Hands-On: The Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition With A Blue Gradient Dial
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to this hands-on review. A few of Mido’s watches have intrigued me in recent years, so I’m glad that I finally got the chance to wear one for a while. And it’s not just any Mido watch, oh no. It’s the new Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition with a blue gradient dial. I happen to be a fan of the color blue, so that’s a nice coincidence. But, as you probably know, there are many blue dive watches out there, so let’s see how this Ocean Star Tribute stacks up against those.
When I was looking to buy my first serious mechanical watch, the Mido Multifort Datometer was a good contender. It’s a re-edition of one of the brand’s models from the 1930s and looks very charming. The only thing was that a 40mm time-only watch looks a bit big on my wrist. Then there is the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer with its colorful dial. It’s a looker, but I’m always afraid it’s going to be a bit too much after having it on the wrist for a while. Finally, I’ve also been looking at the Ocean Star GMT because of the flyer GMT movement inside. But I’d have to build up my confidence before I could pull off a 44mm watch. Besides, I’m not really blown away by its overall design. Let’s see if the Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition in blue can convince me.
The Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition
I’ll start with the size. This new Ocean Star shares its measurements with the world timer I mentioned. So its fully polished stainless steel case has a 40.5mm diameter, a 13.4mm thickness (including the domed sapphire crystal), and a 47mm lug-to-lug. Lex mentioned that the 44mm size of the Ocean Star GMT he reviewed wasn’t for everyone. And I’m sure there will be people who’ll criticize the size of this smaller Tribute. But I actually think this could be a size that works on a lot of different wrists. On my 17cm wrist, it felt and looked good. I usually prefer watches with a diameter below 40mm. But as long as the lugs aren’t too long, I can get used to bigger sizes as well, just like on my Omega Speedmaster and Seiko SPB317.
The case features triangular guards around the screw-down crown. They make it a little harder to get a hold of the crown, but that’s something you get used to, and they help keep the crown safe. The lug spacing on the Ocean Star Tribute is 21mm, which is a little annoying, to be honest. I guess it’s a good thing that the watch comes with both a stainless steel mesh bracelet and a Tropic-style blue rubber strap. As the 20mm straps that most people have lying around at home will be too small for this watch. An interesting detail, though, is that you can choose between two sets of lug holes, one closer to the case and the other a little further away.
A matte milky blue gradient dial
What I do really like about this Ocean Star Tribute is its gradient blue dial and the matching bezel insert. I’m usually not a fan of gradient dials as they tend to feel a bit gimmicky. But here, there’s no sunburst, no shininess, nothing. I’d describe the color as a matte milky blue, and yes, there’s a gradient but not in an annoying way. It stays the same, regardless of the lighting condition or viewing angle. And it almost feels as if the dial has lost its color a little bit over time. It suits the vintage-inspired aesthetic of the watch to a tee.
The straight hands also match very well with the printed hour markers along the dial. Both the hands and markers carry a decent amount of luminous material, so you can also read the time in darker conditions. The text on the dial has been kept plain and simple, which once again goes well with the overall style of the Ocean Star Tribute. The plain cutout for the date window at 3 o’clock could’ve been executed a little better, but at least it doesn’t try to grab your attention. And I prefer this minimalist approach over the day-and-date windows on the black gradient and red gradient versions.
The dark blue aluminum bezel insert has a nice tone to it. It reminds me a bit of the bezel on the blue Tudor Black Bay 58 that I used to own. But in the end, it’s a great match with the gradient dial. The bezel action is very snappy, but it could benefit from a better grip because it’s quite slippery.
On the wrist
As I said earlier, I like the Ocean Star’s 40.5mm size on my 17cm wrist. The proportions are well thought out, and it wears comfortably. Upfront, I thought the mesh bracelet would be a bit bulky, but it works well on the wrist, even though it doesn’t taper. The mesh bracelet on the Serica 5303 is a bit more elegant and easier to adjust. Then again, its clasp is a bit finicky and doesn’t have a safety lock. The clasp on the Ocean Star is also a bit finicky to adjust and close, but it does feel very safe when it’s closed. But my favorite combo for this summer would be the one with the included blue Tropic-style strap. Both the bracelet and the strap have handy quick-release spring bars for easy swapping.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the Ocean Star’s Tribute Special Edition’s €1,110 price. There are a lot of dive watches available right around that price point. This watch is a very complete package, though, with its good looks and Mido’s version of the Powermatic 80 movement, which the brand calls a Mido Automatic ETA. This should be a reliable automatic movement, and it offers a comfortable power reserve of 80 hours. It’s covered up by a solid stainless steel case back, which carries Mido’s Ocean Star logo. It’s a screw-in case back, which helps make the watch water resistant to 200 meters under water.
I really enjoyed my time with the blue gradient Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition on the wrist. It did indeed remind me a bit of the blue Tudor Black Bay 58, and the dial is very similar to what Omega has put into its Seamaster collection for the 75th anniversary. So it might not be the most originally styled dive watch out there, but it’s still a well-done watch. I would’ve preferred a little brushing on the case, and I could do without those crown guards. But those are certainly not deal-breakers, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed wearing this Ocean Star over the summer. Unfortunately, though, we’re going to have to send this press sample back to Mido now.
The Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition with a blue gradient dial is already available. As mentioned, it can be yours for €1,110, and it comes with both a stainless steel mesh bracelet and a Tropic-style strap. For more information, please check Mido’s official website.
What do you think of this new Mido Ocean Star Special Edition? Would you want to wear it over the summer? Let us know in the comments below.