Mickey Mouse Watch Value – Are Mickey Watches Worth Money?
Highly collectible and immensely popular for decades, the iconic Mickey Mouse watch has never gone out of style or diminished in popularity. But if you have one of these vintage watches in your closet or attic, are they actually worth anything?
Well, in today’s article on the topic of Mickey Mouse watch value, I’m going to dig into these classic watches to assess just how much money they’re worth, as well as reveal some of the most highly valuable Mickey Mouse watches of all time.
Mickey Mouse Watch Value Guide (TLDR)
From mass-produced designs to limited-edition releases, Mickey Mouse watches can vary in their value from less than $100 to several thousand dollars!
The monetary value of any Mickey Mouse watch depends on so many factors. The age of the watch is definitely one, but the manufacturer and the watch’s condition are also important. Limited edition Mickey Mouse watches, which are of course harder to come by, tend to have the highest dollar value.
Now let’s take a quick look at how the Mickey Mouse watch craze started, and how you can determine if your watch is a valuable collector’s item, or just a beloved keepsake with great sentimental value.
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What Year Was the Original Mickey Mouse Watch Sold?
The first Mickey Mouse watch was introduced in 1933, at the Chicago “Exposition of Progress”. The watch was the brainchild of a man named Kay Kamen, who had approached Walt Disney about licensing rights for the Disney characters. Mr. Kamen’s extensive knowledge of marketing and merchandising paid off, and his firm earned the Disney Brothers Co. millions over the next several decades.
The first watch that debuted in 1933 was a wristwatch with a round face, leather band, and (of course!) Mickey himself was in the center of the dial. Mickey was wearing his classic yellow shows, red pants with yellow buttons, and yellow gloves (instead of the white gloves that we are more familiar with).
His arms acted as the watch hands, and there was also a small sub-dial where the number six was located that featured small Mickey Mouse illustrations. A pocket watch with the same design was also available.
Can you guess what this first Mickey Mouse watch cost? Well, in 1933, it sold for only $3.25. What a deal! Ingersoll-Waterbury eventually produced watches with other Disney characters, but the Mickey Mouse watch has remained the most popular.
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Who Made Mickey Mouse Watches?
That first Mickey Mouse watch was manufactured by Ingersoll-Waterbury, a watch and clock maker that was on the edge of bankruptcy. The instant popularity of the Mickey Mouse watch saved the company, and they prospered for many decades!
How to Date an Old Mickey Mouse Watch
While you can make a guess at the age of your watch by looking at the Mickey design, a better way to estimate the age is by the finding the watch’s manufacturer.
Ingersoll-Waterbury (later known as simply Ingersoll) had the sole licensing rights to manufacture Mickey Mouse watches from 1933 to 1971. In the 1960s, Ingersoll became known as US Time, which is now known as Timex.
In the early 1970s, Elgin National Industries watchmakers took over the manufacturing of Mickey Mouse watches. Bradley Watchmakers (a division of Elgin National) took over the production in 1972. Bradley made Mickey Mouse watches until 1987 when Lorus Watch Company took over.
The 1980s saw a resurgence of Mickey Mouse watch popularity, with the watches being made not only by Lorus, but also Seiko, Bulova, Fossil, Chopard, and the luxury designer Gerald Genta.
Most of the manufacturers from the 1980s and 1990s are still making watches for Disney.
Estimating the Value of Mickey Mouse Watches
So what’s the value of old Mickey Mouse watches? Well, figuring out is a little bit complicated. You’ll need to consider several factors, such as the age of the watch, what kind of condition it’s in, and if it is a particularly rare piece.
Even if you don’t plan to sell your beloved Mickey Mouse watch or any of your Disney collectibles, it’s a good idea to have an idea of their worth for insurance purposes.
Generally speaking, the older the watch is, the more valuable it can potentially be. The watches made by Ingersoll are the oldest models and are highly sought after by collectors. During the 1970s and 1980s, there were more Mickey Mouse watches on the market, but some designs are harder to find than others.
Other than age and rarity, the condition of the watch will have an impact on how much it’s worth. Watches that have all original parts, including the band, are considered of higher value. If the watch doesn’t have any engraving or scratches on it, that increases its value too. Original packaging also adds value for serious collectors.
Where to Buy or Sell Mickey Mouse Watches?
Well, of course, you can look on eBay to to buy or sell a Mickey watch. But if you don’t want to wade through dozens of listings on eBay, Collectors Weekly is a reputable website that compiles sales and auctions of collectible Mickey Mouse watches from various websites.
And if you’re someone that wants to buy or sell a watch, but also desires for there to be a more serious vetting process in place in regards to the sale, you can head over to Heritage Auctions. This is another great source to check current sales for any number of Disney collectibles—including Mickey watches. Just note that, in order to see the “sold” price, you’ll need to have an account with Heritage Auctions (creating an account is free).
One of the best websites that can give you an estimated value of any collectible is Kovels.com. This site has thousands of listings for all types of antiques and collectible items. In addition to being a great price guide resource, they also have many articles pertaining to buying and selling collectibles.
I also recommend visiting Disney forums and even watch forums to gain further insight about Mickey watches (including where you can find them and what their value is). For example, you can visit the Rolex forum and get answers to any Mickey Mouse watch question you may have.
And finally, the Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles by Ted Hake, is considered one of the best print resources to estimate value and rarity for all Disney memorabilia. If you aren’t interested in buying a copy of this book, you might be able to find it at your local library.
Long-Term Value vs Trendiness
It’s important to keep in mind that the value of a Mickey Mouse watch is ultimately worth whatever a collector is willing to pay for it. I know that Disney collectibles never seem to lose popularity, and Mickey watches are one of those things that never go out of style. However, there are times when current trends will temporarily drive up the price of certain items.
For example, if a celebrity or online influencer was spotted wearing a vintage Mickey Mouse watch, it wouldn’t be unusual for there to be a sudden uptick in people willing to pay more for a similar watch. That doesn’t mean the suddenly inflated value associated with a trend is going to be sustainable for the long term.
In a case like this, it might be worth waiting several weeks or months to purchase your watch (in hopes that potentially skyrocketing prices fall back down to earth).
The Most Expensive Mickey Mouse Watches
Since the first Mickey Mouse watch was introduced in 1933, hundreds of variations of been produced. They have been worn by celebrities, loved by Disney fans, and valued by Disney collectors. Astronaut Wally Schirra even brought a Mickey watch aboard the Apollo 7 spacecraft that orbited the Earth in 1968, and Astronaut Gene Cernan took his Mickey Mouse watch to the moon on Apollo 10 in 1969!
With such long-term popularity, there are a few notable examples of Mickey Mouse watches with huge monetary value. Here’s a short list of some of the most expensive Mickey Mouse watches in existence:
Let’s actually start with the the Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse Watch (released by Bulgari just a couple of years ago). Specifically, this is the Gérald Genta Arena Retrograde Smile Mickey Mouse Disney watch, which was limited to only 150 pieces and came with a red textile strap and folding clasp.
This beauty looks simple and relatively minimalist—but it sure wasn’t cheap. It sold for approximately $19,000 (yes, you read that right!) and is one of the most sought after Mickey Mouse watches for serious collectors (and is no doubt worth considerably more money!).
Other Disney character watches designed by Gerald Genta (including other Mickey designs) are valued anywhere from $3,000 to over $20,000.
Examples of Valuable Mickey Mouse Watches
What about the “Holy Grail” of Mickey Mouse watches; one of the first ones produced in 1933? An original 1933 Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watch from the Chicago Exposition, with the original packaging, sold for $11,422.40 in 2020 at an auction by Hake’s Auctions. That’s quite an increase in value for a watch that originally sold for $3.25!
Over at Heritage Auctions, another vintage Mickey Mouse pocket watch from 1933 sold for a very respectable $806.63 in 2011 (to see the prices of solid auctions on Heritage Auctions, you do have to create a free account with them). The back of this original Model 1 watch featured a stamped Mickey Mouse with the name Ingersoll above it. It also it came in its original box (which was red in color and featured both Mickey and Minnie Mouse).
During the 1980s and 1990s, Lorus produced several musical watches for Disney. The Special Edition Mickey & Minnie Mouse Disney Musical Watch is one of the more hard to find of the Lorus musical watches. The design shows Mickey and Minnie holding hands near the bottom of the watch face, while stars adorn the rest of the dial against a dark blue background. The only numbers on the watch are twelve, three, and nine. Currently, this watch in good condition can be found for sale with an average price of around $500.
Rolex Mickey Mouse Watch – Real or Fake?
Finally, we have to talk about the somewhat legendary Mickey Mouse Rolex. Officially, Rolex never made a Mickey Mouse watch, but you can find them for sale online and at auction houses. How did this happen? Oddly enough, the answer is very much unclear.
Believe it or not, Walt Disney himself didn’t wear a Mickey Mouse watch on a regular basis. He did, however, wear a yellow gold Rolex Datejust.
While it seems that Rolex never had a licensing agreement with Disney (and never officially manufactured any Mickey Mouse watches), there are a number of Rolexes where the dial (featuring Mickey Mouse), is an aftermarket addition.
This means that the dial with Mickey Mouse on it was added afterward, but not by the Rolex brand itself when the watch was produced. The watch movement and case are completely original, but the watch face/dial featuring Mickey Mouse was created by a third party.
There have been rumors for years that Walt Disney and Rolex made some sort of secret deal to have these watches made, but it’s never been confirmed or denied by either company. Regardless, there are a number of Mickey Mouse Rolexes to be found, and they look as elegant and classic as you’d expect from the Rolex brand. These luxury watches have a value ranging from $2,000 to over $7,000.
Mickey Mouse Watch for Women
I also wanted to take some time to hone in on one notable Mickey watch aimed at women that not only look great, but hold quite a bit of value.
Over at Heritage Auctions, a Gerald Genta Gold Mickey Watch for ladies sold for $600 a few years ago. This was a beautiful 18k gold watch which featured an extremely joyful Mickey Mouse front and center on the watch’s face. What’s interesting about this one is that Mickey’s hands (or gloves) appear red. The strap is made of black leather and the movement is listed as “quartz.”
Although the year wasn’t stated, it does look considerably vintage. Despite this fact, the watch was in good working condition when it sold for $600.
Mickey Mouse Watch for Men
I also wanted to mention an incredibly beautiful (yet quite masculine) Mickey Mouse watch made by Baume & Mercier. Now this beauty is a Gentleman’s Diamond and Stainless Steel Disney Rivera watch—and it sold for $937.50.
As mentioned, this is a stainless steel watch with an amazing diamond set goldstone bezel. What you have here is really quite incredible actually, as the watch features diamond hour indexes along with Dauphine gold watch hands.
Unlike a lot of the Mickey Mouse watches we’ve discussed in this article, this particular watch does not feature a large Mickey in the middle. Instead, the watch features a more minimized Mickey right of center (though he is enameled).
And despite this watch not being in working order when it was sold, it still went for over $900. That’s the power of Mickey Mouse (and gold and diamonds, of course).
Mickey Mouse Watch for Kids
Now from the 1960s, the Bradley Time Division Mickey Mouse Mechanical Watch (Model 112 S) is a wonderful example of the classic Mickey Mouse watch. Originally sold with a red rubber watchband sized for a child, it features a white dial with Mickey wearing his classic red pants and yellow shoes.
The words “Mickey Mouse” are also shown in the background of the watch face. This watch is selling for an average price of approximately $475 for one in near-mint condition. Not too bad for a simple kid’s watch!
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This article was written by Kimberly and edited by Michael.