Mido Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition
The 2020 Mido's talking piece is the first hand-wound Multifort in a generation and the brand's first-ever skeletonized timepiece. The Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition is a one-off build of 999 pieces and a surprising technical and aesthetic take from a brand whose offering includes self-winding movements with class-leading power reserve. As hard to classify as it gets, it brings the Multifort collection into uncharted territory, thus abandoning the old formula showcasing symmetrical design, and a Côtes de Genève decoration on both dial and winding rotor. The most daring Multifort, so far, was the COSC-certified Multifort Chronometer One we put under the loupe a couple of years ago.
The Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition comes standard with a hand-wound large caliber, a long-appreciated movement by fans of old-school watchmaking, and the best option available in the class of products this Mido belongs to. It is the 6498-1, a 36,6 mm large movement once manufactured by Unitas, acquired by ETA a few years ago. The first Unitas 6498-1 dates back to the 1950s; it was engineered to power large pocket watches and wristwatches. It also comes as the higher frequency ETA 6498-2, sourced to plenty of luxury watches, who adopted this variant to equip their aviation-inspired reissues. Boasting a 46-hour power reserve when fully wound, the ETA 6498-1 runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour, and, funnily enough, as old-school as it is, it equips the most surprising Mido watch to date.
Well, the 6498-1 proved an excellent base for skeletonizing, with the hour wheel and crown pinion on full display, on the dial's side, and the click-to-ratchet-and-crown wheel, on the case back instead. The mirror-polished set wheel showcases a machined curved wave pattern as the black skeletonized cover atop the movement. Blackened out via galvanization, it has a kind of sonic shock wave design to it that extends from the balance spring's axis to the outer ring. Here is where this new Multifort stands out and might look provocative to current Mido watch owners. Was Mido seeking something at the opposite end of the spectrum of a Commander and a Baroncelli?
The case extends up to 44mm across to fully house the caliber, but it wears comfortably, at 11,98mm thick, and far slimmer than any optional self-winding counterpart. It is crafted in black PVD titanium instead of black ceramic, the technical option I would have picked if you ask me. I guess titanium has to do with the brand keeping the retail price as low as 1,840 Euro, consistent with its price point. The sapphire crystal has the white MIDO logo etched on top, but a fully flat design would minimize any glare effect due to the intricate dial's design.
The Mido Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition watch is a two-tone timepiece with a black case, polished on top and back, brushed on sides, paired with the hour and minute hands filled with white Super-LumiNova™. Finally, the winding crown is in the shape of a double helical-tooth gearing. The Mido Multifort Mechanical Skeleton Limited Edition is the kind of watch you either love or hate. Thumbs up to Mido for daring so much; build quality is excellent, and it is technically more attractive than any other Mido watch, but I still prefer a classic-looking Mido Multifort if you ask me.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®