Walt Disney joined with watchmaker Ingersoll and between them they created timepieces with various cartoon characters on the face and sometimes on the back of the watch. Characters such as Donald Duck, Big Bad Wolf, and of course Donald Duck were the prominent cartoons displayed.
As time went by, in the late 1930s, other manufacturers took more of an interest in the marketing concept and companies such as Ingraham also joined in the cartoon craze. Other characters such as Buck Rogers, Popeye, Superman and Betty Boop surfaced on popular pocket and wrist watches. It is interesting to note that these watches are quite rare (especially Betty Boop watches) and so these can command premium prices today.
The popularity of these watches continued up until the late 1950s when time finally caught up with the characters and they became less desirable than they were originally. Of course, as with all crazes and fads they must come to end eventually but this doesn't make the existing articles any less interesting or potentially collectible in the future.
This is a list of some of the watches you might find on the market today from the 1930s:
This is by no means a complete list. There are notable exceptions to the normally cheaper cartoon character watches such as the Tom Mix pocket watch that always fetches a premium price if in good condition, around the $2000 mark. Others reaching into the four-digit bracket these days are the Big Bad wolf & 3 pigs 1936 model that will fetch around the $1500 mark. The Mickey Mouse pocket watch varies with most fetching the lower end of the scale set out below.
As collectibles go, these watches represent something that many of us can remember and cherish from our childhood and beyond. Modern day collectors are only too aware that as time passes by the numbers and quality of the watches left are worth more as years go by. If these watches are of interest to you, you should be able to build up a nice collection that will undoubtedly increase in value as time passes, and at the same time appreciate the historical value that these pieces represent.
The Mickey Mouse Pocket Watch will be around for a while yet!
All images reproduced with the kind permission of Pieces of Time
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