Putting Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

The `90s are well and truly launched, and from all accounts the dour decade won't look much like its immediate predecessor, when greed was good and consumption was conspicuous. But a few stubborn loyalists are resisting the forces of sensible shopping. These holdouts take no note of gloomy headlines, focusing instead on advertisements for such necessities as Jean Lassale's $2,000 Mickey Mouse watch, featuring "a mother-of-pearl dial, circled by sumptuous 18K gold."

Who would wear such a thing? Well, at least one seven-year-old girl, and more than one "conservative businessman," according to Anthony D'Ambrosio, executive director of Tourneau, a carriage-trade jeweler. He says the Lassale timepiece sold well, as did a competing watch featuring the grinning rodent and priced at $3,900. D'Ambrosio, not surprisingly, doesn't know what to make of all this talk of a recession.