The Mido Baroncelli Big Date: a Big Date on a budget
With the launch of the 2018 Mido Baroncelli Big Date Caliber 80, this is actually the sixth time I have reviewed a Mido watch that belongs to one of the brand's historical collections, the Baroncelli. The hands-on review of the Big Date adds to the long list of articles aimed at celebrating the brand's 100th Anniversary, a milestone in the history of Mido that has launched this year a long series of new products featuring technical specifications that often represent a world's first in their respective segments. I refer to the launch of the 2018 Datometer, the Mido Commander Shade Special Edition or the Mido Ocean Star Caliber 80 PVD Rose Gold just to name a few, but I'm also talking about the introduction of new mechanical complications, such as the Big Date based on the caliber 80 platform.
The reason why ETA decided some years ago to start reducing their supply to brands not belonging to the Swatch Group has now been answered.
The caliber 80 was the base for the development of a new family of mechanical movements that include today a Big Date complication thus helping this Mido Baroncelli achieve two results: this is the only three-hands timepiece to combine a Big Date complication with more than three days of power reserve, in its segment.
Mido keeps therefore promoting itself as a brand that drives market trends and combines a sleek design, that can easily be appreciated by a wide audience, with state-of-the-art technology.
The design language of a Mido.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Baroncelli has always been among my favorite time-only wristwatches and there is no doubt that if you're looking for an understated yet elegant three-hands watch, that combines a classic style with a modern evolution of a stock 48 hours power reserve ETA caliber, the Mido Baroncelli is currently unmatched.
The Baroncelli Big Date has made a mechanical complication you are usually forced to pay no less than 10.000€, popular, all of a sudden. Mido's designers (and ETA's engineers) crafted a timepiece that includes two separate disks (for tenths and units) placed under the dial at six o'clock. They're visible, and extremely readable, through two narrow windows and their font clearly seems to draw inspiration from the Bauhaus' style.
The only flaw is in my opinion represented by how the two disks are displaced: there's a visible vertical gap between the two that affects a bit their perceived quality.
Width and thickness.
The Mido Baroncelli Big Date is 40mm wide but just 10,38mm thick. It means the entire case is less than one millimeter thicker than a Baroncelli Chronometer's case that is equipped with the same base caliber. A great result indeed.
The leather strap sports a folding buckle with an embossed Mido logo; the goal was perhaps to give the Mido Baroncelli Big Date Caliber 80 a premium luxury touch and feel but I would have personally gone for a more comfortable pin buckle that allows the wearer to tighten the watch to his wrist so as to ensure the leather strap, that is stiff in its as-new condition, can perfectly wrap around the wrist, something that is usually hard to get even with the most refined folding buckle.
Many variations and a great price point.
The Mido Baroncelli Big Date Caliber 80 comes in many different versions, either with a steel case on a leather strap or with a bracelet, with a case and bracelet in steel and pink gold PVD-treated steel (and two different shades of dial) or full PVD case. Whatever the version, including the one sporting a full PVD treated case, the price list is below the psychological threshold of 1,000€.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by Simona Bertogliatti)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®