Easily one of the most popular releases from Mido in recent years has been the Ocean Star Decompression Timer, which was launched in 2020 as a limited edition and revived the colorful decompression scale dials that characterized the original models from the 1960s. Although this unusual dial style was originally designed specifically for scuba divers, its colorful and lighthearted appearance made it an instant favorite among a wide variety of collectors, and the limited edition model quickly sold out upon its launch. While the original design for Mido’s decompression timer was a three-handed dive watch, the latest release from the brand for 2023 takes this core concept in a travel-oriented direction, and the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer offers much of the same funky colorful appearance but adds a jumping local hour GMT movement and world time functionality.
Crafted from high-polished stainless steel, the case of the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer measures 40.5mm in diameter by 46.99mm lug-to-lug, and it offers a fairly traditional skin diver shape and profile. To emulate the appearance of a vintage acrylic crystal, the top of the case gets fitted with a box-shaped sapphire crystal, while the reverse side receives a solid screw-down stainless steel caseback that is adorned with an engraving of a starfish. Surrounding the crystal is a bidirectional rotating bezel fitted with either a black or blue aluminum insert, and unlike previous Mido Decompression Timer models, the bezel fitted to the Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer features the names of the different cities rather than being a standard 60-minute timing bezel (although minute markings are still included at ten-minute intervals). Additionally, given that the whole concept of this watch is firmly rooted in scuba diving, water resistance is naturally in ample supply, and the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer offers users a depth rating of 200 meters.
Similar to the choice in bezel color, Mido offers the Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer with the option of either a black (ref. M026.829.17.051.00) or blue (ref. M026.829.17.041.00) dial, although both versions feature the same core design with a colorful sector-style decompression scale taking center stage, along with a date window placed at the 3 o’clock location. While the blue dial option features the collection’s original multicolored decompression scale, the black dial model features its scale in orange and yellow for a slightly more traditional overall appearance. Additionally, regardless of dial color, both versions of the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer feature a contrasting 24-hour scale, which is placed near the outer periphery of the dial and includes horizontal luminous batons along its border, which serve as the hour markers for the local time. Similarly, both new models feature an identical handset that has a trio of polished hands accompanied by a bright red 24-hour hand that can be used to either display a secondary time zone, or used in conjunction with its bezel to access its world timer functionality.
Powering the new Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer is the brand’s Caliber 80 automatic GMT movement. Based upon the core architecture of the ETA C07.661, the Mido Cal. 80 runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) while offering users a power reserve of approximately 80 hours. At its heart, this movement offers a familiar and proven design; however, since it is one of the Swatch Group’s specially modified calibers, it represents a fairly significant departure compared to the standard ETA-based GMT movement that can be found inside most other watches. In addition to running at a lower beat rate and offering a longer power reserve, the Mido Cal. 80 GMT movement features an independently adjustable local hour hand, which gives it true “traveler” style GMT functionality. Up until very recently, this highly practical travel-oriented feature was exclusively found inside watches at significantly higher price points, and Mido is still one of only a handful of brands that offer this functionality on the more affordable end of the spectrum.
Fitted to the lugs of the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer is a tropic-style rubber strap in either dark blue or black to match the dial and bezel of the watch. Regardless of color, both rubber straps offer the same overall design, and they are fitted with polished stainless steel pin buckles that are engraved with Mido’s logo. In addition to their rubber straps, both versions of the Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer also come with polished stainless steel Milanese mesh bracelets that are completed by sliding clasps that can be used to adjust the length. In order to allow users to take full advantage of the included strap and bracelet, quick-release springbars are used to connect them to the lugs, and this means that the two included options can easily be swapped back and forth without the use of any tools.
While the new Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer offers much of the same core aesthetic that made the original revival model from 2020 such a favorite among collectors, the addition of a GMT movement with an independently adjustable local hour hand makes the new WorldTimer variant a highly compelling option for those who are looking for a fun and colorful vacation watch. Although the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer isn’t a limited edition where production will be capped at a specific number of examples, Mido does list it as a “Special Edition” model, meaning that it likely won’t be a permanent addition to the brand’s catalog. Additionally, with an official retail price of $1,310 USD, the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer is quite a bit less expensive than many other watches that offer this convenient travel-oriented feature, and I imagine there will be plenty of people who purchase this model simply for its fun design and ability to easily navigate between time zones. For more information on the Mido Ocean Star Decompression WorldTimer, please visit the brand’s website.