To celebrate the 75th anniversary of their Ocean Star diver, Mido has released a pair of dive watches with strong vintage vibes to pay fitting tribute. Based on the Ocean Stars of the 1960s, these new watches are sized for modern tastes and feature historically accurate beads-of-rice style bracelets (or attractive and far more modern canvas straps). Mido is part of the Swatch Group stable that often gets overlooked here in the United States, but is remarkably consistent in producing high quality, value-driven watches that pull from the brand’s considerable back catalog. Let’s take a closer look at the newest iteration of the Ocean Star.

Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Editions*

  • Case Material: Stainless steel*
  • Dial: Black, blue*
  • Dimensions: 40.5mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire*
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters*
  • Crown: Screw down*
  • Movement:*Caliber 80 (ETA C07.621, which is a base ETA 2836-2 with an 80-hour power reserve)
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet, technical fabric, fabric-look leather**
  • Price: $1,150
  • Reference Number: M026.830.11.041.00/M026.830.11.051.00
  • Expected Release: Available now

Straight lugs, high polish, a narrow bezel and little pops of color are the key design elements of the 75th anniversary Ocean Star, officially dubbed the Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition. This is a straightforward and simple design and is the type of look that dominated the world of dive instruments at a time when the popularity of recreational diving was at its peak.
This release is available in two color variants, basic black and a much more playful “Mediterranean blue” that I think were it released back in the spring would be a strong contender for the king of 2019 summer watches (those of you in the southern hemisphere have just been given an opportunity). An orange seconds hand is a nice vintage inspired accent on both colorways, and the dial features painted indexes as opposed to the more frequently used applied variety, another nod to dive watches of the ’60s.*

The case here measures just over 40mm, a good modern size that will suit many, but is also completely appropriate in a watch that takes so many cues from divers of the past. Of course, one of the benefits of a new watch inspired by a vintage design is the opportunity for a brand to improve on some of the technical deficiencies of a prior generation’s timepieces, and the Ocean Star does this in a few ways that we’ve come to expect with this type of release. The crystal, notably, is boxed sapphire, taking advantage of modern materials but sticking with vintage design as much as possible. And the movement, of course, is modern, based on the ETA C07.621 with a full 80-hour power reserve.
Special attention needs to be paid to the bracelet of the Ocean Star. Fashioned from polished stainless steel, it features a diver’s extension and folding clasp, as you’d expect, and clearly takes its inspiration from classic beads of rice bracelets that were popular in the ’60s. The tiny individual links are perhaps a little on the blockier side than a true “bead,” but the overall aesthetic is really pleasing, and I would imagine the comfort and drape of the bracelet will approach or match the classic style.*

There is no shortage of choices for consumers looking for a value oriented, vintage-inspired diver. Sometimes I feel like this genre of watch makes up the majority of watches on the market at any given time. But they’re popular for a reason — they’re durable, they look good, and they’re accessible. And if the appearance of the Ocean Star happens to speak to you, you’ll be getting a watch backed by the biggest of all watch groups from a brand with real history. Mido

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