Mido Baroncelli Mechanical Limited Edition
With the introduction of the Baroncelli Mechanical Limited Edition and the Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition, Mido has, to our surprise, launched two hand-wound timepieces. The first, especially, marks Mido's offering among the ultra-thin mechanical watches. Still, they both unexpectedly prove Mido temporarily abandons a strategy focused on their mainstream eighty-hour power reserve automatic caliber. With sister company ETA offering plenty of options, the brand has thus crafted quite a quintessentially classic timepiece, housing a fine and thin hand-wind mechanical movement, whose code name is ETA 7001.
Manual wind movements are a rare breed nowadays, in comparison to more common and high-volume automatic ones. The ETA 7001 caliber is an exquisite movement also adopted within the medium and top range, including brands belonging to the Swatch Group, like Omega and Blancpain, back in the days. This 3Hz beating and 2,50mm thick movement appeared in 1971 thanks to Peseux, a producer later acquired by ETA. The ETA 7001 caliber has allowed Mido to create a 39mm wide and less-than-seven millimeter (6,30mm precisely) thick Baroncelli, which is the thinnest Baroncelli so far. The dial gives the 2020 Baroncelli Mechanical Limited Edition a classic feel to it: the base is black lacquered with diamond-cut applied baton indexes atop, who have undergone a gold PVD treatment, like the case. Bear in mind such a PVD option was initially introduced by Mido.
However, it makes no sense to adopt such a refined caliber if you're not allowing the wearer to enjoy the rotation of the gears during the winding process (it winds up to 42 hours). Mido has thus applied a see-through glass, showcasing how designers customized the bridges with either Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges and MIDO logo.
Among the most remarkable details, I'd highlight the smooth integration between the recessed small-second counter, placed at six o'clock, and the large central part of the dial. What I don't like instead is the choice of adopting a folding buckle; to me, any ultra-flat hand-wind wristwatch should always come with a pin buckle, as a standard. Also, a folding clasp adds unwanted thickness, affecting comfort and perfect wearability, in my experience.
I reckon a folding clasp is in line with the brand's mission, which is contemporary, and its classic watches are on the casual business side. The aforementioned is by no means the Mido customers' portfolio. Produced in 2020 specimens, the Mido Baroncelli Mechanical Limited Edition retails for 1,050 Euros, and pairs once again a stunning price to product specifications unrivaled in the class this timepiece belongs. All in all, Mido is a brand that keeps exploring uncharted business territories, usually creating its niche. This timepiece won't be the brand's "bread and butter" as it is with an Ocean Star or a Multifort, it nonetheless is an excellent proposition among ultra-flat luxury accessible timepieces, with a somewhat sporty take. I hope Mido will keep expanding this collection, by adding an option in steel, with pin buckle and, finally, a ceramic case option too. I think the last one would foster Mido's awareness even further and strengthen its value proposition.
(Photo credit: courtesy of MIDO Watches)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®