Watching The Mido Multifort TV Big Date On The Fratello Monday-Morning Broadcast
There’s a bunch of clever people working at Mido. Take a look at the new Mido Multifort TV Big Date. What do you see? I will tell you what I see later on, but the TV-shaped case and big date are not the two features that hit me first. Yes, the case shape looks like a TV — not the flat screen you have at home but the television set your grandparents owned — and the big date is also a prominent horological feature, but it’s the overall visual impression that strikes first. And my guess is that the very clever people at Mido are very much aware of that. Anyway, did you answer my question yet? I will do the same right now.
My brain screamed “Aquanaut!” when I picked up the Mido Multifort TV Big Date (M0495261708100) with its orange rubber strap and smoky black and gray dial. The “problem” with association is that it happens instantly and can’t be controlled. Therefore, a first impression and initial association can’t be wrong. You see what you see, and you think what you think. And I thought “Aquanaut” when I first saw the new Multifort TV Big Date with its 40 × 11.5mm steel case. There are two ways to look at this. You can dismiss Mido’s “AquaNOT” as a rip-off, or you can roll with it. Let’s roll with it because the Multifort TV Big Date is one of many watches that take inspiration from iconic timepieces. Yes, the €1,110 / US$1,200 Multifort TV Big Date is an alternative that makes it possible to shop the look, but there’s more to the watch.
Mido Multifort TV Big Date: AquaNOT and NOTilus
Okay, let’s talk about the Patek Philippe Aquanaut for a moment. The Aquanaut came out in 1997 as a more affordable, younger alternative to the brand’s Nautilus. The diehard Patek clients didn’t like the simplified Nautilus very much and labeled it a Nautilus Junior. They were not completely wrong because it did lack some sophisticated features of the original Nautilus, such as a complicated case construction and an integrated bracelet. It also wasn’t a Gérald Genta design. Still, Patek Philippe did reach a younger audience, stuck with the Aquanaut, and now it’s a big success — if you consider waitlists and exploded parallel market prices a success, that is. That success can also be explained by the fact that the Aquanaut was, for a while, the best alternative to the unobtainable Nautilus, but that’s a different story — “Aquanaut: Worthy Alternative Or NOTilus?”
An old TV on the wrist
It’s time to focus on the watches on my wrist. The version with the orange strap that involuntarily make me think of the Aquanaut was joined by a green-dialed version on a steel bracelet that costs €1,140 / US$1,270. Does the green Multifort TV Big Date (M0495261109100) make you think of a green-dialed Nautilus? Not me. That watch didn’t provoke a direct comparison. While wearing the version on the orange rubber strap, I could then focus on the characteristics and features of this recent Mido model.
According to Mido, the Multifort TV Big Date is “inspired by new visions.” That’s funny because the TV screen watch looks like a television set from way, way back. And Mido watches with a TV-shaped case also go way, way back. The brand released timepieces with such a shape in 1973, 1980, and 2000. The new ones with the “new visions” inspiration celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mido TV-shaped watches, not by featuring a design that mimics the devices people stream their series and movies on — the real new vision if you ask me — but by using the shape of vintage TVs.
It’s all about the bezel, but don’t dismiss the big date
It’s the prominent, flat, square, satin-brushed bezel that dominates the Multifort TV Big Date. Take a closer look at the bezel, and you will notice two things. First, there are the two small bulges at 6 and 12 o’clock. Is this because, without those two bulges, the bezel would be too “Aquanautish”? In case you still see the sporty Patek, Mido also put a dot on the bezel at 12. That dot serves as an index — the big date took the spot of that index on the top of the dial — and it also harks back to former Multifort models with a similar dot.
Yes, the bezel may make you think of another watch, but the big date sure won’t. The big date is the watch’s standout feature. It does give this Multifort a certain gravitas since a big date is a traditional Haute Horlogerie feature. The positioning at 12 o’clock might not be to everybody’s liking, but thanks to the aperture’s size, it’s easy to read, even when the hands are in front of the digits on the two separate date wheels — are you seeing this TAG Heuer?
Would you watch — sorry, wear — it again and again?
I almost forgot to inform you about the movement inside this Mido. As you would expect, it is a self-winding caliber 80 outfitted with an antimagnetic and shock-resistant Nivachron hairspring. Through the transparent case back, you can take a peek at the oscillating weight adorned with Côtes de Genève and the engraved Mido logo.
With that out of the way, we have to ask the big question: would you watch, sorry, wear the Multifort TV Big Date again and again? That depends. For seasoned watch fans and collectors, the looks of the watch might prove problematic because, once you’ve seen something, you can’t unsee it.
To me, that did indeed prove problematic. But for people new to the world of luxury watchmaking, the Mido Multifort TV Big Date delivers the luxurious look of an integrated-bracelet sports watch. It does so, but it actually isn’t a watch with an integrated strap/bracelet (just like the Aquanaut, by the way). The conventional lugs offer the capability to pair the watch with any 22mm-wide strap of your liking.
The Multifort TV Big Date is not an “AquaNOT,” it’s “AquaNAUGHTY”
The price of just over €1,100 / US$1,200 puts it above the 40mm Tissot PRX Powermatic but also under a lot of Nautilus/Aquanaut/Royal Oak alternatives made by the likes of Maurice Lacroix and Frederique Constant to name just two. The smoky dial with a horizontally brushed finish is very much in touch with tastes today. It’s good to see that Mido didn’t choose to create an alternative take on the Aquanaut’s recognizable “grenade” dial and strap pattern. And because of that, I think we should not call the Multifort TV Big Date an “AquaNOT.” It is, however, very “AquaNAUGHTY.”
If you want more information on the Multifort TV Big Date and to check out the blue version we didn’t have at HQ, please visit the official Mido website.