A Mickey Mouse watch represents a valuable piece of history and pop culture, no matter what it's worth in dollars and cents. Its monetary value can be quite high, however. The original Mickey Mouse wristwatch sold for about £1.90 in 1933, while one was sold in 2005 for a reported £4,225 and another was sold in late 2010 for £1,625. Whether you are just curious or getting ready to sell, find out how much that Mickey Mouse timepiece is worth today by conducting a little research.
Take detailed photos of the wristwatch or pocket watch from all angles for your records. These will come in handy to e-mail to experts or appraisers, for insurance purposes or to put the item up for sale.
Assess the watch's condition and test it to see if it is working, as this will affect its current valuation. However, even if it is not running, it may still have value. Note whether there are any scratches, stains or rust. If its original watchband and packaging are present, its value increases.
Research the history of the timepiece. Learn the year the watch was made and sold, noting the serial number. Find out, if possible, how many were made and the original selling price. In general, the scarcer and older an item, the more it is worth. Special circumstances can affect a watch's rarity. For example, if the item was never sold in stores but given out to shareholders or employees, it may be worth more.
Contact watch experts or collectors, or at least skim their websites for useful information. Choose people with deep knowledge and credibility, even if they do not bill themselves as appraisers. Check this by researching their reputation online. Experts may have been interviewed in the press, written books or articles and/or have their own blogs about watches.
Read what Disneyana experts and collectors have to say. Many Disney fans and employees collect anything under the Disney banner - Mickey Mouse watches included. They may have deep knowledge to share about any Disney item and can help determine the price it would sell for today. Look for Disney collector forums online as well as antique websites that have a section for Disneyana.
Find out the going rate for the watch on reputable auction websites and online stores. Check general interest sites such as eBay, but also antique sites (if your watch is older) or specialist watch retailers, such as Bayvender Collectible and Character Watches.
Visit a local antique shop or vintage watch repair shop. Be aware of bias; the person behind the counter may lowball the value in order to get a good deal if he wants to purchase the watch from you.
Visit your local Disney store. Employees there may be able to connect you with additional local resources.
Consult reference books such as "The Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles" by Ted Hake.
Request a professional appraisal from an experienced, reputable antique watch dealer or appraiser. Get more than one independent appraisal, if possible. You can request either a professional opinion or a formal written appraisal. The latter may require a fee. One way to find appraisers is via the search engine on the NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) web site, which allows you to search by postcode.
Prices fluctuate from year to year, so new valuations will need to be done regularly to remain relevant. If the watch is appraised for a significant amount, consider getting insurance for it. When checking Mickey Mouse watch prices on eBay, use the "completed listings" search filter available for members. This search tells you what items actually sold for recently, rather than just the asking prices.
Proceed with caution if you are planning to get your watch fixed or change its band, even if it is worn out. Any non-original parts will lower the watch's value. When dealing with antique dealers or watch repair shops, find out how long they have been in business to help gauge their credibility. Check the business with the Better Business Bureau and NAWCC as well.