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Ocean Star Captain Titanium: Mido's Alluring Piece in Review
One of the most surprising surprises for me at Baselworld 2016 was the new titanium Mido Ocean Star Captain (reference M026.430.47.061.00). Mido is one of the Swatch Group's lesser known brands, at least in the United States, but owns some cool watches like the Commander and Multifort. I understand that Mido's watch works really well in South America, actually. After all, the brand's flagship dive watch collection has always been Ocean Star, and this is Ocean Star Captain. Mido also produces Ocean Star Captain in steel models, in addition to titanium models. It's not bad either, but there is something quite special in the titanium model, especially when you consider the cost.
Just for comparison purposes, I'm also going to include some pictures of the Mido Ocean Star Captain diver's watch made of steel (with gold colored parts) so you can see the difference. With Captain above the Captain IV version of Ocean Star, Mido has somewhat redesigned the watch to make it much more mature, but also timeless. Sure Mido Ocean Star Captain is a conservative watch, but in the right way. The overarching theme of the watch seems to work, and so many watches try to be inconspicuous that you get the feel of an extraordinary tool watch, with a real degree of Swiss refinement, from unexpected places.
One of the first things you'll notice when picking up a titanium case that's mostly satin finish are its beveled, beveled edges. This is a small, but very important decorative feature of a very well-made watch and bracelet. It was also completely unexpected at the price. Staying on topic with bracelets, check out the hooks which offer a nice little micro-adjustment mechanism. It may not be a GlideLock system, but it works fine and definitely gets the job done. Honestly, once you get a watchband with a micro-adjustment feature like this one, it would be hard to come back if you didn't have one.
Titanium is such a good material that its usage is still increasing in fighter aircraft. For instance the F-22 utilizes more titanium than any western aircraft ever did. Its biggest competitor as a material is Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP).
Titanium is much much harder than gold, platinum and aluminum. Coatings can improve the hardness of titanium as well, and there are many coatings out there that we might cover in another article. Grade 5 titanium has around 35 Rockwell C (Rc) hardness. Steels have a range of hardness from low values all the way up to 55 Rc for hardened carbon steels to 65 Rc for tool steels and even higher for special steels used for knifes (e.g. D-2 tool steel, S30V knife steel). Gold, platinum and aluminum are so soft that they are usually not even shown on the same Hardness scale (there are many hardness scales).
Why It’s Good For Diver
The cheesy part of Mido Ocean Star Captain is the deep relief image of the starfish on the back of the case. It's like amateur oceanographic art, but then again, I've seen far worse art of watching back coverings. The case is water resistant up to 200 meters with an AR-coated sapphire crystal on the dial. What's actually pretty good about this case is how thin it is for a dive watch. Mido won't break any records with the case dimensions of the Mido Ocean Star Captain case, but he does wear a slim wrist strap with a profile that can easily slip under a shirt maybe under 11mm thick.
Neatly crafted with subtle yet deliberate angles, the Mido Ocean Star Captain V titanium case is 42.5mm wide, snugly fits over most wrists. The dial finish is a fine example of function and form offering a discreet matte surface finish with only evenly polished elements for a modern sport-style square hour indicator and hands. The hands don't need to be outlined at all, but because of the mostly sparse textured matte dial texture, there's not much to lose in readability.
It would be great if Mido had a ceramic insert for the swiveling diver-style bezel, but a matte-coated aluminum insert works quite well. To make him a "real" diver, Mido put on a pip lume at 12 o'clock. I was glad the lume was there, but the round dots contrasted sharply with the rectangular marker he inserted. Just a little oddity, to be sure.
One of the reasons I love Mido sports watches apart from their reasonable prices is that they know how to make a dial that is a little "different", but still classy and refined. Most consumers may not even really be able to determine what makes the dial so different from similar watches, but the distinctive features are definitely there. What Mido does really well is blending textures and shapes, along with color, skillfully.
Inside the watch is Caliber 80 Mido, made for them by ETA. What many people don't know (often because Swatch Group brands such as Mido, Longines, Hamilton and Certina are not extraordinary at conveying this information) is that some of ETA's most advanced movements are found in watches like this one. Caliber 80 also known as ETA C07,621, which originally appeared from 2824-2. The movement has a power reserve of 80 hours (other Swatch Group brands have their own versions such as the Hamilton H-10 or the Powermatic 80) and operates at 3Hz. (21,600 bph). Its functions include the time, date, and day of the week. Yes, it is true that the reduced frequency of motion (down to 3Hz from 4Hz) causes it to use less power and thus last longer - but that's not the whole story. There is even a version of the Caliber 80 that is COSC Chronometer certified.
The Nivaflex NM mainspring from the Swatch Group is used in the movement, which helps to improve strength and efficiency while also reducing friction in the movement for better overall performance. Movement is fine tuned, but is mostly done via laser in some sort of automated process. The Swatch Group truly impresses in terms of fast watch assembly and production rates while maintaining high levels of quality.
While you can't see the Caliber 80 on the watch, it is also decorated with a high "élaborée" level along with Geneva stripes and even blue steel screws. It seems that Mido is adjusting the watch in three positions while trying to get the right accuracy. This is not the most impressive Swiss movement in the world, but it is very good in a timepiece that costs only this big.
Price and Perks
As a chic-looking everyday watch or dive sports watch with a few added styles (and orange), the titanium Mido Ocean Star Captain V is a great choice. It's lightweight, has decent movement with the day / date complications that many consumers want, is comfortable to wear (and hypoallergenic), and also doesn't look too bad. The retail price for this reference M026.430.47.061.00 The Mido Ocean Star Captain V titanium watch is US $930. Get Mido Ocean Star Captain Titanium today!