The original Mickey Mouse (a.k.a., Steamboat Willie) was a troublemaker. Mickey’s evolution from rebel rodent to “good as Gold” symbol of the Disney empire is a sad reflection on corporate America. I reckon graffiti-artist Keith Haring shared that view (e.g., drinking/masturbating Mickey). The new, post-mortem Mickey Mouse SWATCH X Keith Haring collection reflects this early Mickey bias . . .
All three Mickey Mouse watches are plastic fantastic quartz timepieces built by Swiss robots. Watches that cost The SWATCH Group about ten bucks to produce, including everything except artist’s royalties (an unspecified percentage going to the Keith Haring Foundation). Here’s the rundown.
SWATCH X Keith Haring Mouse Marinière – $100
In French marinière means “striped.” It sounds suspiciously close to marinated. I’m not saying that the SWATCH designer who put stripes underneath Mr. Haring’s banging illustration (see: top of post) was marinating in something alcoholic at the time. But the result is insupportable, IMHO. Even with the drawing etched on the crystal. Especially?
At 34mm, the Mouse Marinière probably reads even less well than it could – which is not much. SWATCH shares our belief that watches don’t have a gender, but it’s pretty clear someone somewhere figured women love color! And so they do – only not when it obscures the world’s most famous pest control problem.
SWATCH X Keith Haring Mickey Blanc sur Noir – $125
Like the previous Haring SWATCHes, the new SWATCH X Keith Haring Mickey Mouse collection are “fun.” [Note: the Mickey Blanc sur Noir would not do well in the U.S. market if SWATCH had used the English translation: “white on black”.] Mostly. This particular timepiece, not so much. It’s objectionably unobjectionable.
Cheeky as Ratón Miguelito’s expression is, the portrait is a lot less Haring-esque than the artist’s more popular, exuberant and powerful images (e.g., the Radiant Baby). The BsN’s yellow paper clip hands are funky fresh, and squaring the circle with the mouse’s mug is muy Mucha Lucha, neither does anything to help the owner tell the time. To quote Bullwinkle J. Moose, if punctuality is your thing, wrong hat!
Eclectic Mickey – $185
Is that a misprint? Did they mean Electric Mickey? This very Haring image – complete with his trademark line motif – looks like Walt’s BFF Mickey stuck his
finger paw into an electric socket in the middle of a bad acid trip. What’s not to love? Unless you’re on an acid trip when you’re wearing it. The Eclectic Mickey is definitely the statement piece of the group. But again, I’m left wondering what it’s saying, save “Hey kids! Don’t do drugs.”
Reflecting the trend of rewarding bricks-and-mortar stores for putting up with online sales, SWATCH only sells EM’s in-store. As we reported back in July, “SWATCH used the lockdown to shut 260 most SWATCH stores (down from over 2,000).” Needless to say, Eclectic Mickeys have already appeared on eBay – for up to $876. Keith would have laughed at that. At whom, I can’t tell you.
Dammit, Pantone was right. I sort of like that yellow keeper for no good reason. Interestingly, the “swatch/SWISS” marking seems to be on the back of the crystal too, at least for Eclectic Mickey.
These remind me of Robert Armstrong’s Mickey Rat comic character. I see that Mickey Rat t-shirts are presently being sold, so presumably a Mickey Rat watch is legally feasible.
Yellow works as an accent color, not as a main color. Still, even when pantone sets a color, the basics always still sell. We had a saying in the luxury store I used to be a buyer at; for women, when in doubt black or leopard print regardless of trend.
[…] Swatch marks a return to the Swiss brand’s artsy fartsy collector roots. Unlike the recent Keith Haring Mickey Mouse mishegoss, Swatch’s MOMA series evokes the artists’ works without billboarding them. […]