An even more colourful edition of the successful dive watchMido, a brand owned by the Swatch Group, is associated with accessible and very well-crafted watches, among which are the cool and robust Ocean Star models. And from time to time, the brand can surprise us with highly desirable watches paying tribute to its rich heritage. Take, for instance, the Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 launched in 2020, a watch with a rather bold and characterful design inspired by a 1960s model. Greatly received and sold out way too fast, this watch made quite a lot of noise. But… it’s back this year with a new edition and new colours. Here’s the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 “Turquoise” Limited Edition.
The so-called “Rainbow-Diver” is a tribute to a 1960s model produced by Mido, with a unique set of scales on the dial. This vintage Decompression Timer watch has since gained a cult status among dive watch collectors – this is one of the most desirable vintage Midos, with prices that can reach up to 10k. It was quite impressive back in the days, with its 300m water-resistant case and rotating bezel with a countdown timer. What made it really special was its dial, with multicoloured concentric scales to mark out diving decompression times at various depths.
Riding on the success of the inaugural limited edition launched in 2020, the brand is bringing back its Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 in 2021 with a new set of colours but with identical specifications as before. While the first version we saw last year was mostly black-toned – for the dial’s background and the bezel’s insert – the new edition you see here is directly inspired by an existing vintage model… which is the one we photographed last year, equipped with a brighter, silver-toned dial.
The base of the dial is inspired by this specific vintage model, even though the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 has never been intended to be a proper re-edition, but more a tribute to one of the brand’s most emblematic models, housed in a modern case. The silvery-white dial features the same polished applied markers on the periphery, and in the small central part, some Arabic numerals and the brand’s logo. What has been kept, and what truly gives this watch its personality, is the succession of coloured scales (yellow, green, pink and blue) to calculate decompression times.
As the brand explains: “These times could be read off very easily as they were displayed on contrasting coloured circles: yellow for a diving depth of 25 to 29 metres, green for 30 to 34 metres, pink for 35 to 39 metres and blue for 40 to 44 metres. By simply placing the minute hand at 12 o’clock before a dive, the wearer could read off the information on the table during immersion. The rotating bezel allowed diving time or decompression stops to be calculated.”
For its modern reissue, the depths are indicated at 12 o’clock in metres and feet. And to add even more fun to the design, the bezel is now equipped with a turquoise-coloured aluminium insert, still with a luminous pearl. The presence of a date window at 3 o’clock will certainly generate debate…
As for the rest of the watch, no major evolutions since it retains the same rather compact 40.5mm stainless steel case with polished surfaces, its unidirectional bezel, lateral crown guards, screw-down crown and caseback and 200m water-resistance. Inside the case is the Mido calibre 80 (a.k.a Powermatic), a strong update over the ETA 2824 with an upgraded power reserve of 80 hours.
This new edition of the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 is delivered in a presentation box with three strap options: a braided “mesh” steel bracelet, a classic patinated leather strap, and a sporty turquoise fabric strap adorned with stitching in the colours of the decompression table. All are equipped with quick-change spring bars.