Instagram, you magnificent vixen, I blame you. A watchnerd yearns only for an endless stream of awesome wristies, Speedmaster LE announcements, color-matched EDC shots, MVMT ads, and Todd SnyderxTimex collabs. And what do you do? You (you incorrigible temptress) throw in watches for sale. Below retail, barely used, by reputable (if inveterate) flippers. I curse you, I curse you, I curse you! All I wanted to do was scroll through my feed in peace, without the allure of a timepiece for sale, and then there she was: The Mido Ocean Star Titanium. For sale. In excellent condition. I’d previously saved a post of this watch: a reminder that I liked it, and should I come across an opportunity to get it, to at least think about it.
I didn’t have to think very long. I hadn’t really been looking for a new piece at the time (that I can recall), but sometimes you just fall hard, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So, after a lovely interaction with a notoriously charming serial flipper, a bank transfer, and a few days of eager anticipation, The Mido Ocean Star was on my doorstep. That was about a year and half ago, and it’s been in heavy rotation since Day 1.
Titanium is the new stainless steel. You heard it here first! It’s sexier and tougher and drives a Porsche. The cool one only Jerry Seinfeld knows about. The case profile on the Mido Ocean Star is not one that simply jumps out at you, but rather one that as you experience over time where it gradually reveals its beauty through details. It’s 42.5mm of fully brushed, contoured excellence that feels just right all around. The Mido Ocean Star’s bezel is sloped and grooved, sitting on the case in a way to maintain (not disrupt) the existing curves. The bezel insert itself is a matte finished color that plays grey-brown most of the time, a color which I rather like as it complements the case and the dial equally. There’s a polished chamfer which lends a trace of elegance to the Mido Ocean Star’s thickness at 11.75mm, hey-that’s-pretty-thin-for-a-dive watch case.
The lugs are just the right length, though could probably use a bit more slope to better hug the wrist. While it’s not something I’ve had a problem with, when you get into the nitty gritty during a review, you start to notice things. The one issue (and it is arguably the biggest issue with an otherwise exemplary diver) is the Mido Ocean Star’s crown. It takes a good bit of effort to unscrew. I usually leverage a nail into the groove and loose it, and then it’s good to go, but often just unscrewing with thumb and forefinger won’t do the trick. Once you do get the Titanium Mido’s unscrewed, the crown action otherwise is totally fine. The initial tightness hasn’t bothered me too much, but as I mentioned, it’s the only real issue I can find with the watch, so you may want to consider it. I’ll also say that I really like the crown guards: they taper a bit and curve around the crown edge for a very nice effect. Design Bonus: the Mido Ocean Star’s case back is secured by screws, has a starfish and some wave lines on it!
The Mido Ocean Star’s dial brings so much heat to this show, the ATF is getting worried. It’s got a remarkable texture that plays with light in a stunning way (often by simply absorbing it). Coupled with the double AR-coated sapphire, unwanted reflections are near zero. The color (according to Mido) is Anthracite, but that color label seems to be tossed around more than fish at Pike Place. Let’s just call it gray. The layout is a win too in my book. The indices and dial text are all well-proportioned for the Mido Ocean Star, and they’ve made a key decision that I think really helps to seal the deal. You’ll notice the index at 9 has been made shorter to match to shortened index at 3 (made so for the day-date window). It’s a nice touch that you don’t often see, but that I think makes a big difference here for the Mido Ocean Star in tidiness and viewing pleasure.
Speaking of that date window: it’s got an English/German day wheel, a nicely beveled edge, and because the dial text and indices are also white, doesn’t distract too much. Plus, it changes instantaneously at midnight. The Mido Ocean Star’s hands and indices share lovely blue-green BGW9 Superluminova that charges in a flash and shines bright. I have trouble describing the hands—they aren’t a traditional shape and escape analogy, so I’ll just let you figure out what they look like to you (Editor’s Note: I’d call them pencil hands similar to the ones that appear on my Orient Christmas Chrono). I’ll also put it out there that I’m a big fan of the seconds hand; it’s nothing crazy, but the touch of orange with the lumed tip, extending practically all the way to the dial’s edge just does it for me.
The Mido Ocean Star’s Caliber 80, as labeled on the dial, is an ETA C07.621, which is based on the 2824-2. The difference? Well I read on forum post that said that after the C07.621 came out, the 2824 is a dead movement. More practically, you get a silicon hairspring and some crafty engineering has allowed the power reserve to be amped up to 80 hours. Due to the necessary frequency reduction, there’s a near-unobservable loss of smoothness to the sweep. It’s there, but I had to watch a video with side-by-side comparison to a 2824 to see it, so who can say if it’s even real? Maybe it’s just fake news. You can also find this movement in Certina and Tissot models, branded as the Powermatic 80, and in Hamilton’s as the H-10. I’d argue that none of those watches are as wonderful as my Mido Ocean Star Titanium though.
The 22mm bracelet for the Ocean Star is sturdy and light, as should be expected from a titanium watch. But it’s also exceptionally comfortable. I’d leave it at that, but I think some things are worth noting. The fixed links in the bracelet are subtly curved, allowing the entire band to curve around the wrist in a very natural way. The fact of the matter is that the underside of links and bracelets are rarely given much consideration, but the attention to detail here on my Mido Ocean Star’s bracelet makes a big difference. To further accommodate any wrist it might land on, the bracelet tapers down to 19mm and features a ratcheting clasp that’s exceptionally easy to operate.
Another nice touch is that the end links are in fact fixed to the bracelet; no more having them fall off during a strap change. Speaking of which, this Mido Ocean Star isn’t going to be a strap monster (unless you have a blatant disregard for color matching and basic decorum). I’ve got 3 band choices for this that I swap between: bracelet, blue leather, and brown rough-out leather. I think it looks phenomenal on all three, so I stick to those. Maybe you’ll be more daring. Last thing: You know that polished chamfer on the Ocean Star’s case? It continues along the edges of the bracelet links and looks fantastic.
As I mentioned early on, I’ve had my Mido Ocean Star for over a year and a half and I’ve worn it regularly and frequently since then, which is saying something considering that I’ve got 15-20 watches I cycle through. It’s in earnest and with full confidence then that I recommend this watch. Crown issues aside—and they’re not terrible—it’s a fantastic watch. Slim, sleek, durable, versatile, and beautiful; it’s got you covered for just about any occasion. While the sticker price is $1040, they can be had brand new for under $700 on Amazon and gently used for even cheaper. And if this color and configuration isn’t your style, Mido makes 8 other variations, plus a slightly tweaked version rated to 600m, which is totally necessary for daily use – check out the other versions available on Amazon
If anyone has any questions or comments about the Mido Ocean Star let me know in the comments below!
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Mike became obsessed with watches in 2015 after spending an inordinate amount of time finding the perfect wedding watch (the Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic). He prefers a well-executed date window or none at all, and strives for a diverse collection with limited overlap. When not fretting over which watch to wear with which strap, he works as an emergency mental health clinician in Northern Virginia, where he lives with his wife and son.