Whether it’s for the sake of quirkiness or nostalgia, cartoon watches with vintage dials are simple what the 90s kids consider of utmost significance. Here are 6 of the best cartoon watches we’ve seen.
Via video games or TV shows, cartoons were perhaps the first fictional characters we were introduced to, and it’s also why they’ll always hold a special place in our hearts, irrespective of one’s age. Just like many other artistic and pop-culture influences, animated cartoons have found their place in the watch industry. It isn’t new. Cartoon-dial watches were around even in the 80s and 90s but are significantly finding an appeal in today’s market for the love of nostalgic silhouettes and retro themes. They’re no longer kiddie-watches or cartoon merch — some could even be considered limited-edition collector pieces.
If you’re looking to flaunt nostalgia on your wrists, here are six of the best cartoon watches out there today.
TAG Heuer Connected x Super Mario
Fresh out the oven is this TAG x Mario collab that has the watchmaking world’s undivided attention right now. Featuring one of history’s most prolific arcade protagonists and Nintendo legend, Mario, the team with the king of sporty smartwatches and race day wrist-star, TAG Heuer. One of our favourite features about the watch is the animations it uses for the activity trackers. It follows a reward-based system that tracks physical activity and fitness goals, making Mario your personal trainer. In terms of looks, we see Mario’s signature colours sprawl across the timepiece. With a titanium body measuring 45-mm, it promises nearly a full day of battery life. It’s limited to 2000 pieces.
Bovet 1822’s Miss Audrey Sweet Fairy ONLY WATCH
Sweet as Miss Audrey Sweet Fairy is her Bovet dial. Why? It uses an ingredient never been seen before in watchmaking – sugar. Symbolizing sweetness and purity, the timepiece’s dial is truly special. Apart from the Super-LumiNova motif of Miss Audrey, the rest of the dial boasts a protective lacquer, securing the art for eternity. So no matter how hot things get, the sugar crystals won’t melt. Certainly one of the best cartoon watches to debut in recent times.
Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary
For those of you who don’t know, Snoopy and Omega first met back in 1970 when NASA presented Omega with the Silver Snoopy Award. The Snoopy award is a symbol of NASA’s safety program. But why Omega? Because the Speedmaster was actually used to avoid a tragedy in NASA’s Apollo 13 mission. In this timepiece, we see a triple-blue subdial with one featuring Snoopy in an astronaut suit. It gets better with the case back with Snoopy orbiting the moon alongside the phrase ‘Eyes on the stars’. The watch hits a perfect note of simple elegance and is something every NASA fan would love to own.
Sonic the Hedgehog x Seiko 30th Anniversary Watch
Sonic The Hedgehog celebrated their 30th birthday with a cool new Seiko. The dial refers to the Green Hill Zone from the arcade game with an image of Sonic chasing golden ring hour markers. In case you’re wondering, the green stripe across the inner bezel represents the grass. Keeping up to speedy affairs, there’s also a chronograph on deck. Limited to just 3,000 pieces.
Romain Jerome Tourbillon Pokémon
We recently discovered this watch and were absolutely blown away. Undoubtedly one of the best cartoon watches we’ve seen with a fully animated dial. Crafted by Romain Jerome, it’s interesting to see a high-end Pokémon watch with a tourbillon and a six-figure price tag in the market. However, we’re sure there’s a Poké-fanatic out there hunting this piece down. Gotta catch ’em all right?
Gérald Genta Retro Fantasy Mickey Mouse watch
Gérald Genta is one of those brands that always brings a smile to a watch geek’s face. It’s one of those if-you-know-you-know sorts of brand or what most might call a ‘cult’ brand. Their mastery at hand showcases who is undoubtedly the biggest cartoon star in cinema history. In the 90s and early 2000s, it was safe to say that if Gérald Genta used Mickey on one more dial-faces, we could practically call the guy their official brand mascot. The dial and the automatic movement are stunning, and the vintage Mickey Mouse motif is an absolute win.
All images: Courtesy brand