The Mido Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer Si
If you mention the world “silicon” quite often during the day, chances are that you are either a chemist or that you are employed in the watch-making sector. My ironic provocation is not far from reality though; silicon overwhelmingly entered the world of watch-making a few years ago thanks to its anti-magnetic properties that have made it the ideal material to replace the balance springs made of metal and improve the chronometric precision. From then on, it was an unstoppable crescendo that has seen silicon quickly move from the high-end range to the medium-end/lower-end range.
Its presence is no longer news, quite the opposite actually as it is usually pointed out when this new technology is not being used. It is a piece of news that definitely stands out when you start seeing silicon being used in the market’s accessible luxury segment and that means that its manufacturing on a large scale has reached its maturity. MIDO used this material on its MIDO Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer Si; a timepiece that, both by design and name, is a full tribute to Italy. The MIDO Baroncelli is MIDO’s most classic proposal, it is the simplest, uncluttered and fresh timepiece that the brand has ever launched and the matted-white-dial-version is an additional step beyond this concept.
This timepiece is not MIDO’s most vintage variation – if you are looking for that, your best bet would be looking among the models of the Commander collection with the Milano mesh – but MIDO is a brand, whose language is projected into the future and, in my opinion, it is heading that way more and more. It was born at the beginning of the 20th century – a time when architecture started talking a more modern and avant-garde language – and that probably had a big impact on the personality-defining process of this brand.
Both the case and the bracelet are entirely made of polished stainless-steel. The case features a two-level-bezel that is quite common among high-end three-hands-timepieces and very popular mainly on 38mm and 39mm cases that used to be in fashion at the beginning of the 80s. The hands sport a dauphine-inspired style and are extremely thin; it is actually amazing how, the brand’s designers, focus on thinning shapes and make their watches some sort of readability examples; a basic requirement that every single MIDO timepiece must fulfill.
The bracelet creates quite a strong aesthetic contrast with the case and the dial, almost to a breaking point. It is a hybrid version between a classic Milano mesh and an Engineer II-type bracelet that is quite common on the other side of the ocean. The difference lies in the number of links; they are five on the Engineer bracelet while they are seven on the MIDO’s one that is definitely thinner and buckles up with a hidden dual deployment clasp sporting the engraved MIDO logo (in my opinion, a slightly smaller font would have worked out better here).
The caliber 80 is not a brand new addition but the use of a silicon-made balance spring in 2016 is; this equips the time-only caliber with the most advanced specifications of this category, namely 80 hours of power reserve (longer than the usual three days) and a chronometer certification too. This result is due to the concrete developmental impulse of the ETA calibers and clearly shows why the group decided not to provide other brands with its own movements.
Moreover, the MIDO Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer Si’s caliber is polished and equipped with blued screws, the automatic winding rotor features a Cotes de Genève decoration; a characteristic that makes it more appealing from an aesthetic point of view and more in line with the look of the case and the bracelet. The MIDO Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer Si is a timepiece that is comfortable to wear, it is thin and quite rewarding when it comes to its finishing lines and design – a small note from my side; I would have made the bracelet on such a neat case, slightly less invasive from an aesthetic point of view -. This watch is MIDO’s mission statement within the most fought-over market’s segment and its product value/positioning ratio (1,000 euros) is quite a difficult one to beat.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter