Another year, another Mickey. Gérald Genta, the watch brand Bulgari purchased in 2000 (a little over a decade before its namesake watchmaker passed), is back at it with its favorite Disney character. A new Arena Bi-Retrograde Mickey Mouse watch has just been unveiled, this time with the legendary cartoon kicking around a soccer ball—just in time for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Genta created his first Mickey Mouse watch in 1969 and since then the quirky timepieces have become catnip for collectors. He was the first watchmaker to enter into a partnership with Disney and created watches not only with its famous mouse but also with Donald Duck. Last year’s version, limited to 150 at €16,500 or approximately $20,000 each (at exchange rates at the time) and also released in November, sold out instantly before their scheduled delivery date in January 2022. This year, the company upped the number of timepieces to 200, while also upping the price tag to €24,000 or approximately $25,000.
This time around, Mickey is featured centered on the dial and kicking a soccer ball around—a not-so-subtle angling for sports fans hyped about the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. (But he’s also been known to play golf or motor race on Genta’s dials.) Mickey’s hand indicated the minutes while a small circular aperture reveals the jumping hour indication just beneath his foot. The retrograde date display is featured at 6 o’clock.
Despite its playful appearance, it’s all serious horology underneath the hood and that extends to the dial. Housed within the 41 mm steel case is a mother-of-pearl dial where 14 plates were used to create the color pattern of the design. Some of the areas were coated with transparent lacquer in order to add brilliance and volume. Complementing the creature’s iconic red shorts is a textured red rubber strap, perfect for those that actually plan to get sporty in the piece, which is also water resistant to 100 meters (approximately 300 feet) and has 42 hours of power reserve.
If you want to play ball with Mickey, you better act fast. As he would say, “All it takes is a little bit of magic.”