Gerald Genta’s mischievous Mickey Mouse watch design is rethought for a new era

The Gerald Genta Retrograde with Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse watch pays tribute to Genta’s humorous design codes

Gerald Genta Watch
(Image credit: TBC)

Watchmaker Gerald Genta breathed new life into the watchmaking industry with his innovative watch designs throughout the 20th century, creating iconic pieces for watch brands including Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Patek Philippe and Omega. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Bulgari Bulgari, Omega Constellation and Patek Philippe Nautilus are amongst his most well-known creations, before he began his own atelier in 1982.

The Gerald Genta brand, which has been owned by the Bulgari group since 2000, continues with the subversive spirit that characterised his designs. Now, his playful approach has been brought to life once again in the limited edition Gerald Genta Retrograde with Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse. By featuring the mischievous mouse motif, it nods to Genta’s habit of using Mickey Mouse in high-end watches, the first designer to do so.

Gerald Genta and Mickey Mouse

Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse watch

(Image credit: Gerald Genta)

The new watch builds on the 2019 piece released to mark the brand’s 50th anniversary, before being rethought in titanium the following year and joining the Arena collection. In this new piece, the famous mouse rests on a rhodium-plated sunburst dial in a polished stainless steel case, with his left arm indicating the minutes.

For Bulgari watch design director Fabrizio Buonamassa, it encapsulates Genta’s philosophy. ‘Gerald Genta designed iconic products we still use today, but for me the important thing is that he was a designer with a strong artistic sense,’ he says.

‘Bulgari created watches with him because there were aspects of his creativity that were interesting, such as the unusual use of technological material. For the first time, we see Mickey Mouse on a high-end watch with different movements and different characters. It’s part of the spirit of Gerald Genta, with unexpected objects making these characters come alive on the dial and creating scenes, or simply telling the time in a much more ironic way. It was a very important collaboration and still today there are many collectors who appreciate these products.’

Mickey Mouse dial

(Image credit: Gerald Genta)


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.