If Mido‘s capacity to create cool, accessible and fully equipped dive watches isn’t to be demonstrated anymore – I see you Ocean Star GMT – there’s one watch that goes far beyond just that, with a look that created much hype. Neo-vintage, colourful, bold and bright, visually almost overdone, the Decompression Timer limited editions – first in black and later in an even cooler blue version – gave the brand desirability. Long sold-out, these two models were modelled after a historical watch that uses a decompression scale on its dial, executed in bright colours. Now, for 2023, the overall concept is back with a slightly modernized attire and an additional GMT complication. And the best is that the new Mido Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer isn’t limited anymore.
The inaugural Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 Limited Edition was released in 2020 and made quite an impression. All 1,961 pieces have found owners very quickly, and the watch community was truly enthusiastic about it. Rightfully? Yes, since it combined the overall quality the brand (and the Swatch Group) is known for, with an accessible price and a unique character. Bold, different, fun to wear, not particularly practical to use (who cares…) The whole idea was born from an early 1960s watch, the Powerwind Diver 1000, a certified dive watch with 300m water-resistance, a bidirectional rotating bezel and a colourful dial with concentric scales to mark diving decompression times at different depths. Rare and collectable, this served as an inspiration for a modern re-edition, which has first been made in black, followed by a rather cool and summery turquoise blue version – again a limited edition that didn’t take long to sell out.
This year, the overall concept is back with even more functions on the dial and bezel – which, objectively, aren’t historically accurate anymore – in two different colours and, for the first time, as part of the permanent collection. The new Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer, as its name doesn’t indicate, is a GMT watch – no, it’s not a real worldtime model, according to the definition you might have with Patek and Cottier watches. Nevertheless, it plays a cool trick with a new bezel and functions to make it even more practical on a daily basis.
What’s this new Mido Decompression Worldtimer all about? First and foremost, it retains the same case and overall design as the two initial limited editions. It means a 40.5mm stainless steel case, fully polished, and with rather short lugs – 46.99mm lug-to-lug isn’t small but remains pretty wearable. It’s a classic dive watch, with screw-down crown, solid steel screwed caseback (with the brand’s starfish in relief), a box-shaped sapphire crystal on top for a cool retro look and a comfortable 200m water-resistance.
The bezel of this new Decompression Worldtimer might well be one of the most visually-packed ones we’ve recently seen… First of all, it is now bidirectional, to accommodate the new time-zone function. To mimic the function of a worldtime, it features a scale with cities all around, so you can point at your current location and know the time difference in all 24 major towns around the world. But this watch is a diver, and Mido didn’t want to compromise on the need to use the decompression table or the need to time dives. So it also retains the classic 60-minute scale and luminous pearl at 12 o’clock… And all in all, it’s not the most legible thing. However, I must say that it looks cool and the whole apparent mess of the bezel matches that of the dial.
Indeed, the dial of the Decompression Worldtimer is even more complex now that it features a GMT function – because it needs an additional 24h hand, and a 24h scale. The centre of the dial retains the concentric scales to mark diving decompression times at different depths, which were found on the vintage watch and its modern re-edition. It is then framed by a 24h scale, then some rectangular applied and luminous markers and finally, a minute scale… Oh, and there’s a date window at 3 o’clock, a necessity for a traveller’s watch.
Two editions are released. First is a blue model, with blue bezel, blue background for the dial, blue rubber strap and decompression table executed in yellow, green, pink and blue. The other version, a bit less striking, has a black bezel, a black dial base, a black rubber strap and the decompression table is here done in graduated colours from yellow to orange. Note that in addition to the colour-matched rubber strap, each model is also delivered with a Milanese stainless steel bracelet with a sliding clasp. And all are equipped with quick-release spring-bars to easily swap between one or the other.
Inside the case is the same movement as the Ocean Star GMT. It’s a Powermatic 80 movement (also known as ETA C07.66) with an additional GMT function. A strong evolution of the 2824, this calibre runs at a slower frequency of 3Hz but compensates with an extended power reserve of 80 hours. It features an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring and its GMT function is a so-called traveller one – meaning that it’s the local time hand that is adjusted by one-hour increments.
Availability & Price
Contrary to the two non-GMT Decompression Timer models, the new Mido Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer is a special edition, meaning that it isn’t limited. It will be available from March 15th, 2023 from the brand’s E-shop and retailers. It will be priced at EUR 1,360 or USD 1,310, which represents once again impressive value for the money… And yes, this watch is a bit of an oddity, but Mido has once again nailed the looks. For more details, please visit www.midowatches.com.