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Donald Duck Mystery Watch by Ingersoll

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Disney Collectibles105 of 224Walt Disney, 1950'sSong of the South (disney) Brer Bear
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Posted 9 months ago

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CollectorGuy
(5 items)

I am hoping someone can help me clear up a mystery about an item I found. I have two Donald Duck watches by Ingersoll in my collection. See photo. The one on the left I identified as the 1935 Donald Duck Ingersoll wrist watch, which I understand is extremely rare.

But then I found the one on the right, which, if you look closely, appears to be an earlier version of Donald Duck. I could not find any information about Ingersoll releasing an earlier version of this watch. By all accounts, the one on the left is the earliest version I could find. However, I did read that after the success of the Mickey watches, Ingersoll had considered making other characters and some of those earlier watches never went into production.

Is it possible that I have an early Donald Duck watch that never went into production? Or am I way off-base? Hopefully someone out there can shed some light on this mystery. Thanks.
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Thanks for the feedback so far. As suggested, I opened up the back of both watches and put them side by side so that you can compare the movements, etc. Again, the one on the left is the standard issue watch and the one on the right is the mystery watch. I also posted a close-up of the inside of the mystery watch by itself. They both show the same patent information stamped on the inside. The mystery watch also has an extra line of text around the patent info that reads "Ingersoll Watch Co. Made in U.S.A.". They are both stamped with a unique 8-digit number. Otherwise, the insides look identical.

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Comments

  1. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    Great find ! we have a few watch experts on CW that can help you when they log on . Welcome to CW
  2. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    Hello CollectorGuy and welcome to CW.
    First, one word .......WOW.........
    but really, yes the first is the 35 Donald and I believe you're on the right track as to a design prototype on the other. I've never seen it, I would make a call as to what it is without having "In Hand". sadly the sub-second disk has been replaced sometime in the last few years and has a "after-market" replacement. Again I would love to see this in person, also would love to tell you it's a design proto-type, but as many "Fantasy" dials that have appeared in the last 10-15 years I can't say it is an original or fake, without seeing it first hand.
    Either way, both are fantastic finds.
    Kerry
  3. valentino97 valentino97, 9 months ago
    Welcome quack packer!
  4. geo26e geo26e, 9 months ago
    Stunning 1st post and welcome to CW! The 35 on the left is a rare beauty! In order to determine the authenticity of the Donald on the right, is it possible to remove the bazel for close up photos? Photos of the movement will also help! Look forward to seeing more of your other collections!
  5. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    The more I look at this(second one) can't help but noticed, it appears to have been "Thrown" together with out much regard to what it might be. Hmmm
  6. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    Great post & welcome! As Kerry said, nearly impossible to tell unless seen in person. ...... That being said, have you ever removed the bezel to inspect the dial? If you have, is the Donald dial a very thin paper sitting on top of a blank? Have you ever looked at the dial with a loupe? Does the coloring look like a pastel/paint on top of the dial? lastly, do you mind me asking what state this was purchased in?
  7. CollectorGuy, 9 months ago
    I have not removed the bezel or taken it apart in any way other than to remove the back just now for the posted photos. I'm not a watch expert. So I don't want to start messing around inside the watch as it is running beautifully and I wouldn't want to mess it up.

    If the dial was paper on top of a blank and coloring were painted, what would that indicate about the watch? Would that mean it was a prototype or a fake? It sounds like you have a theory. I would love to know what you are thinking. Thanks.
  8. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    Even if I knew if it was on a blank, I still wouldn't be able to answer 100% if a prototype or fake.

    I have been collecting character watches for a long time. Actually 3rd generation in my family to do so. The reason I mention that is because of all of the watches we have seen and had, there is one that none of us could ever figure out if it was a prototype or fake.

    It is a Mickey Mouse watch, and the way it is colored and done looks very similar to your Donald. If memory serves, the writing is almost an exact match too. While the writing is nearly the same as the production version, you can tell it was hand done, and it isn't perfect.

    Unless it is just the way your photo was taken, you will notice the hour indicators are a tiny bit smaller/different on the watch on the right. The same as the Mickey I have when compared to its production model.

    I have tried to contact Disneys archive department to see if they have any information on possible prototypes of watches, but they never respond.

  9. CollectorGuy, 9 months ago
    I appreciate all of your feedback on this. Everything you said leads me to believe that this must have been an Ingersoll prototype of the Donald watch. It looks to be the same age as the standard issue Donald watch that I have. It is made from Ingersoll parts.

    Did you see anything about your Mickey watch to make you doubt its authenticity?
  10. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    I've never been able to verify or doubt its authenticity. Unfortunately, I call it a mystery. Until I can verify 100% that it is a prototype, I can't call it that. The difference between a 1930's Ingersoll Donald/Mickey fake and a factory prototype is astronomical.

    If you get a chance to look at the dial closer, let me know if the image appears to be printed in the paper or more on top...if that makes any sense.

  11. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    I might add this also. It hour and minute hands appear to be of "Home-made" style. The color is off, the curve of them in backwards , reminds me of the later model reproduction Pedre or Ingersoll Quartz hands with flags added. still just an observation. I know Adam is a very diligent in his investigations and would also agree without close examination, the dial might be authentic. While the rest has been a piece and part watch. The serial #'s are of later origin, while dates of serial numbers are approximates, the lower of the two suggest 1937 . Not sure if I totally agree with dating on reference site.
  12. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    Kerry,

    I agree and should have mentioned I am only talking about the dial. The hands do look odd to me. The dial appears to be of a better & different paint quality then the hands.
  13. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    Adam,
    Agreed, I was directing my attentions at the dial first, which I believe might be correct, but no reference to same. The question placed by CollectorGuy if there was in thing that would lead to authenticity, I added those comment. Would love to a hands on to check closely the dial, as it might well be.
  14. CollectorGuy, 9 months ago
    If Ingersoll was building prototypes by hand in the 1930's, wouldn't they be using hand painted parts? If so, they might not be concerned about matching the paint on the dial with the hands if it was only a prototype. Does that make sense or am I way off base?
  15. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    Yep. Another mystery in the character watch world. If we could only time travel, things would be much easier. :)

    One thing I do find strange is that whoever did the dial on this, and my Mickey watch was very talented. To draw those thin black lines would be very difficult for the average person to do. If you were going to go through the trouble of making a fake and had that kind of painting talent, why make it slightly different from the original?
  16. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    point taken, but possible answer was to have the only one. It could have made as a "owner" watch and the person wished to have a one-of-a-kind. Just a thought
  17. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    Example would be the creations od Al Horen, most looked very close to the original with a few changes, ever so slight. like dates under the logo
  18. CollectorGuy, 9 months ago
    I was thinking the same thing. Why would anyone go to all the trouble to make a fake Mickey or Donald watch after they have gone into production and you could easily purchase a real one? They were not rare and collectible back then so there would be no incentive to counterfeit them. Also, I read that the Donald Duck watches were not very popular at the time, which is why they became so rare. Why counterfeit an unpopular watch?

    Isn't the more likely explanation that these are pre-production versions? Why else would they get everything else right and then draw the characters different from the production model unless this one came first before they went into production?

    Also, the look of the Disney characters evolved over time. This one appears to be modeled on an earlier version of Donald Duck whose appearance pre-dates the official 1935 Ingersoll Donald Duck watch. Why would someone go to all the trouble of counterfeiting a Donald Duck watch only to use an earlier version of the character?

    However, if it was an early prototype then it would make sense that they were modeling the dial after what Donald looked like at that time.
  19. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    Kerry,

    I agree 100%. Unfortunately, we may never know for sure. I wish I knew someone that worked at Disney!

  20. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    In response, that would be the logical answer. But I won't commit to that's the answer, agreed dial might be as such. No argument there, but someone along the way has added all the rest is my point, hands and sub disk are newer additions to this, not question in my mind. If indeed and "Proto-type" the addition of the rest of those pieces is a deprivment to the piece itself.
  21. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    Opps, should direct last comment to CollectorGuy, sorry two thought happening same time.
  22. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 months ago
    End with what I stated earlier, fantastic finds and "WOW" all the way around. I'm off my soapbox now :-)))
  23. crazycharacter crazycharacter, 9 months ago
    CollectorGuy,

    I agree with everything you say. The problem is that you can also look at everything the opposite way and say it's a fake. For example, someone didn't like the "newer"version of Donald so they made one that looked older. The hands are curved wrong, so it's a fake...or is it an early design, and they changed the curve of the hands? Just too many questions.

    Please keep in mind that I am not trying to discredit or knock your watch in any way. Everything I am saying about this watch goes for my Mickey watch as well. For every reason I may say it is original, someone could say it is fake.

    Your best bet would be to try and contact someone at Disney who cares about the History. In my opinion, the only people/person that could tell you 100% if it was original or fake would be someone who worked there.

    It appears old, but with fakes that doesn't mean much. I am not saying it was, but it could have been made last year by someone and it would look like that. It's not necessarily an old fake, if a fake at all.

    It truly is a piece worth trying to research. If you ever have any luck contacting someone at Disney, send them my way too please!

    Great find and great post.

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