Don’t touch that dial: the Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 is a funky retro limited edition Don’t touch that dial: the Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 is a funky retro limited edition

Don’t touch that dial: the Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 is a funky retro limited edition

Jamie Weiss

There’s a good chance that many people reading this article might have never seen an old-fashioned TV test card “in the wild”. They’re kind of a relic of the 20th century – much like mechanical watches, some sceptics might say. However, mechanical watchmaking is alive and well: our TVs might be digital but our TV-dialled watches are often still mechanical. Speaking of TV cases, Mido has just unveiled its latest limited edition: the Multifort TV Big Date S01E1. This edition of the ever-popular TV Big Date is faithful to its name, paying homage to the golden age of television… But it’s more than just another rom-com.


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Time+Tide has been lucky enough to have exclusive access to the Multifort TV Big Date S01E1 for a short time only – more on that in a bit – as well as being the first publication in the world to get hands-on with this fun take on Mido’s best-selling big date.

The dial

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 dial

As mentioned above, the Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E1 takes the ‘TV’ part of its name quite literally, swapping out the vertically brushed dial pattern standard to the collection for a multi-coloured, multi-textured dial that evokes a TV test card. (Mido love multicoloured dials, it seems.) Specifically, it pays homage to the iconic Philips circle pattern, a common sight on European and Australian PAL TVs throughout the 20th century.

A modern recreation of the original 4:3 Philips circle pattern. See the resemblance?

What’s a test card, you might be asking? A test card is a TV test signal, used to calibrate broadcasting equipment but typically seen when a station is active but no signal is being broadcast – usually after either broadcasting was done for the day, or during technical difficulties. In today’s era of 24/7 broadcasting, we seldom see them – but anyone who grew up during the Cold War might be more familiar with them.

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 yellow strap

Anyway, even those who have never seen one “in the wild” (like me, admittedly) can appreciate the retro look. Mido hasn’t skimped on the details, either: the different squares of colour are all three-dimensional, four-faceted pyramids in relief. The shutter-like big date complication at 12 o’clock and the bright, circular lume plots add to its mid-century feel.

The case

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 case

The nostalgic aesthetic of the Multifort TV Big Date S01E01’s dial is complemented by Mido’s square TV case, inspired by the brand’s early models from the 1970s, 1980s, and 2000s. Like the standard TV Big Date, the S01E01’s case features a pleasant array of polished and brushed surfaces. I like how its thick, curvaceous and plinth-like bezel features a dot of lume at 12 o’clock.

The straps

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 turquoise strap

The Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 comes with three different strap options: a steel bracelet with a robust three-link design with polished centre links and a butterfly clasp, as well as two integrated rubber straps in yellow and turquoise with steel pin buckles. The bracelet’s a belter but the two colourful rubber options really complement the colourful dial and, again, emphasise this watch’s retro appeal. All three feature quick-change systems so they’re easy to exchange for one another – the fact you get three with your purchase is a plus, too.

The movement

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 caseback

At the heart of the Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E1 lies a big date version of Mido’s ubiquitous Caliber 80 movement, which features a Nivachron balance spring and an 80-hour power reserve. A transparent case back reveals a côtes de Genève-decorated winding rotor, although the bridges and mainplate are unfinished. It’s not an un-pretty movement – but the dial is where the action is.

The verdict

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01

Not all limited editions need to introduce crazy complications or reinvent the wheel. Mido’s struck gold here by literally making a TV dial: it perfectly suits the 70s look of the watch while not being so garish that you couldn’t wear it regularly. The Multifort TV Big Date S01E1 is one for lovers of classic design… Or just anyone who was ever told as a kid that if you stare too long at a TV, your eyes will go square.

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 pricing & availability

Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 box

The Mido Multifort TV Big Date S01E01 is a limited edition of 999 pieces globally, and will be initially exclusively available through Time+Tide – we have limited stock of this Mido available in our Melbourne Discovery Studio or online. The watch comes presented in a custom-made box, as well as with two additional rubber straps. Price: A$2,175.

Brand Mido
Model Multifort TV Big Date
Reference Number M049.526.11.081.01
Case Dimensions 40mm (D) x 46.85mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Three-dimensional, geometric TV dial
Strap(s) Steel three-link bracelet plus yellow and turquoise rubber straps
Movement Calibre 80, ETA C07.651 base, automatic, Nivachron balance spring
Power Reserve 80 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, big date
Availability Now, from the Time+Tide Shop
Price A$2,175