Born in 1928, Disney’s cartoon mascot Mickey Mouse is 90 years old in 2018. Mickey Mouse watches are almost as old as the celebrity mouse himself, the first being sold by Ingersoll only five years later in 1933 and since produced by a wide range of companies. Nixon joins this institution and celebrates the anniversary with a slew of seven affordably priced quartz watches in a Nixon “Mickey the True Original” release. These represent a number of Nixon watch collections, each with different Mickey designs.
Mickey Mouse and other cartoon characters on watch dials have a long and interesting history – which is a story worth exploring, but perhaps better saved for another, dedicated, article – and this odd tradition continues today, often driven by nostalgia. Such watches have run the gamut in terms of price and design, ranging from these Invicta Mickey Mouse limited-edition watches to Rolex watches featuring Mickey, at least some of which are aftermarket modifications by the likes of Bamford. Recall, even, the animated Apple Watch face that had the classic image of Mickey indicating the time with his hands, but also bopping and tapping his foot to the seconds. Anyhow, we are here to talk about the Nixon Mickey Mouse watches today.
A wide range of designs, some Nixon Mickey Mouse watches have full Mickey characters on the dial, while others use familiar symbols and references. Come to think of it, it is pretty remarkable how a cartoon character can be represented by so many different instantly recognizable, minimal shapes. There are the Mickey ears, hands, and pants, for instance… and the most abstract of the Nixon Mickey Mouse watches use these types of shapes for hour markers along with other cartoon motifs. The particular model I’m talking about is called the Nixon Mickey Mouse Kensington Leather: Essential Elements, and it has a black case (37mm), dial, and markers, with gold hands featuring the Mickey head shape for the second hand’s counterweight. It has a price of €150.
The iconic Mickey Mouse hands indicating the hours and minutes hearken to the original Ingersoll watches. Aside from the Kensington model mentioned above, all other models use this concept in some way or another. The two models, however, with full Mickey figures on the dial are the Nixon Mickey Mouse Sentry Leather: Look Out Below and the Nixon Mickey Mouse Arrow Leather: Long Way Down watches. These feature Mickey falling so that when his hands turn around the dial they appear as if flailing in a pretty cute, cartoony way. It might take some getting used to in order to quickly recognize which hand is for hours and which is for minutes. The Sentry model’s case (42mm) and dial are all black, and the Arrow model’s case (38mm) is gold-toned with a white dial, each with a price of €180.
Two models, each titled “Dust Up,” feature a fighting Mickey with a “Fight Cloud” printed on the underside of the crystal. Here, again, the Mickey hands indicate the time, and a star tips the seconds hand. The chaotic design might hamper actually reading the time, but I suppose this will be of secondary concern to those buying and wearing such watches. The Nixon Mickey Mouse Sentry SS: Dust Up (42mm) has a gold-toned case and black dial with a price of €280. The Time Teller P: Dust Up (40mm) is all in red “polycarbonate” (plastic, that is) for a price of €75.
Finally, the remaining two models focus on just the mouse’s famously gloved hands. The Nixon Mickey Mouse Time Teller: One Glove features a black dial with a gold case (37mm) and relatively pared back design that looks pretty traditional except for the giant Mickey glove pointing out the hours. The Nixon Mickey Mouse Corporal SS: Hand Over Fist model is the largest (48mm) and has a black case with a khaki green dial and Mickey hour and minute hands. A cute touch is the mouse-tail-shaped seconds hand. The Time Teller has a price of €125, and the Corporal is €230.
The Nixon Mickey Mouse collection abounds in Mickey-related details such as the strap holes having a Mickey ears and bracelet buckles featuring a motif inspired by the buttons on Mickey’s famous pants. You can discover more of these details and branding on the Nixon website as well as each model’s specifications – all have a water-resistance of 100m or 50m and feature Miyota-made quartz movements. Embossed on the crowns, each incorporates either a commemorative “90” or a Mickey silhouette. The whole collection ranges €75 – €280, and it even accompanies a collection of Mickey Mouse bags. You can learn more at nixon.com