MIDO Belluna Blueray and Sunray
Yet another milestone among casual business three-hand-timepieces
As time passes by, I have come to realize one thing about MIDO; the brand actually boasts the largest collection of three-hand-watches on the market. When I use the term "large" I am not talking about the number of references - there are bigger brands that boast an enormous amount of references, so many that they might confuse even the most experienced sales executive. I am rather referring to the aesthetic variations on the three-hand-theme, one of the most difficult topics faced by a designer who needs to be able to create a new pattern in a sector where actors are exactly the same ones for every other competitor. This task is even more difficult for a brand that does not primarily focus on mechanical complications but that rather turned simplicity and purity into its main pillars instead. Moreover, MIDO (whose name sounds like “Mito” (myth) – an involuntary communication pun that today sounds quite useful) means "precision" and when watches were originally created they weren’t expected to feature any complications at all as their main goal was primarily being able to tell the time with accuracy.
Horbiter® probably hosts one of the largest "collections" of articles about MIDO and its Baroncelli for example fills the pages of this magazine with a frequency that coincides with the many scenarios and versions of this three-hand-watch that the manufacturer keeps on giving us; our eye and our camera objective are always ready to capture every slight difference of style and color, the features that, at the end of the day, both intrigue the writer of these articles and those who, potentially, will purchase these timepieces. I always recommend to observe, observe again and observe once again. Never grow tired of looking closely at a watch and "reading" all the characteristics, noting all the differences with a similar model, over time you will notice that this comparison will make a difference and will make you more and more convinced of having made the right choice.
After this (long) introduction, what do you think the MIDO Belluna is? For me, it is a new watch, for someone else - and I am going back to my introduction above – it is yet another three-hand-watch by MIDO. That is not the case. Assuming that the MIDO Belluna is probably the brand’s biggest classic/sporty three-hand-watch – if you are looking for a 42mm-diameter-Baroncelli you have to give up a small complication (the M86053118 reference with power reserve) -, the accent of the brand's designers is always on details, treatments and decorations that no one else would take into account. The manufacturer did not indulge in well-known styles and decorations that make their new automatic three-hand-watch fall into oblivion.
MIDO is, in my opinion, the creator of what I call "personal minimalism"; a classic or standard architecture enriched by smart and unique details. It sometimes seems as if the brand were acting by exclusion; it seems as if it were eliminating from its catalog those tones and details that every watch features already and as if it focused on elements and decorations that have never been seen before instead. This particular characteristic is one of the manufacturer’s strengths that reaches its peak with the watch inspired by the Guggenheim Museum’s dome in New York.
The case of the MIDO Belluna Blueray or Sunray is large enough (10,82mm) and the lugs are short and bent on the bracelet; a sort of slim "Engineering bracelet" but slimmer and lighter with a folding clasp and an engraved MIDO logo (a little too big for me). Like any real watch with a casual business function (it is clearly one of the Belluna's targets), the bracelet extends completely on the case; a useful feature when you temporarily remove your watch during a day's work and place it on to the desk. It is also typically MIDO when it comes to pairing, because the fixed mesh perfectly matches the lugs and, the same way, it also seamlessly fits all the four attachment points. It's not so trivial, every day I can see watches retaining at € 5,000 and above, where it seems as if you were holding in your hands a small "Meccano" and that is definitely not acceptable. The real innovation is the dial; a central shaded soleil motif that becomes intense at the ends.
In its version with PVD treated steel case and leather strap, this coupling is even stronger because the blue and gold effect of the PVD treatment fit just fine. Within the 42mm-size lies a calibre with up to 80 hours of power reserve; a characteristic that allows you to take your watch off, if you want, for a whole long weekend and then put it back on the following Monday morning. The MIDO Belluna retails at a price still below the critical threshold of € 900 (€ 850 in its version entirely made of steel, € 870 in the version with a leather strap and a PVD treatment); a lesson of honesty and value for the customer, which should encourage reflection in many brands. The authority of a watch brand is conquered through content and aspirational marketing is the arrival point and not necessarily the starting point.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®