If you are an avid enthusiast/collector of watches, then you are probably no stranger to the work and horological achievements of the legendary Gerald Genta. For those who do not know, Gerald Genta was famed for the creation of some of the most seminal watch designs including the Royal Oak and the Nautilus which as we know it now, redefined the watch world in the late 20th century.
During the 1980s, Genta obtained the rights to manufacture timepieces with a very focused theme to celebrate Walt Disney and his famous cartoon characters from Mickey Mouse. However, when Genta eventually presented these designs at the trade fair, they were not met with the same level of enthusiasm by collectors today due to its unorthodox design at the time.
That being said, offered here today is one such timepiece that was inspired by the spirit of that era – the Gerald Genta Ref. G3612 Retro “Mickey Mouse”. This is a design that fundamentally combines two very different worlds of art and culture. Think about it, it is a Mickey Mouse on a watch created by a world-renowned designer, how much more iconic can that be? Sure, the name Gerald Genta is mostly associated with landmark designs like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Omega Constellation, etc, but in my opinion, the Mickey Mouse watch, like the one we have here today, feels like a refreshing palette cleanser for the senses, and for good reason.
At first glance, you will notice the dial on this Ref. G3612 is actually crafted out of mother of pearl, which allows the dial to gently shimmer in different shades of lighting, providing a very subtle visual contrast to the colors of Mickey Mouse at the center. At the top half portion of the dial, you will find a retrograde minute indication leaning towards the periphery that is indicated by Mickey’s articulated hand (read: the minute hand), which makes a jump back to the zero-minute mark once it completes an hour of travel across the dial. At the 6 o ‘clock position, you will find a jumping hour display window that uses matching typography for its numerals. Encased within the Ref. G3612’s 34mm stainless steel case is the modified, 21-jeweled, automatic ETA Cal. 2892A2 that carries a power reserve of 42 hours.
As an enthusiast myself, I have acquired and dealt with many serious brands over the years, but to see something so whimsical, unusual yet exciting in its own quirky way, I can’t help but feel just as excited whenever I look at this watch, it reminded me of a core memory as a child putting on a Mickey Mouse watch for the first time.
While these Genta Disney pieces were overlooked for a long time, collectors of late have realized the unique design and complication of these watches, especially the mechanical ones like the G3612 and as such, it is not easy to find one. The fact that this particular example is in new old stock condition makes this even more special.