OK, we’re calling it: the Mido Ocean Star GMT is the best value Swiss GMT aroundThor Svaboe
Value, presence and durability. These three factors are pretty important in the $1500 – $2000 price segment, and with the tough 44mm Mido Ocean Star GMT, I’m struggling to find any unticked boxes. I could happily live with this comfortable 44mm case, even if its diameter is on the beefy side, because it fits the personality of this Mido diver’s watch so well. Plus, with a 13mm thickness and a 50mm lug-to-lug length, its downturned lugs make it a smooth fit for its size.
The brushed 316L steel case offers a classic diver’s aesthetic, and do you know what, in that “First Good Swiss Watch” price bracket, that’s exactly what we want. Here we have the blunt downturned lugs, broad shoulders, and that razor-sharp chamfered edge that underlines the sweeping side profile. But with this recognisable case, the Mido has its own tool-watch design code that is resolutely modern, avoiding any nostalgia pastiches with aplomb. This starts with the simple fact that the tough ceramic diver’s bezel is marked down to 20 instead of the normal 15, and with a charming big block at 12, tempting as it may have been to do a triangle.
The blocky-sharp details are carried onto the indices with quirky double cubes vertically stacked for 6 and 12, proving that the diver’s watch standards of design are not cast in 1950s concrete. The crisp legibility is carried on to the large lume-filled rectangular indices, and a cool set of skeletonized hands with lume-filled tips. Seconds are shown with a needle hand enlivened with a fresh blue arrow tip, matching the bright mid-blue of the GMT hand. This is is one of the major draws of the Mido, that skeletonized GMT hand nearly kissing a 24 hour rehaut with a lighter blue for daytime, all contributing to a delightful illusion of colour. The dial is actually tool-matte black, but with the wealth of blue detail including this version’s blue fabric strap it will invariably look blue in certain lights, adding to the allure of this double-threat Swiss tool watch.
Even without a clear caseback to check for inner truths, I’m not overselling the Ocean Star GMT if I proclaim it to be the best value sub-$2000 AUD Swiss GMT on the market today. Specially when it comes loaded with Mido’s version of the ETA-based movement we know from Tissot et al, here known as the Caliber 80. Yes, this is a 200m diver’s watch with a ceramic bezel, a GMT function and a stonking 80 hours of power. That seems like pretty darn good value.
Given the value proposition they present, it might just be time for a bold Mido tool watch to knock a few other Swiss brands off their perches. Beneath the double AR-treated sapphire crystal, here we have a bona fide Swiss top trump and considering the price tag, it’s simply a winner.
The Mido Ocean Star GMT is $ 1,825 AUD, and is currently available from our shop