We hope you are enjoying the Superbowl Sunday with friends and family, whether you watch it as a sporting event or just for the entertaining commercials and half-time show. Sports watches have sky rocketed in popularity and become a compelling addition for major watch companies. However, Mido Multifort sport watches have been around since the 1930’s. The brand recently announced Multifort Chronometer 1 in classic blue dial. We have been deluged with the blue dial trend from mid-2000’s, and are likely to see even more blue dials this year, since the official Pantone color of year 2020 is classic blue. That being said, this Mido ticks all the right boxes as a versatile sports watch.
Historically, Multifort was a significant technological advancement for Mido that made it into a bona fide sports watch. Just after the Great Depression, in 1934, Mido launched the Multifort watch with its first automatic movement that was shock-resistant, anti-magnetic and water-resistant. Mido achieved water resistance by means of a simple yet innovative system – by incorporating a specially treated natural cork gasket which sealed the crown, the weakest point of any watch, by forming a complete seal around the stem. Mido marketed this technology as “Aquadura”.
According to Mido, to promote the brand and to test the watch’s qualities in the most extreme conditions, the timepiece was immediately sent to Electrical Testing Laboratories Inc. in New York – which carried out metrological testing at the time for the American government – to undergo a whole battery of tests focusing on its water resistance, resistance, wear and tear, and more. Its water resistance was assessed in fresh water and salt water for over one thousand hours. The watches were then exposed to ten 15-minute cycles of 50°C temperatures, followed by cycles of −40°C. Meanwhile, the crown was subjected to the equivalent of 34 years of use. The immersion tests to depths of 13 ATM (120 m), and altitude tests to 6,600, 13,300 and 16,600 meters all proved convincing – except one. One of the six watches tested stopped working at 13,300 meters. The operation proved a success despite this failure, preventing Mido from receiving the certification but providing it with invaluable lessons.
The second technological advancement in Multifort watch came in 1937 with an unbreakable and anti-magnetic mainspring trademarked as “Permadure”. Prior to the 1930’s, mainsprings were so brittle that change in weather/temprature or slight over-winding of watch would require a visit to the watchmaker. Mido used a special alloy to overcome the brittleness and used it in the Multifort watch. Mutifort enjoyed long success as a sports watch until the late 1950’s when Mido launched Ocean Star Commander.
The Multifort Chronometer 1 packs all the characteristics desired in a modern sports watch -100-meter water resistance, anti-reflective coating on both sides of the sapphire crystal, COSC certification, 80-hour power reserve, decent lume on hour markers and hands, day and date display, and a well-designed steel bracelet. The 42mm case has polished bezel and lugs, and satin finish on the sides, which gives it a clean, contemporary sports watch aesthetic.
Most striking feature of this Mido sports watch is the blue dial with Geneva stripes on the dial. All popular sports watches like AP Royal Oak, Patek Nautilus, and recently Lange Odysseus and Maurice Lacroix Aikon – all have textured dials that give them that masculine sports watch appearance. In case of Multifort, Mido drew the inspiration for Geneva stripes from the architecture of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The edges of Geneva stripes alter intensity of the blue color with the reflection of light, making the dial lighter or darker. The day and date window at 3’o clock on white background integrates well into the dial design and color scheme.
Multifort Chronometer 1 is powered by COSC-certified caliber 80 Si automatic movement, where the Si stands for silicon balance-spring, and 80 represents the 80-hour power reserve. The movement was developed by ETA (Mido and ETA are part of Swatch group), and built on base ETA 2836-2 caliber. The screwed-in case back and the screwed-down crown seal the watch well for 100-meter resistance. The steel bracelet has brushed solid links and end links, push pins to secure the links, and half links with butterfly clasp for adjustment. Retail price is $1,290 and availability is February 2020.
If you are interested in reading about Mido’s fascinating 100-year history, the brand offers a free online book