The first Mickey Mouse watch was made in 1933. It cost $2.69. The record price for a real 1933 Mickey Mouse watch (with the original box) in good condition is $6,100, set at a 2014 auction. The watch’s image, copied from Mickey Mouse cartoons, shows a side view of Mickey’s body with moving hands and a three tiny Mickey Mouse figures chasing in the circle. We couldn’t find a positive date for the first reproduction of either the 1933 or 1934 watch. We do know many copies have been made, one as recently as 2019. Our research indicates the 1933 Mickey Mouse watch was not copied. The first copy was of the 1934 Mickey Mouse watch. Later copies also were not the 1933 watch. No one could tell us why.

We have put together a list to help you identify your watch. Age is an important factor in determining value. When buying a vintage Mickey Mouse watch, look for the following identifying features. If the watch you are looking at is different, it is probably a reproduction or mislabeled year.

1933 — The first Mickey Mouse watch was made by Ingersoll-Waterbury and sold at the Chicago, Century of Progress Exposition. It was round with a bezel decoration. The 7 and 5 numerals on the dial were outside Mickey’s feet. There were cut-outs of Mickey (charms) on the band. It ran on a WWI surplus pin lever movement. Mickey is wearing yellow gloves to point to the time, although the cartoon Mickey changed his white gloves (1929) to yellow in 1936.

1934 — The watch and all those made until 1937 were in round cases. Mickey’s feet were on or outside the 7 and 5 numerals on the dial.    

1935 to 1937 — The Ingersoll watch had the second type of dial with the numerals 7 and 5 under his feet. The words “made in u.s.a.” were printed on the dial.

1937 — A rectangular case with plain sides was used and the three tiny Mickey Mouse figures chasing in the circle second-hands were changed to one hand.

1938 to 1942 — The case was rectangular with five decorative notches in each long side.

1942 — U.S. Time bought Ingersoll but still used the Ingersoll trademark. Some cases were gold plated until the 1960s.

1948 — A luminous dial was used.

1950 — Red numbers were used. The printed word Ingersoll was on the face.

1960s — You wouldn’t recognize a Mickey Mouse watch made in the 1960s. It had a plain round case and Mickey is not pictured on the dial.

So check your old Mickey Mouse watch, even if it isn’t working. It could be worth a lot of money and it is always fun to own one. There have been many kinds. An expensive watch with sparkling rhinestones, an underwater version, and a new version for those who exercise. It tells you how well you are doing and reminds you to work out every day.

A recent reproduction of the 1934 Mickey Mouse watch as a pocket watch with the 1934 wristwatch face and chain. Notice the 7 and 5 are missing and Mickey has white gloves.
Photo: Hammacher Schlemmer



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