Mido’s Ocean Star 39 tributes 80 years of underappreciated history with phenomenal movement value

Mido’s Ocean Star 39 tributes 80 years of underappreciated history with phenomenal movement value

Russell Sheldrake
  • The Mido Ocean Star 39 celebrates 80 years of the diving watch line.
  • Shrinking the case size down to 39mm while maintaining the key specs needed to make it a true diver. 
  • It’s a great value proposition giving Swatch-group assurance for $1,100.

The Mido Ocean Star 39 is marking the 80th anniversary of this diving model. This big of an anniversary even caught me by surprise. I was, until recently, unaware of how extensive Mido’s heritage was, and with eight decades of diving experience under its belt, it’s no surprise that this new release hits a lot of the right notes. With an incredibly wearable size, paired with an attractive dial design, and a reliable movement at an approachable price point, there are a lot of good things going for the new Ocean Star 39. When compared to the bulkier and more modern forged carbon case of the Ocean Star 200C that came out earlier this year, these watches prove to be far more wearable for the everyday.

mido ocean star 39 line up

There are four versions of the Ocean Star 39 available. The blue and grey come with gradient dials and two-tone bezel inserts, while the gold dial has a gold PVD coating on its bezel. The fourth model is the stealthiest, with an all-black dial with signature orange lume plots and a black PVD coating across the case, fitted to a black rubber strap.

mido ocean star 39 black pvd

So, what’s the most important thing to note here? While the case size is perhaps the biggest change being signalled by the name, I would say that the long heritage Mido has with dive watches is the bigger story here. The brand has been making watches worthy of taking under the waves for 80 years now, having pioneered sealing crowns in 1930 with what was called a “cork-crown”. Mido has never made as much noise as its competitors about its history and heritage, but if we look back at the beginnings of the Ocean Star in 1944, it’s clear that the brand has made a concerted effort to offer highly practical timers that can survive all conditions.

mido ocean star 39 blue wave dial close up

But we’re not here to dwell too long on the past, when Mido’s future is right in front of us. The first thing I noticed when I picked up this piece was its wonderful dial. While the individual elements that make it up might not be anything too remarkable – a wave texture, a gradient, and applied indices – the combination of them all seems to work in a way that caught me off guard. The dial’s texture is modelled off the pattern the ocean makes on the sand underneath it, while the not-so-subtle gradient gives it a real sense of deep water diving. The blue and grey versions have a bi-colour bezel as well, which may give the look of a GMT, but lack the additional functionality.

mido ocean star 39 caseback

While the new case size of 39mm might seem off-putting to some who prefer their divers to feel substantial, thanks to its lug-to-lug being 46mm, it still holds a good wrist presence without feeling chunky, measuring just 10.5mm thick. The caseback maintains the starfish logo that has been associated with this model for its 80 year history.

mido ocean star 39 clasp

The bracelet is lightweight, but the clasp comes with on-the-fly micro-adjustment which is a key addition to have for any serious diving watch. And even if you don’t intend to take you watch below the waves, having the ability to give your wrist a bit of breathing room on a hot day is always worth it in my opinion.

mido ocean star 39 black wave dial

Inside, the Caliber 72 gives the watch a fantastic 72 hour power reserve, with anti-magnetic qualities thanks to its Nivachron balance spring. Based on the ETA A31.111 (in turn developed from the more premium ETA 2892A2), the overall specs of this calibre are not serious high horology, but it offers wonderful value as a step above the usual Powermatic 80/ETA 2824 that is widely adopted by the Swatch Group in this price range.

Mido Ocean Star 39 pricing & availability

The Mido Ocean Star 39 is available now from the Time+Tide Shop and in our Melbourne Discovery StudioPrice: US$1,100, A$1,725 (steel), US$1,170, A$1,825 (black PVD).

Brand Mido
Model Ocean Star 39
Reference M0269072102100
Case Dimensions 39mm (D) x 10.5mm (T) x 46mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Stainless steel with gold PVD
Black PVD-coated stainless steel
Water Resistance 200 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front
Dial Embossed gold, black, gradient black, gradient blue
Strap Three-link steel bracelet, folding clasp with toolless extension
Ribber black rubber strap, PVD steel pin buckle
Movement Caliber 72, ETA A31.111 base, automatic
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability Now
Price US$1,100, A$1,725 (steel)
US$1,170, A$1,825 (black PVD)