Welcome to Always On Time, where we’ll highlight the very best, most interesting, and coolest new watches in the world.
The watch: the Gérald Genta Arena Retro Mickey Mouse Disney.
The single best thing about this watch: It’s a Mickey Mouse design from the man behind the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus.
The backstory: Gérald Genta is one of history’s most accomplished watch designers. The Swiss artist is responsible for both Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, the most iconic pieces in each brand’s catalog—that’s like inventing both the Big Mac and the Whopper. Decades later, these pieces remain highly coveted and deserve a tremendous amount of credit for shaping modern watch trends. Genta moved on to his own eponymous label, and produced its most beloved pieces in 1984: a set of serious mechanical watches with Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck on the wrist. But in 2000, Bulgari bought Genta’s brand and after a few productive years it was put on ice.
Until Bulgari started re-releasing watches under the Gérald Genta label in 2019. Now, as part of this week’s watch festival Geneva Watch Days, one of Genta’s classic Mickey Mouse watches makes its triumphant return. While Mickey is a fixture on Apple Watches and affordably priced Disney-manufactured pieces, this Genta watch contains a real mechanical movement powering the “jumping hours” function—where the hour appears in a window and the minutes are displayed at an arc at the top. This serious watch has a serious price tag to go with it—the watch will sell for approximately $20,000.
Get into character: One of the biggest watch trends in 2021, besides green-faced pieces, is the emergence of pop culture-themed luxury watches. Audemars Piguet released a $162,000 Black Panther-themed watch, Tag Heuer made Mario a major element in its smartwatch, and watch brand Kross Studio released a $100,000 piece inspired by Space Jam. Watch collecting is becoming more mainstream and brands are embracing pop culture as part of their evolution. Collectors are no longer only interested in the latest advancements to the mainspring: they expect a tourbillon alongside Black Panther or the best mechanical movement powering Mickey.
Where and when to buy it: Gérald Genta Arena Retro Mickey Mouse Disney is limited to 150 pieces and will roll out in the next few months.
Originally posted 2021-09-01 02:44:30.