Ask anyone! Turning 90 is a big deal, especially when you are one the world’s most recognised cartoon characters!
By now it’s no secret that the crew at Nixon love jumping on exclusive opportunities to celebrate the world’s biggest franchises and events, so when the 90th anniversary of Disney’s own Mickey Mouse rolled around, getting on the creative front foot was a no brainer. After the powers that be planned the roll out and the ink was dry on the dotted line, a collection of watches and bags merging Nixon’s dedication to high quality products with Disney’s signature carton edge was born.
With a mix of custom Mickey Mouse silhouettes on the watch bands, multi layered dial application and custom ‘90’ crown emboss, each watch both commemorates and celebrates the cartoon figurehead to the very finest of detail. The bags? No different. Made for fun, each piece is housed in outer linings of polyester, followed by the finishing coat of iconic Micky designs printed in CMYK colours. Think bright, think style, think Mickey!
“At Nixon, we love creating experiences and keep time telling fun. We had a blast designing our Mickey Mouse Collection. His personality and character are built into each and every detail of the product... smiles for miles!”
We could keep talking about this collaboration for a while, though instead, we’ll leave it to someone much closer to the products fruition. Take two and join our conversation to learn all things Mickey Mouse with Nixon’s Director of Product, Joseph Babcock.
Disney are celebrating their 90th anniversary of the one and only Mickey Mouse, and Nixon have teamed up for an exclusive collection of featured watches and bags. How did the relationship come to fruition?
Good question. At Nixon we prefer collaborative projects that keep time telling fun and put smiles on people’s faces. When the partnership is right, we can create memorable & unique experiences. This is the case with Mickey Mouse. He is a “True Original” and throughout his 90 years of ears has created millions of smiles & endless memories. A few years ago, we started working with the team at Lucas Films on our Star Wars project. The Nixon fan base response was positive & so when the Mickey team at Disney reached out it sparked our interest.
You’ve linked up with so many iconic individuals and companies in the past, what made working with Disney so special?
Working with Disney is special in many ways. For one, access to assets. Disney provides access to a super deep roster of creative collateral. Impressive to say the least and helps big time while exploring a creative direction. Secondly, their team is great to work with. Their enthusiasm to build an epic product is inspirational. Lastly, the global reach and appeal for a mid-size brand to be able to work with brand’s and personalities at this level is humbling, rewarding, challenging and fun.
Give us a rundown of the collection itself and what makes it so iconic?
The range consists of seven watches and three bags… all of which are Nixon best sellers. Four men’s specific watches, two women’s & one model that works for all. Mickey has a long track record being on wristwatches. This created an opportunity & challenge. How do we create something new? Something that’s never been done. Early in the process we researched and ideated on a direction. We landed on the “If you know, you know” approach. This is illustrated in the watch designs… for example, using “only his hands” on the hands vs. his face and ears. Mickey’s gloves, shorts and ears are so iconic and by focusing on these icons we were able to design a wearable watch with a hit of Mickey personality. Every detail was combed over and dialed in. Mickey ears stamped above the strap adjustment holes, buttons from his shorts stamped into buckles, etc.
Who were the key people involved with bringing each design to life and what was the approval and product testing process?
We have a team-designed approach. The key partners were the Nixon product team, the Disney creative team and our industrial design team, Cinco design. The approval process at Disney is outlined and defined upstream in the discussion. Mickey’s creative team was fun to work with… they let us explore quite a bit without edits. But, I will say we had some ideas that definitely got the, “No way is that gonna happen”.
What’s your favourite from the collection and why?
To me, personally… I have two favourites. Number one, the Corporal. I love the bold robust case and use of Mickey’s arms and gloves on the hour and minute hand. I dig how the second’s hand is his tail and how the 09 O’clock marker on the dial is flipped to 90 for his birthday. Second favourite is the limited edition Steven Harrington watches. He created custom artwork where Mickey is holding paint tubes and brushes… so, while the hands spin, Mickey is actually painting Steven’s artwork. Fun collab within a collab.