Thursday, September 3, 2015

The MIDO Commander Chronograph Caliber 60 - Love Overdue!

Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for Mido.  My father's Mido Ocean Star from 1968 is now safely with my niece as she carries on the family tradition.  Needless to say, I have been on the lookout for a new Mido to replace my "birthday" watch now residing with the family Millennial ; )  And I think that perhaps I have finally found it.

Courtesy of MIDO
This is Mido's Commander Chronograph Caliber 60.  This is one of those rare watches that manages to function aesthetically both as a sport and a dress watch.  Mido has married the look of the classic Commander (note the hands, indices and day/date), with a sporty chronograph that would look equally at home timing laps in the corporate booth at the Brickyard, or timing laps at your daughter's swim meet.  Moreover, unlike previous efforts at a chronograph version for the Commander (that honestly have been somewhat forgettable), this one finally seems to embrace a unified design approach.  It is balanced, elegant, highly legible - and dammit, sorta' sexy!

This is clearly not my father's Mido.  A three part case crafted of Swiss (316L) stainless steel goodness surrounds the automatic chronograph movement, the Mido Caliber 60 (based on ETA's A05H21).  This movement is warranted by Mido to provide up to 60 hours of power reserve.  The case measures a robust but not overwhelming 42.5 mm in diameter.  It is secured with a stainless steel bracelet.

The crystal is domed sapphire, with a display back revealing the movement.  But what really gets me, if I am completely honest, are the dial and hands.  Undeniably Mido in design, but with a wonderful twist.  The dial is blue.  Or as Mido describes it - "Blue, sunray satinated".  And along with that, a small yet evocative splash of red at the tips of two of the sub dial register hands, as well as the central chronograph hand.  The rest is white, with Superluminova to ensure legibility at night.  The small bezel almost disappears at the edges with the dial seeming to merge with the very edge of the case, just like the Commander of old.

It is, quite possibly, one of the nicest looking watches that I have seen for some time.

Ultimately it comes down to a question of priorities and this is where I think Mido really sets itself apart.  This is a watch designed and manufactured not to be merely of this time, but for some time to come.  Dare I say it, the type of watch you might just hand down to your son, daughter or niece ; )  And best of all, unlike the Patek Philippe that you merely "look after", you can actually afford to own this with a clear conscience and not worrying about how you'll pay your mortgage.  A beautiful, dependable watch at a fair price.

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