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Mido reissues its flagship Ocean Star as a chronograph. The new flagship watch is an exciting cross between a diver’s watch and a chronograph. Find out what refinements the new timepiece from the Swiss company has to offer in my review.
What you need to know about Mido…
The Swiss manufacturer Mido can look back on a successful 100 year history. You haven’t heard anything about it yet? Then it could be because you come from Europe. A market on which Mido has hardly concentrated during the last century. The success story was written on other continents. The most important markets were and still are America and Asia. But the weighting is changing. Europe, with its Swiss home market, is becoming increasingly important. This should finally put Mido on your radar in 2021.
The strikingly beautiful name Mido is derived from Spanish. “Yo mido” means nothing more than “I measure.” Swiss watchmaker Georges Schaeren could hardly have found a more fitting name when he founded the company in 1918. Its immense popularity outside of Europe probably stems from the fact that the Swiss manufacturer made watches during World War II that were particularly well received by U.S. soldiers, who brought the watchmaking art of Mido home with them. Popular at the time, the Multifort is still a staple of the model range today.
The model range consists of 7 different collections. It is noticeable that Mido offers a large assortment of ladies’ watches and does not just list them as “companions” to the men’s watches. Our Mido Ocean Star Chronograph belongs to the Ocean Star collection. The name says it all. For decades, Ocean Star watches at Mido have stood for sporty diving watches in the premium segment. Prices here start from 1000 euros. Mido promises Our Ocean Star Chronograph as one of the best watches currently available in the collection. Whether this is true, I want to find out together with you in the test.
The Unboxing: Mido raises my expectations
The list of highlights is impressive. A nautical tachymeter scale that can calculate the speed on the high seas in nautical miles per hour. Plus an automatic caliber with a 60-hour power reserve. A robust case made of high-tech titanium material through and through…. This does not dampen my expectations. On the contrary. And they are fulfilled.
A rectangular box containing the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph sits on the center of my desk. It has a quality design and finish, no question about it. The color combination of black with orange lettering is unmistakably Mido. When opening the box, I see next to my watch what I implausibly thought was a nicely intended gimmick in the online store. The box containing the Ocean Star Chronograph is actually a watch winder! With every purchase of a Mido watch, the customer receives their own watch winder as a gift. In my opinion a practical and successful idea. Those of you who have expanded their watch collection will have noticed how useful and convenient a watch winder is. For Mido it is a unique selling proposition.
The Mido Ocean Star Chronograph is a timepiece of brute proportions. And I mean that in a positive sense. The case diameter of 44 millimeters is a stunner and embodies at first glance what the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph wants to be. In addition, it appears incredibly technical, which is mainly due to the no-frills blue dial, the matte shimmering titanium case and the matching bracelet, which is also made of titanium. For even more sportiness are the white, yellow and orange accents on the dial.
The Mido Ocean Star Chronograph on the wrist
This chronograph has a remarkable size. It is not a discreet fashion watch, that should be clear to you. But the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph doesn’t want to be that. Quite the opposite: this chronograph was designed and built to stand out. However, to my positive surprise, wearing it on the wrist turns out to be pleasantly unproblematic. Despite my slim wrist, the timepiece does not seem oversized. This is also due to the comparatively moderate case thickness of 15.6 millimeters, which makes the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph look sporty rather than clumsy. In advance: if the blue-silver color scheme is still too ordinary for you, you should take a look at the sister model. This is an all-black variant that Mido has given a special DLC coating. It comes with a futuristic black bracelet. Which design looks better, however, is a matter of taste, as we all know.
I really like Mido’s new flagship from the Ocean Star collection in the more common version at first glance. The look is refreshingly different. That’s because the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph has both the typical design elements of a diver’s watch, such as bezel or easy-to-read indices, but also the classic look of a chronograph with pushers and totalizers on the dial. Indeed, I have rarely seen anything like this before. So now the question remains, whether the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph can also combine the advantages of diver and chronograph well in everyday life. For this, I would like to go into more detail.
Ready for all dives: the case of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph
The most important detail of the case is certainly the high-tech metal titanium, from which it is made. Originally, the material was developed for medical technology or aerospace. For some years now, however, titanium has also been finding its way more frequently into the watch industry. Manufacturers prefer to use it in sporty chronographs or resistant diving watches. There is a reason for this, because titanium offers a number of advantages over the more common stainless steel. The metal is characterized by the fact that it is incredibly light and very robust at the same time. This makes even a large timepiece like the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph a light everyday companion that is also hypoallergenic.
If you use the watch on dives, you also don’t have to worry about the longevity of your Mido Ocean Star. Titanium is particularly resistant to salt water, so it won’t corrode over time. An alternative to titanium is the black DLC coating of the sister model, whose case is made of stainless steel inside. Those who opt for it will pay a total of 40 euros extra. Personally, I find the choice of the titanium case extremely elegant and would not want to live without its advantages in everyday use.
Only the best materials
A resistant watch glass is also indispensable. Here, Mido claims to be able to guarantee a special sharpness thanks to the best quality. In any case, I can’t find anything wrong with the readability of the dial. When it comes to the material, Mido has chosen sapphire crystal, which is apparently the best choice. Sapphire crystal is particularly shock-resistant, durable and strong. The readability is improved by a double-sided anti-reflective coating, to which the Swiss have attached great importance. When buying a new diver’s watch, an anti-reflective watch glass is an important factor you should pay attention to. If you are on the high seas, sunlight or even light reflections under water cannot affect the readability of the dial. With this watch glass, the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph is ready for your next dive.
Functional and with chronograph genes
Despite its tidy 44 millimeter diameter and the sapphire crystal used, the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph is surprisingly light – much lighter than it looks at first glance. I quickly forgot about the mere 151 grams when wearing it in everyday life. That’s a strong comfort plus. The workmanship of the case is impeccable and can easily keep up with higher-priced competitors.
The bezel, which I liked very much, also contributes to the aforementioned lightness. This one is a real diver’s bezel, i.e. a countdown bezel. Mido uses lightweight ceramic. The “clicks” engage cleanly and are well made.
Even with the crown, the good build quality of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph does not diminish. The crown is screwed to the case middle and fluted. This makes it noticeably easier to operate, especially underwater. So that the crown does not interfere with the back of the hand on dives and in everyday life, it is embedded between two protrusions of the case. This is just one example of the good functionality of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph. Particularly successful: the engraved Mido lettering on the top. The two pushers provide good haptic feedback when you press them. However, before that works, you have to unscrew them first. This is a kind of safety device. The pushers are the standout feature that sets the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph apart from a common diver’s watch.
Surprisingly unconventional: the caseback of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph
I was pleasantly surprised by Mido with the design of the caseback. Contrary to my expectations, this has hardly anything to do with most other watches, which either install a viewing window or a plain stainless steel caseback. In the center of the caseback, there is a circle embossed with a stylized starfish. I personally like this a lot. It’s a welcome change from the otherwise common design variations from other manufacturers. The starfish noticeably enhances the watch and shows how much love Mido has put into the details.
In the outer area, the six-fold screw-down case back becomes visible. This allows the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph to achieve a water resistance of up to 20 bar. A maximum diving depth of 200 meters doesn’t sound bad. In any case, this value is easily sufficient for most requirements of a diving watch. The water resistance, among other specifications of the watch, is engraved in high quality on the titanium of the case back.
Midos Caliber 60
A good movement should meet the requirements of the particular timepiece. If the watch manufacturer does not have its own manufacture, the caliber must be purchased from a specialized company. Mido chooses an interesting middle ground here, which is common among some watch companies. As a basis for its automatic movement, Mido specifies the Swiss made ETA A05.H31 automatic movement. In order to perfectly match it to the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph, the movement is modified once again during production.
So, inside my timepiece now works the Mido caliber 60. The most striking thing: a power reserve of 60 hours, which is above average. While most calibers run for about 2 days and then have to be wound up again, Mido gives its chronograph half a day more. The Mido Ocean Star Chronograph easily outperforms comparable models in this respect. Would you like to see a few more numbers? With 27 jewels, the caliber 60 has a frequency of 28800 vibrations per hour. The diameter of the caliber is a tidy 30.4 millimeters, which explains the sheer size of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph.
The use of the caliber 60 should give you a long life of your Ocean Star without any problems. Maintenance by a watchmaker every few years will suffice.
The advantages become visible: the dial of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph.
The dial of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph accomplishes something I’ve very rarely, if ever, seen before. It combines the pared-down design and easy readability of a functional dive watch with the wealth of information that only a chronograph can provide. How does Mido achieve this?
On a dive, the wearer is primarily interested in two things. The remaining time for which the air is still sufficient and possibly the time. The indices needed for this are represented by very large rectangles, which offer perfect readability under water. Like the hands, they are coated and applied with yellow luminous material. The luminous indices make the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph come to life in the dark. Its glow is very strong and even – an indicator of good quality, which, as we all know, never lies.
If you now use the watch in everyday life, you will often want to fall back on the other functions that the dial offers. For example, there are the two totalizers at 3 and 9 o’clock, which show the small seconds and the 30 minute time. Especially the small second is always incredibly useful for me, for example, when I stop with the large second hand. That’s why also its hand got a filling with luminous material – very useful in my opinion! Due to the totalizers, the date window has slipped above 6 o’clock.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph dial is the nautical tachymeter printed on the rehaut. A tachymeter indicates how fast you are traveling on a set distance. The unit here is nautical miles (refresher? 1 nautical mile equals 1852 meters). If I need a quarter of an hour for a distance of 1 nautical mile, I can look up on the Rehaut what speed I have covered during this quarter of an hour. There it says: 4. So I have moved on this distance of 1 nautical mile with an average speed of 4 nautical miles per hour. Admittedly, we could all have solved this example in our heads.
However, if I had needed 17 minutes, the whole thing becomes more tricky. A look at the tachymeter is enough: Average speed about 3.5 nautical miles per hour. The tachymeter is in my opinion a useful addition which will certainly be less important in everyday life, but turns out to be a very nice gimmick…. And after all, that’s just as important, isn’t it?
Overall, I really like the design of the dial. The small orange color accents are a successful contrast to the calm blue, brighten up the overall look and give the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph a bit of sportiness.
With ease on the wrist: the titanium bracelet
Those who appreciate the advantages of a titanium case will also like the bracelet. We all know the disadvantages that stainless steel bracelets bring with them. They are susceptible to many and heavy to boot. For me, the first impression with the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph on my wrist was a completely new feeling. The fact that it is a bracelet made of titanium is not immediately apparent at first glance, but you can feel it. The lightness of the metal also pays off here. You hardly notice the watch on your wrist. What you should definitely not do is diving without a folding clasp with a diving extension. The titanium bracelet of the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph has one. If you open the folding clasp, a few extra centimeters are available, so that the watch also sits firmly on the wrist when you wear a wetsuit.
The All-Black variant comes with a futuristic-looking strap made of synthetic material with a leather interior that can withstand salt water as well. The even lighter weight of this strap also makes the black sister model a few grams lighter overall.
My conclusion about the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph – the best of chronograph and diving watch
For several days now, the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph has been my companion, my daily rocker. During this time, it has proven what I first critically eyed at the beginning. In the meantime, however, these doubts have faded, because for me it is clear: the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph is the perfect hybrid of diver’s watch and chronograph. It manages to do this by skillfully combining the two advantages of the two watch types without showing any real disadvantages. As a diver’s watch, it is particularly robust, flexible and uncomplicated. It offers its wearer exactly what he needs in nature, especially under water.
If it should be a little more prestigious, the Mido Ocean Star Chronograph scores with the design of a noble chronograph. With totalizers, pushers, a masculine size and additional indices, it offers everything we appreciate and love about chronographs. Yet it always remains emphatically sporty, as the design with titanium shows. And you don’t even have to think about whether you should take your beloved chronograph with you to the beach.
The titanium model with the reference number M026.627.44.041.00 costs 2250 euros without obligation. Those who prefer the black sister model pay a surcharge of 40 euros. On top of that, there is a warranty of two years. The Mido Ocean Star Chronograph is interesting for all those who want to wear the advantages of both types of watches combined in a Swiss automatic watch on the wrist.