statement. “Plastering” a Disney character on a dial might seem easy, but it works! Seeing Mickey on the dial of the Modello Uno immediately gives off good vibes. But there is more to the story of this watch. It is part of a trio of celebratory Unimatic Mickey watches. The Italian brand teamed up with Highsnobiety and Disney to celebrate 100 years of Disney. As Mickey Mouse has always been Disney’s most pivotal and iconic character, the brands decided to create three different watches featuring Mickey from three different eras on silver dials.

Unimatic Mickey Mouse trio

The glorious trio of Unimatic Mickey Mouse watches

The Modello Tre U3-HS chronograph features Mickey from 1929 on the dial. The Modello Due U2S-T-HS field watch features the 1947 version of Mickey, while the Modello Uno U1S-HS2 that I picked for this showdown has the 2023 rendition of Mickey on the dial. This results in a trio of watches that perfectly show the stylish evolution of Mickey Mouse. To me, that is a story that is as intriguing as it is fun to see. And the typical Unimatic style is the perfect canvas for a little Mickey celebration.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

I have explained this before, but what Unimatic founders Giovanni Moro and Simone Nunziato have achieved with their approach to watch design deserves praise. The minimalist style of Unimatic is instantly recognizable and characteristic on its own. On top of that, it provides a versatile platform for a wide variety of designs. That’s why many of the brand’s collaborative efforts work so well. You don’t always have to be a fan of them, but almost every time, they make sense. This time, they have found a natural fit with Mickey Mouse. While it’s easy to recognize the Unimatic watches, Disney’s iconic character takes center stage here. He does that in a fun and clever way if you read the story.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

The Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 in detail

While I think this battle will not necessarily be decided based on specs, it is worth mentioning them. The Modello Uno U1S-HS2 has a 40mm stainless steel case with a 41.5mm bezel. The brushed case is paired with a silver grené dial with white luminous hour markers and silver-colored hands. This monochromatic color pattern ensures that the colorful image of Mickey pops off the dial without inhibiting any of its functional properties. Hiding underneath the specially engraved case back, as Daan already mentioned, is the automatic Sellita SW200-1.

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 Mickey Mouse

It might not be on par with the Oris Calibre 400, I’ll admit that. But the SW200-1 is a trusted caliber that gets the job done and is easy to service. Additionally, it keeps the list price reasonable. And if there’s one final point that I want to stress, it’s this: a fun watch should have a fun price. In my book, €4,400 for a fun watch is pushing it. On top of that, Oris says the Kermit is a limited edition but refrained from mentioning production numbers. On the flip side, the Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-HS2 had a price of €1,150 when it went on sale, and all 100 pieces sold out in no time. Despite the low production number, it does prove that a well-executed Unimatic Modello Uno at a decent price is the right fun watch to win people over. That’s why Mickey is my champion this Sunday morning.

Unimatic Mickey Mouse trio

Time to vote

Okay, here we are. We’ve presented two fun watches with iconic characters, each with pros and cons. Which would you rather have? Cast your vote, and let us know your motivations in the comments section below!

Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition vs. Unimatic Modello Uno Mickey Mouse