giovedì 19 giugno 2008

The ........ "Mickey Mouse Code"

"Pulling back the sleeve of his jacket he checked his watch - a vintage, collector's edition Mickey Mouse wristwatch that had been a gift from his parents on his tenth birthday. Although its juvenile dial often drew odd looks, Langdon never owned any other watch ; Disney animation had been his first introduction to the magic of form and color and Mickey now served as Langdon's daily reminder to stay young at hearth ....
'Interesting watch' Sophie said."
(The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown, 2003)

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(Tom Hanks features Robert Langdon wearing a Bradley Mickey Mouse from the '70s)

Creating a timless watch

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Walt Disney and Herman Kamen, '30s. Courtesy of Scoopdiamondsgalleries

With the Ingersoll partnership, Herman 'Key' Kamen, the sole representative of Disney merchandising, thrown the Mickey Mouse watch into the tunnel of the Great Depression during the thirties, the very first sold at Chicago World Fair on June 1933. And an adorating public had to follow him, buyng millions of that watches.

Tryng to track all the Mickey Mouse wristwatches issued by the three historicall brands strictly connected each other (Ingersoll ; US Time ; Timex) this site is a tribute to that unreapatable adventurer in the watchmaking history.

Rebuilding the evolution of these models has been possible thank to the excellent site found www.mickeymousewatches.co.uk

1933 - '42, Ingersoll

1933 / '37 ; Ingersoll first serie.
These watches had a 30 mm diameter and were offered with bracelet or leather strap.

#1) 1933 Chicago Fair very first Ingersoll Mickey Mouse. Peculiar case with wire lugs and art deco' decoration on the bezel. Rare original first dial with 'equivalent' numbers 5 and 7. First box design issued only with the first watch.
Guarantee. (Cost was $ 3.25)
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Pics by I_moon_star

Chicago Fair strap version

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Pic by Disneyana Collectibles 4U




#2) Late '33 Ingersoll. Case modified to spring bars, bezel not decorated anymore, same rare dial as nr.1.

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Pic from mrcplnn (mickeymousewatches.co.uk)




#3) '34 / '35 Ingersoll Mite de Luxe. Spring bars case, second type of dial with numerlas 5 and 7 smaller and fitted under Mickey's knees. Second type of box red 'critter'. (At this time watch tag was reduced to $ 2.95)
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Pics from s.v.v.artcurial (up) and Craigs0000 (bottom)




#4) Late '35 / '36 and '37 Ingersoll. Only modification by the earlier model is the additional print 'made in u.s.a.' on the dial. Larger blue new box.
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Pics from Heritage Auction Galleries (up) and Hake's Americana (bottom)




#5) Nearly '35 (I guess) "made in the u.s.a." wire lugs, decorated bezel.
Interesting, the only example appeared so far. It's even hard to be sure the case is original, but I think so.
The seller obtained it from the original owner and say it was in a catalog many years ago.
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(pic from Jewelsbag)




#6) Absolutely unusual 1935 Ingersoll 39 mm wide. Maybe a prototype, I think it's real and not recased.
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pic from xanaduxyz



All watches of the first serie were powered by the Ingersoll hand winding pin lever caliber ; these movements dates from around 1914.

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(Apolog., I missed the source of the pic).




English Ingersoll Mickey Mouse

In 1934 and '36 two type of very rare Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watches were produced by Ingersoll Ltd. of London for the British market.

#7) 1934 'Baloon Trousers Mickey', 1st English Ingersoll
As shown by an advertising found at mickeymousewatches.co.uk, original cost of this watch was 15 old shilling, extremely expansive for the time.

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Courtesy of Hake's Americana




#8) 1936, 2nd English Ingersoll
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Pic from I_moon_star



1937 / '42 Ingersoll rectangular cases.

From 1937 Ingersoll modified their Mickey Mouse watches introducing several type of rectangular cases in art deco' style.
Instead the original three small Mickeys, the small seconds display had a common tiny hand.


#9) 1937 Ingersoll tank case in original red cream box
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#10) 1938 to '42 Ingersoll 'five notches' case. Original reissued blue box.
(Note : this is the Ingersoll worn by the character Pink - Bob Geldof - in the movie The Wall, A. Parker, 1982)
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Pics from s.v.v.artcurial (up) and mickeymousewatches.co.uk (bottom)




#11) 1939 / '42 Ingersoll 'five notches' gold electroplated case. Peculiar box packaging.
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Both pics courtesy of Hake's Americana




#12) 1939 / '41 Ingersoll 'rolled' case, 10k gold plated, powered by a peculiar 7 jeweles movement.
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Pic from mickeymousewatches.co.uk




#13) 1939 / '41 Ingersoll 'curve', same shape contruction of the rolled case but brass chromed, standard pin lever Ingersoll movement.
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Pic from Mickeymousewatches.co.uk




#14) 1942, Ingersoll last pre war, plain case.
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Pic from Disneyana Vintage Collectibles 4U



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The standard pin lever hand winding movements used by 1937 to '42 in rectangular Mickey Mouse watches. Pic from Moneymaker256



It's reknown that in 1933 Ingersoll was struggling to keep afloat and probably the arrival and the arrival of Mickey Mouse saved them by bankrupt.
But in the late '30s, when the sale of the Mickey Mouse watches declined a bit, problems resurfaced.
In 1942 was Thomas Olsen to step in : the Norvegian shipping magnate, who escaped the Nazi occupation moving in the United States, bought the majority of Ingersoll's shares, bringing vital oxygen to the company.

By 1943 the company's name changed from Ingersoll Waterbury Clock Company to Unites States Corporation, better known just as US Time

1946 - early '60s, Ingersoll - US Time

Due the involvement of the United States in the WW II, for three fully years, from 1943 to '45, the production of Mickey Mouse watches ceased.

It started again in 1946 with a new type of rectangular case, without small seconds display and a more modern Mickey image (following its evolution on the movies).
Even if the company was now US Time, Ingersoll name was left for the most, on the dials or box packagings of these post war watches.


#15) Ingersoll US Time 1946. (Dial printed Ingersoll)
Original yellow box, orig.tag label ($ 6.95),
guarantee.
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Pics from Royce6782 (up), Morphy Auctions (middle), Fleetrainer (bottom).




#16) Ingersoll US Time gold plated, circa 1946. Mint in original box with tag label.
Pics from Lifeisatreasurehunt
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#17) Ingersoll US Time circa 1946 rare shape construction
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Pic from Bill D.




#18) 1946 rare Kelton US Time 'only head' , 10k plated.
Bottom pic : NOS example, original box, tag price (12,50) and warranty.
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Pic from Rick1818 (up) and Richierich1944 (bottom)




#19) 1946 Kelton gold plated 'only head' plane case
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Pic from Bill D.






#20) 1948 Ingersoll US Time (no Ingersoll name on the dial).
Original yellow 'new' box.
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Pics from Bayvendor (up) and Morphy Auctions (bottom)




#21) 1948 Ingersoll US Time Mickey Mouse 20th Birthday Serie (tag label $ 6,95)
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Courtesy of Hake's Americana.




#22) 1948 Ingersoll US Time Mickey Mouse 20th Birthday Serie, original box and tag label. Note, the dial design is slightly different than #21, with Mickey's figure a bit bigger
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Courtesy of Hake's (up) and Heritage's (bottom)




#23) 1948 Ingersoll US Time Mickey 20th birthday serie De Luxe model with luminous dial, original box.
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Courtesy of Hake's Americana




Fifties, round cases.

#24) Early '50s Ingersoll US Time red numerals, elongated lugs, dial printed Ingersoll.
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(Pic from myantiqueshop)




#25) 1952 Ingersoll US Time red numerals, elongated lugs, no Ingersoll name on the dial, 24 mm. Original box packaging
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Both pics courtesy of Hake's Americana.




#26) '50s Ingersoll US Time black numer., black Ingersoll print (and w.d.p.). 24 mm.
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Pic from mickeymousewatches.co.uk




#27) '50s Ingersoll US Time black numer. red Ingersoll print. 24 mm.
Original box c. '55 ; original different box c. '58

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(tag label usd 7.95). Both last two images courtesy of Hake's Americana.




#28) '50s Ingersoll US Time black numer. red Ingersoll print, gold plated case.
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Pic from hhlopez.




#29) 1958 Ingersoll US Time 'Hands Only' Mckey Mouse.
Original box packaging
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Pics from Heritage Auction Galleries




#30) Early '60s Ingersoll US Time 'minimalist' design without image.
Original packaging.
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Both pics from bend1100




#31) Ingersoll US Time w.out image "Made in Great Britain"
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Pic by abc-auctions





#32) 1968 Ingersoll US Time, no Ingersoll name on the dial
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Pic from Bill D.





#33) Ingersoll US Time water - dustproof shock resistant ("WDP" between 7 and 8)
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#34) Ingersoll US Time water - dustproof shock resistant (dial printed Ingersoll)
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(pics by Dialmama1)




In the early sixties the Ingersoll Mickey Mouse character watch looked to be in decline.
But it was just moving to a second youth .........