Say you’re looking for a robust dive watch with 200-meter water resistance from a brand with good dive credentials, but don’t want to wear a hockey puck on your wrist. Oh, and you don’t mind a touch of retro flair, and why not, with a sophisticated gradient dial, a day/date function, a practically indestructible movement and a price that still allows you to rent some scuba diving gear. Well, Mido’s latest Ocean Star Tribute Gradient answers all these needs, an all-inclusive deal for all terrains.
Founded in 1918, Mido was the forerunner of the waterproof wristwatch. Thanks to the 1930 Aquadura Crown Sealing System, with a cork gasket on the crown to prevent water and dust from entering the movement, the Mido is known as the “King of the Waterproof”. In 1934, the Multifort appeared, a robust, automatic, anti-magnetic watch with built-in water and shock resistance that became a bestseller until the 1950s. The Ocean Star family, with its starfish logo, was born in the early 1940s and evolved over the years to include a single-shell (monocoque) case and the brand’s Aquadura cork crown-sealing mechanism to increase the watch’s water-resistance. Today, the Ocean Star family includes contemporary divers, chronographs, a colorful decompression model, a GMT traveler’s watch, chronometers with COSC-certified automatic movements, and tribute models inspired by Mido divers of yesteryear.
Flash back to the 1960s
The 40.5 mm (13.4 mm thick) case size is consistent with the brand’s historical waterproof watches with pointy crown guards and solid lugs. Equipped with a screw-down crown and caseback, the watch is water resistant to 200 meters and weighs 100g. The unidirectional aluminum knurled bezel features silver markers and numerals with a mandatory luminous dot at noon. Another interesting detail that refers to the brand’s 1960s divers is the polished case, which we don’t usually associate with contemporary sports watches.
Whenever I see a red gradient dial that fades to black at the edge, I think of a volcano. It may have something to do with the fact that I live in Spain and was inundated with live images of the volcanic eruption in La Palma last year. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic dial color for a dive watch, which contrasts exceptionally well with the thick printed rectangular indices (triangle at 12) and blunt diamond-cut hour and minute hands. Legibility is enhanced with Super-LumiNova applied to the indices and hands, including the lollipop seconds hand.
While date windows are always questionable, the day and date window here doesn’t seem like an afterthought. Following the shape of the indexes, the day of the week and date are placed in a rectangular aperture with a white background and black markers and, best of all, are perfectly legible. What’s the point of having a day/date window that can’t be seen without a magnifying glass? Including day and date adds functionality to the watch as a powerful surf and turf model. Sealing off the vintage mood, the dial is protected by a box-shaped sapphire crystal.
Marking a first for the Ocean Star collection, the watch features a tropic-style black rubber strap with a criss-cross design in relief reminiscent of 1960s models.
Mido’s Ocean Star Tribute Gradient houses the powerful Caliber 80, based on the upgraded ETA C07.621 and hidden under a sealed caseback with a starfish. Shared by some of the most accessible brands in the Swatch Group (aka the Powermatic 80 by Tissot), the caliber is an evolution of the 2824-2 architecture, enhanced with a revised kinetic chain and reduced frequency. A wide-grade movement adjusted in three different positions, it beats at 3Hz and doubles its power reserve to 80 hours.
Meadows Ocean Star Tribute Gradient Retail CHF 870. For more information, please contact midowatches.com.