Hands on with the Mido Baroncelli Heritage and Caliber 80 Chronometer SI
Is there a specific reason why I am going to talk about the Mido Baroncelli only a few days after having talked about its very opposite, namely the Ocean Star Captain Titanium? Of course not, and I also want to assure you that I haven’t signed any special partnership with the Swiss brand, I am simply eager to show you a classic collection that falls into the most accessible category on the market. It is a new proposal that comes from a brand that has made its very fortune out of a great quality and price ratio along with its classic German style, actually a style that is sometimes even more northern European than Swiss. The Baroncelli collection is celebrating its first 40 years in 2016 and Mido have decided to mark this important goal by launching three new versions; the first one is clearly woman-inspired while the other two versions could fit both genders, keeping in mind that the largest diameter of these timepieces measures 40mm.
When it comes to watches, I am not a big fan either of numbers and figures or of diameters and decimals unless I am talking about a super complicated watch and I am using specific figures to explain one of its special functions, a complication or even an invention. It is needless to say, however, that when you are trying to describe these classic three-hands timepieces and a collection that involves three different diameters, you definitely need to resort to numbers and figures.
The Mido Baroncelli Heritage was created in two versions, the first one measures 33m while the man version measures 39mm, the thickness of these timepieces varies between 6,85mm and 6,95mm. These four figures explain perfectly well the extreme wearability of both versions that feature a dial with extraordinarily thin indexes and an almost Swedish-like cleanliness of style that make the winding crown look almost oversized both in real life and in pictures alike.
Take a good look at the date window, for the very first time (I am sure like many of my readers…) I am not going to beg the manufacturer to remove it, since this date window represents the very triumph of simplicity and it doesn’t affect or even break the overall balance of this timepiece. Mido, unlike many of their competitors that keep on fiddling with the length of the black index located at 3 o’clock, have had the wise idea of placing the date window almost in the middle of the dial and size it sensibly. This is the first brand that has done something like that and I find it weird that the majority of brands, whose timepieces retail at prices that are sometimes 10 times higher than that of a Mido Baroncelli Heritage, haven’t gotten it yet or, more likely, have actually realized what they are doing but have opted for not breaking the traditional rules of their style instead.
Dauphine hours and minutes hands on a grained ivory dial, a stainless steel case that has undergone a pink PVD coating treatment, generously curved and elongated lugs complete the Mido Baroncelli Heritage that is equipped with a customized version of the ETA2892A2 caliber. This is called Mido 1192 caliber and it can be seen through the sapphire-made case-back that is crafted using the exact same material as the perfectly flat sapphire crystal that has been applied on to the dial.
The Baroncelli Heritage of the first 40 years sports the same grained dial but crafted also in black, it is not too different from the dial of the Captain Titanium and this is yet another confirmation that this finishing touch is one of Mido’s trademarks. This is not over yet, since caliber 80 that guarantees up to 80 hours of power reserve versus the 42 hours of the base ETA caliber, is now hosted inside the new Mido Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer SI. This timepiece is available at least in two versions; a stainless steel version that sports a dial that is similar to the Heritage model’s and with an integrated bracelet and a second version that sports a bezel that has undergone a pink PVD coating treatment and applied Roman numbers. Both versions feature a 40mm diameter case.
The Mido Baroncelli Heritage and the Mido Baroncelli Caliber 80 Chronometer SI are yet another proof that the manufacturer from Le Locle is slowly building up its very own brand identity that is possibly slightly less personal in the Baroncelli range if compared to other ones. This new collection clearly takes inspiration from some famous three-hands timepieces and the 60s style, its retail price (about 1,000 euro a piece) and its high quality cannot be found anywhere else within the same market range, its solid mechanic and, if we can call it like that, even an in-house built caliber 80 that Mido share, if I am not mistaken, with only another brand from the same group.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter