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Mido Commander Gradient review – A watch that challenges your imagination

Tags: Review | Mido | Men's | Classic | Traditional

7.6.2022 | 5 MIN

The Commander line for Mido is like the Eiffel Tower to Paris – a timeless icon. And it is also proof that the brand can evolve and move forward while keeping its identity. But Mido moved further with the newest Mido Commander Gradient than anyone expected. What about identity?

Strong name, strong concept

The comparison of the Commander series to the Eiffel Tower was no surprise to the fans. However, a quick reminder of the context might be appreciated, especially by people who have no idea about the Mida brand. What should you know about Mida?

The Swiss Mido watches are admired by the fans for the classic, conservative, yet refined designs and for the fact that they are high-quality mechanical watches with sapphire crystal. They became famous particularly for being unique in the watchmaking world – by being inspired by architecture.

The story of the Mido brand – Mechanical gems inspired by architecture
25.1.2022
The story of the Mido brand – Mechanical gems inspired by architecture

And the Commander series? The models that Mido has been working on these since 1959 received both a strong name and a concept. The template for these watches was nothing smaller than one of the world's most famous dominant, the Eiffel Tower. But as is typical for Mido, the inspiration was tastefully portrayed in decent hints, which may not be completely obvious at first glance. Mido is definitely not superficial.

Mido honors the inimitable silhouette of the Eiffel Tower with the Commander series. The round-shaped steel case with a slim polished bezel is reminiscent of the arches of this monument, while the rectangular skeleton indices and hands evoke the iron construction. The bracelet is made of links whose shapes resemble the composition.

Skeleton in negligee

For the first time in the history of the Commander series, Mido dared to deepen the inspiration, unleash the imagination, and reveal the mechanical skeleton of the watch. The result is raw, more technical, and somehow "more architectonic" than we have ever seen by Mida. But it wouldn't be Mido if they didn't use a tasteful "censorship" for all these novelties.

1 041,00 € (delivery by 8.7.)

Unlike typical skeleton watches, which lack a dial, Mido chastely covered the movement under a translucent veil, which in this case forms an acrylic dial with a wonderful smoky effect. The movement gradually reveals itself from the darker edges towards the center.

The Mido Caliber 80 movement, a new generation movement, is hiding under the dial and offers a power reserve of 80 hours, which is twice as much as in normal calibers. It is an ETA brand movement (specifically it is a movement based on ETA C07.621), but Mido shaped it to their standards. It is shocked resistant and maintains its accuracy for a long time due to the antimagnetic Nivaflex mainspring. And it is also decently decorated (which we can see thanks to the see-through case back). It runs at a frequency of 21,600 BPH and has 25 jewels.

I admit, the design really got to me with its sophistication. But at first, I didn't really like the date wreath, which I don't find elegant. Though a date indicator is a practical complication, I would be okay without it. But is this watch supposed to be elegant?

I dare say that more important than a classic, more elegant design, there is the austere technical thing referring to the Eiffel Tower, so in the end, it fits perfectly into the concept. And the date indicator also got some extra points for the satisfying kaleidoscopic effect when setting up the date as you can see the wreath turning (by the way, the crown is easy to manipulate even though it is thin and optically looks as if glued to the case).

The design is dynamic, so even a certain sportiveness of the model can be seen, especially on the model with orange elements (orange is the color of Mido) and a black textile strap.

Interestingly, each of the three models we offer – the black-orange model on a textile strap, all-steel with black PVD, and the classic all steel model with blue dial – received a different luminescence color. Each so it perfectly matches and at the same time makes the overall look special.

The watch still stands with one foot in the elegant category, so don't expect a light show here. There is a sober amount of luminescence paint (Swiss Super-Luminos) – in a slim stripe in the middle of the hands and on the side of the indices.

Všimněte si, jak se vždy bílé číslice zrcadlí na lesklém vnitřním okruží lunety.

By the way, notice how the white numbers and indices in the chapter ring are always reflected on the shiny inner circle of the bezel.

The water resistance increased, just enough that you don't have to take your watch off in the shower. The screw-down case back also increases the water resistance.

And as for wearability, it is more suitable for owners of small to "average" wrists. In addition to the case diameter of 40 mm, the watch is also slim. The watch thickness of 11 mm includes the slightly convex sapphire crystal, so you can comfortably slide the watch under any sleeve.

The watch is very comfortable, and even the models with a steel bracelet are very light, which I think is because of the slimness and the size of the case, as well as the fact the bracelet links are surprisingly thin. Despite this, it looks kind of proper and, above all – sophisticated.

Notice how brushed the links are on the front side and polished on the sides. Beautiful. By the way, this kind of bracelet won't tangle your hair.

And what about the identity? Did Mido remain true to itself?

The Mido Commander Gradient is more pronounced compared to the watches we are used to at Mido, but as we know, it is almost always a good thing to step up of your comfort zone and move forward rather than atrophy. In my opinion, Mido didn't overstep, and the untraditional steps they took just demonstrated the art and sense of refined design game.

And the more I look at the individual details, the more I fall for the watch. Look how the unusual beveled indices with facets partly sink into the chapter ring, notice the veiled sepia tint of the smoky dial, under which the movement looks like it's pulled from an old photograph, and the elaborated articles on the bracelet... And see how it all together creates one harmonic piece.

With Mida watches, I often long for a wider, less feminine wrist, and today it applies twice as much. But large watches look too big on me, so I can only dream. Well, Mido, maybe one day...

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