Ever since Bulgari revived the Gérald Genta brand they’ve been steadily reintroducing key archival watches for a modern audience. Last year saw them bring back one of the most characterful watches in the Genta backlog, the Mickey Mouse. Now, Disney’s champion is back on the dial of another watch, the Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Mickey Mouse Football.
It features a stainless steel case measuring 41mm in diameter with a sweeping, smooth bezel and fluted sides. However, what really attracts the eye is Mickey Mouse writ large across the dial. The display is itself bi-retrograde with Mickey’s arm functioning as the hand for the 60-minute timer and a second date scale arcing across his legs. The hours are read from an aperture at 5 o’clock.
Significantly, Mickey is in the act of playing keep-ups with a football, pretty timely given that World Cup’s now in full swing (at time of writing England are 3-0 up over Iran in the 53rd minute – come on the Lions!). However, while it sounds fun in concept in principle, I find the resulting wristwatch a bit of a mess. Mickey is weirdly obscured behind scales and the hours aperture seems like it was crammed into whatever space was left available.
Fortunately, the people who love character watches love them despite, or even because, of their quirks. All of which is to say the Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Mickey Mouse Football is sure to find a home in many collections. Plus, it houses a strong movement in the form of the manual wind BVL300.
This watch is a limited edition of 200 pieces at a price of £20,200, but even at that price don’t expect to see it available for long. All that’s left to say is hopefully England’s footy skills are just as good as Mickey’s and judging by their performance so far, they might be – it’s now 4-1.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Bulgari Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Mickey Mouse Football
- Ref: 103786
- Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 11.85mm thickness, stainless steel case, mother-of-pearl dial depicting Mickey Mouse playing football, lacquered Mickey Mouse arm hand
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Bulgari calibre BVL300, automatic, 33 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 42h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Strap: Red textured rubber with stainless steel Gérald Genta folding buckle
- Price/availability: £22,200, limited to 200 pieces