Most Worn Watch of 2022: Mido Ocean Star

This is the time of the year where we see many SOTC and best of 2022 posts. I buy old watches so a best of 2022 makes little sense. And if you have been around her long enough, you have seen every interesting thing that I own. The word "interesting" is doing a lot of work in that sentence. A SOTC would be a jumble of barely functional relics. Instead, I thought that I might sing the praises of mid-century Mido, an unloved brand.

Even without the One Watch Challenge this was my most worn watch of 2022. (The One Watch Challenge is slated to return in 2023, WC willing. I will be tightening the rules to make it a shorter, and perhaps, more fun.)  This is the Mido Ocean Star Datoday. The Ocean Star line was introduced in 1959. Can you believe that this was/is a dive watch?

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Based on Dr. Ranfft's database I would estimate mine to be a 1965 or 1966. This is a "front loading" Taubert case, meaning that the movement must be removed through the crystal side. Mido had been using Taubert & Fils cases since the mid-1930's. The case was uniquely water resistant. Mido increased water resistance with the use of a split crown stem and Portuguese cork, as Borgel had used years earlier. Mido calls it the Aquadura system. Without a screw down crown this Ocean Star boasted resistance to 300m/1000 ft. I barely wear it in the rain. I would never so much as swim with a nearly 60 year old watch.

This is a watch that I use to illustrate that small watches can still be worn. It is 30mm, but without a bezel, it is all dial. As a consequence it wears larger than its size. It also has an unusual quickset for the date: you push the crown down and twist.

Mido seems to be hiding in the Swatch Group. They seem to lost their identity. But the one watch that keeps getting attention is the Ocean Star line. It is quite the evolution from the skin diver to today's modern dive watch.

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Great watch and history lesson. Thanks for sharing!

Today’s Mido makes me sad because like you said, it’s utterly neglected by Swatch Group. 

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Love the history lesson, as always. I really like the older logo on this one. 

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My dad's old Mido.

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AttinoiBaf

My dad's old Mido.

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The Multifort was introduced in 1934. An automatic version was introduced in 1935. In 1935 how many watches combined an automatic movement, shock protection, anti-magnetism, and were waterproof? 

None. Except the Multifort. No Rolex or Omega could touch it. Only West End came close, again, due to the Taubert & Fils cases.

You father's looks to be from the early 1950's. What a great watch!

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I think this design has aged remarkably well. The 300M WR is a great feature and indicates to me that they were serious about making a durable watch... although it wouldn't matter today because nowadays everybody lives dangerously and absolutely needs a screw down crown 🙄 or so they say.

I see on Mido's website a watch that looks much like this, the Commander 1959, which they claim has never been out of production. It's even 37mm. I'd probably get this over a 35mm PRX if I was looking for such a thing. 

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Yes, 50s. He said it was a gift from my grandfather when he started highschool. It was a great achievement for a kid from a japanese imigrant family in Brazil that time. Thanks for all info you shared!

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If your Mido were to be produced today it would appear to be in a class of its own quite literally?

Effectively a small dress watch and a proper diver and an effective tool watch combined. The more you delve into watch history the more amazing it becomes! Thanks again for more essential history.

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MegaBob

I think this design has aged remarkably well. The 300M WR is a great feature and indicates to me that they were serious about making a durable watch... although it wouldn't matter today because nowadays everybody lives dangerously and absolutely needs a screw down crown 🙄 or so they say.

I see on Mido's website a watch that looks much like this, the Commander 1959, which they claim has never been out of production. It's even 37mm. I'd probably get this over a 35mm PRX if I was looking for such a thing. 

Mido started using the Commander name on watches in this style in the 1960's, usually in a gold tone. Sometimes, they just used "Powerwind" which was really a Mido simplification of the drive train of the movements (less parts, less wear). Mido in the 1960's gets a bit confusing, names appear to be interchangeable. Mido then goes mostly dark in the 1970's before Swatch resurrected them.

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Guvnor64

If your Mido were to be produced today it would appear to be in a class of its own quite literally?

Effectively a small dress watch and a proper diver and an effective tool watch combined. The more you delve into watch history the more amazing it becomes! Thanks again for more essential history.

I guess that the space of the dress/skin diver is really a GADA watch. Wear it to the office. Wear it to the beach.

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I usually sport any number of Hamiltons but towards the end of this year I did a trade for a Mido Ocean Star Titanium and value on the dollar for what you're buying I think the Mido comes out on top of Hamilton as far as being members of Swatch Group. The AR top and under coating on the Mido's Sapphire crystal places it ahead of Hamilton right off the bat. It's nice being able to read a watch face at damn near any angle over having to twist your wrist this way and that to see what time it is with pretty much every Hamilton out there. To that end I've got my eye out for other Mido watches I can add to my collection. 

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Aurelian

I guess that the space of the dress/skin diver is really a GADA watch. Wear it to the office. Wear it to the beach.

True.

I have never seen a dress watch or something that looked by today's standards so fragile with 300m of water resistance. That 60s advertisement on your post is very interesting. 

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This one is in my opinion, one of the best in your collection. It's one of those GADA watches. I adore Mido and I wish they were more prevalent stateside. 

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Another great history lesson, Portuguese cork....got it👍.