The Mido Ocean Star Tribute Khaki watch hands-on
Two years after the release of the Ocean Star Tribute first edition, the time has come to review the 2021 offering, which includes two new range extenders. While one is a two-tone steel and gold PVD take on a standard Tribute (and not my cup of tea), the other joins the green dial and bezel, mated to a khaki green nylon strap, trend. Well, it's hard to list it among this year's breaking news; nonetheless, the pairing looks as distinctive as it gets. The new Tribute Khaki or Khaki Green is a fresh take on the most wanted model so far, the blue dial Tribute, and there's no mistaking that Mido aims at extending the audience to an even greater extent. The product portfolio now includes blue and green options, thus bringing the Tribute collection to its full potential, even more so if you think that the black-dial Tribute looks too common and "deja vu" in comparison.
It is a chance to spend, once again, some quality time with a timepiece that outperformed the standard Ocean Star when it first came out. With all the hype surrounding the vintage-inspired divers watches in the last decade, the original Ocean Star Tribute increased the brand's business and awareness thanks to a successful template, which ticked all the boxes to those looking for a rugged, stylish vintage diving watch on a budget. It showcases a reasonable 40.5 mm large case, a lollipop-shaped seconds hand, an imposing glass box, baton indexes and a lovely day and date display fitting the overall design pretty well indeed. Add a Mido's signature 80 hours of power reserve, 200-meter water resistance and a mesh bracelet with folding clasp and micro-metric extension; you'll probably end up considering the Mido Ocean Star Tribute an all-rounder at less than 1000 Euros.
The new option with a green bezel comes with a light-dark green aluminium ring, which you'll find hard to grasp and rotate; the grooves are so polished and bevelled that you end up with the bezel slipping under your fingertips, at least if you're not wearing a pair of gloves, but I won't believe any professional diver would take a Tribute to go diving. Another key feature I'll improve is what I call the "detenting experience"; here is an area where the Japanese brands are the fiercest contenders, despite none of them holding the same vintage feel.
The dial has the same khaki green as the bezel, but both parts offer opposite experiences under the same lighting conditions. The long and slim lugs plus a full-flat case bottom were conceived with comfort in mind, yet the strap, which I think is the right choice here, is too stiff in as-new condition. Above all, I believe Mido didn't take this opportunity to bring the Tribute to its full potential by adopting a quick-release strap change.
Quickly swapping from bracelet to strap and vice versa is an option every manufacturer should consider; you might replace the bracelet with a strap, and a rubber one too (which is missing), hopefully, a flat one with no bumps. It's like owning three watches; the only reason not to provide it might be cost-driven since the price stops at just 850 Euros. In this price segment, you won't find anything comparable in either feel and specifications; that's why I believe Mido should somehow raise the bar and provide more options to those buyers looking for less mainstream-equipped and more customizable-instead products.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori per Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®