During a special event at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai this week, Swatch unveiled two new limited-edition timepieces designed by British artist Damien Hirst to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday.

“The idea started from Mickey, it was all about how do we throw a party for Mickey because we definitely think that there are some elements of his character which relate to Swatch,” explains Carlo Giordanetti, Swatch’s Creative Director. “It is this eternal youth story, like the guy grows old but never really grows old and in the same way Swatch is now 35 years old but it still has the same spirit and the same DNA as in the beginning,” he explains.

This is the first time Swatch has worked with Damien Hirst and they approached him after seeing his fondness for the Disney character in his Treasure from the Wreck of the Unbelievable series in Venice, where Mickey was covered in coral as if he was a ship-wrecked object. “We would never have done just a watch with Mickey, that is not who we are, we prefer to do our own interpretation. We have never got involved in licensing, we always try to do things with a little twist, so we decided to do an artist collaboration and this is how Damien Hirst’s name came up,” he says.

Swatch’s Creative Director, Carlo Giordanetti at their special launch event in Shanghai
Swatch’s Creative Director, Carlo Giordanetti at their special launch event in Shanghai

There are two versions, both of which feature a deconstructed image of Mickey using different colored circles on the dial. The first Special Art edition, called Spot Mickey, features a red and yellow strap and is limited to only 1,999 for the world. This watch goes on sale on swatch.com on Sunday 18th November, Mickey’s actual birthday, for 24 hours only. Check your regional Swatch website for start times as a select number of watches are available for each region. You can enter your email to receive a notification.

Spot Mickey, limited to 1,999 pieces at USD 185
Spot Mickey, limited to 1,999 pieces at USD 185
Our own Sophie Furley with a larger than life version of the Spot Mickey watch

The second limited edition, called Mirror Spot Mickey, plays with larger spots and portrays the little big star on a mirrored background on the dial and the strap. This version has been produced in a larger series of 19,999 pieces and is already on sale.

On the reverse of both watches, Damien Hirst has signed the underside of the strap, wishing happy birthday to this iconic Disney character.

Mirror Spot Mickey, limited to 19,999 pieces priced at USD 125
Mirror Spot Mickey, limited to 19,999 pieces priced at USD 125

“Mickey speaks to different generations. People may buy it for their kids, but there is a little part of what I like to call the ‘snob appeal’ because finally, not everyone can buy a piece by Damien Hirst, but in this way you can, and you may like it because of that, or you may like it because it is an unusual Mickey. I am sure there are also collectors of Mickey stuff around the world who will like this, so very often these projects open the door to reconnect or connect us to new audiences and that is one of the reasons we love to do them,” concludes Giordanetti.

Technical Specifications: Spot Mickey

Case: 34mm black plastic, water-resistant to 30 meters

Movement: Quartz

Dial: Gray with illustration

Strap: Red and yellow silicone

Warranty: 24 months

Price: USD 185

Limited edition of 1,999 pieces

Technical Specifications: Mirror Spot Mickey

Case: 41mm transparent plastic, water-resistant to 30 meters

Movement: Quartz

Dial: Gray with illustration

Strap: White silicone

Warranty: 24 months

Price: USD 125

Limited edition of 19,999 pieces

Mirror Spot Mickey, limited to 19,999 pieces priced at USD 125