Best Swiss watches

Mido Ocean Star 1961 Limited Edition

The word from Mido on their distinctly Austin Powers Ocean Star Dive model;

The Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 reproduces the vintage charm of the Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch, a popular 1960s Mido model that remains one of the brand’s most sought-after.

Dedicated to the underwater world, this watch also served as a precious diving tool thanks to the multicoloured display of decompression stops on the dial. The version paying tribute to it today is limited to 1,961 pieces – in reference to the year the original model was released – and features a polished 40.5 mm case.

It uses the best of current technology, like a rotating bezel with countdown timer and a coloured table beneath a ‘glassbox’-style sapphire crystal. The Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 is driven by the Caliber 80, which offers a power reserve of up to 80 hours. It’s the same base unit seen in the Tissot Powermatic. For dive fans, there’s a starfish engraved on the caseback, next to the timepiece number. Each model comes with three interchangeable strap options to vary the mood.

A nod to the ‘diving’ spirit of the 1960s

To help calculations before a dive, the `61 Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch indicated decompression times 6 metres below the surface. These times were displayed around contrasting coloured circles for enhanced legibility: yellow for a diving depth of 25 to 29 metres, green for 30 to 34 metres, pink for 35 to 39 metres and blue for 40 to 44 metres. By simply placing the minute hand at 12 o’clock before immersion, the wearer could read the information throughout the dive. The rotating bezel allowed diving time or decompression stops to be calculated.

The new Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 pays tribute to the model created by Mido in 1961 and its innovative decompression scale function. Against the black background of the dial, Mido reproduces the bright colours of the original table – a subtle nod to the aesthetics of its predecessor. The depths are indicated at 12 o’clock: in metres (left) and feet (right). Super-LumiNova® adorns the diamond-cut hour and minute hands, as well as the polished indexes, for perfect visibility underwater. The Mido logo from the 1960s also features on the black dial, and as an engraving on the case back, crown and strap clasps.

‘Glassbox’ and stainless steel

A modern version of the ‘glassbox’-style crystal from the 1950s-60s (less prone to scratches than the original) reinforces the vintage feel of the Ocean Star. For added radiance, Mido has polished the case. At 12 o’clock, a large Super-LumiNova® dot provides a point of reference on the fluted black aluminium unidirectional rotating bezel. The screwed crown and case back further enhance the durability of the watch, which is water-resistant up to 200 metres.

Presented in a special box with a limited edition certificate, each of the 1,961 timepieces comes with a choice of two leather straps and a metal bracelet: in black calfskin with four stitches in the colours of the table, in leather with a black synthetic coating and yellow stitching, and in braided polished steel. A user-friendly system facilitates quick strap changes.

At £940 the Mido isn’t expensive for a Swiss watch, but it is pricey for something with a Powermatic movement, depsite its extra bells and whistles. If you love the retro looks, this could be the entry level dive watch for you. But for our money, an indie brand like Baltic, An Ordain, Zelos or many more offers a better spec for a grand – or quite a bit less in some cases.

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