If you are even remotely a part of this fascinating world of watches, you cannot be oblivious to the work and contribution of the legendary designer and watchmaker Gerald Genta. Not only did he introduce us to unique complications of time like retrograde and bi-retrograde movements but never failed to add a sense of playfulness to the serious world of fine watchmaking. An ultimate expression of that playful and rule breaking attitude is the Genta and Disney collaboration way back in 80’s. Owned by the Bvlgari group since the year 2000, the brand seems to be doing all it takes to bring back that playful yet vintage era of Gerald Genta.
Call it a happy childhood memory, a flashback or a playful watchmaking classic but this new addition to the Gerald Genta collection introduced at Geneva Watch Days 2021 is sure to bring a smile to your face – The Arena Retro Mickey Mouse Disney. Yes, a figment of Genta’s fertile imagination, the mischievous mouse is back yet again with another retrograde. Faithful to the spirit and soul of the brand and just like the Gerald Genta X Disney watches from the 80’s, Mickey is not just an aesthetic addition but actually puts in the work. His left arm indicates the minutes on a 210-degree retrograde sector while the jumping hour appears at 5 o’clock.
This BVL262 mechanical mono-retrograde automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, is housed in the distinctive historical 41 mm round polished stainless steel case. The Arena Retro Mickey Mouse Disney sits on a red textured padded rubber strap and is being produced in a limited edition of 150 pieces only.
The reason why this particular watch caught my attention, well besides the fact that I just can’t stop smiling everytime I look at it, is the vintage angle. For most people vintage watches represent a certain nostalgia for a bygone era of design, for others, well mostly the millennials, the word “vintage” translates to simple, classic and even boring sometimes. While most watch aficionados’ are still battling with the premiums and patiently awaiting their turn on various “wait-lists”, over the last few years I have seen a growing interest for vintage timepieces. Not to say that they are easily accessible either but there is a definite rise in interest and curiosity. In December last year, Sotheby’s reported a figure of $ 97.5 million from its global auction sales with online sales attributing to $47.4 million. Almost eight times the sales that was achieved in 2019!
On a personal front, I would love to get my hands on the original *Retro Fantasy Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy series from the 80’s and the 90’s, particularly the Mickey Mouse Aviator. There’s just a different charm to that black and grey dial with Mickey in a vintage military pilot uniform! However, if you are looking to kickstart a vintage watch collection, I’d surely recommend this new Gerald Genta Arena Retro Mickey Mouse Disney – a vintage watch with a fun and modern twist.
*Retro = Retrograde and not old school