Sale 17563
Christie’s Watches Online: Time to Travel
Online 11 - 25 June 2019

This is the first Mickey Mouse watch ever made for adults and also the first limited edition Mickey Mouse watch ever produced. This watch is 1 of only 25 made. 
Commissioned by Walt Disney himself and given to the designer of this watch, "The Keeper Of the Mouse" Mr. Ralph Kent (1939-2007).
Mr. Kent received this watch from the hands of Walt Disney himself in 1965. Walt Disney handed the 25 watches out to his top executives in the year before his passing. Mr. Kent, being the designer of this watch, received the last one.
The idea behind the first Mickey Mouse adult watch was pitched between Mr. Kent and his colleague Mr. Jack Olsen; at the restaurant Jolly Roger right across the street from Disney Headquarters 1964-1965. According to an interview with Mr. Kent in 2006; 

”Jack came into the restaurant and said; "Remember the old Mickey Mouse watches for kids and the arm used to go (sound effect of moving arms)". I said ”;yeah", and he said "If I made one would you wear one?"; I said, "yeah, but you're talking to the wrong guy: this is a Disney nut, I'm a Mickey fan!". He said, "Well, look, what I want you to do is go back tomorrow and design one for adults, and we're going to show it to Walt, we're going to take it to him, see how he likes it."
So we did and Jack came back and said, "Walt like it so well he wants twenty-five made. And what he’s going to do is give them out to his top executives";. So we did and Hamilton made the watches for us. And, as always, I forgot to put copyright on it. So before we could go any further, we had an engraver come in and on the back of the metal case he engraved; Copyright Walt Disney Productions. Walt passed them out and I got the 25th one because I designed it. It was the first time an adult watch was made.
Then we went to Helbros, and they made the $19.95 watch that we sold at Disneyland. Now we went to Ingersoll first - Timex. They had the right of first refusal, but they did not want to gear up for such a short run for a theme park, and make the hands and all of that stuff. So then Helbros did it for us. And then as our executives - We always flew separately, not only in a company plane, but commercially, too; so if anything happened, any of the planes went down, we would not leave the company stranded without any upper management. We always flew first class. Walt said, ”I've got a first-class organization. I don't want any of my guys sitting in the back of the plane and somebody ask them, "Who do they work for?" and they say, "Walt Disney" He said, "I want you up front." And so the stewardess were first to see the watches and word of mouth spread, and then it took off. And that was 1966. 
Then in 1969, Timex came out with a Mod Mickey Watch, and they took credit for the new adult watch that was on the market. The non-believers. We now do over one hundred different designs a year."  

Post Lot Text

Φ Please note the endangered species strap is shown for display purposes only and is not for sale. Upon sale, this watch will be supplied to the buyer with a non CITES strap (not shown). The endangered species strap may be available for collection from the Christie’s New York saleroom – please contact Christie’s Client Service Center at watchesonline@christies.com.
For further information please refer to the Conditions of Sale.

Conditions of Sale
This lot is offered by Christie's Inc