Introducing the Mido Baroncelli Heritage

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Of the various types of watch, “dress” seem to be the most uncommon in the affordable range. Sure, there are a few great ones out there, but as new releases go, they are few and far between. Especially ones that are thin and small enough to be true, modest dress watches. With the new Baroncelli Heritage, Mido has created a new dress offering that is worth a closer look.

MIDO_BARONCELLI_HERITAGE_2Mido is a brand we haven’t discussed much on w&w, though hopefully that will change in the coming year. One of Swatch Group’s affordable mainstays, they make distinctly gorgeous vintage inspired watches, with a few modern pieces as well, but were really marketed towards the Latin and Asian markets. So, we simply didn’t come across them very often. Now, they are pushing to gain more popularity in the US, which exciting news for all of us.

Back to the watch, the Baroncelli Heritage was made in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Baroncelli line. Perhaps their dressiest and most classical series, the Baroncelli’s are clean and formal, ranging from 37-39mm for three-handers up to 42mm for chronographs and other complications. The Heritage stays true to the line, but takes a decidedly simpler, graphic approach that speaks to the mid-twentieth century, and packages it in an exceptionally thin case.

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At 39mm, it’s a nice size for a slightly larger dress watch, making it wearable more casually as well. The standout feature, however, is the 6.95mm height. A dimension that is made all the more impressive when one considers that the watch is powered by an ETA 2892A2 automatic movement. To put that into perspective, that’s only .15mm thicker than the manually wound Stowa Antea, which is a very thin watch. This means the watch will wear beautifully, and easily slip under a tight cuff.

MIDO_BARONCELLI_HERITAGE_1Aesthetically, it’s a very stylish watch with a 60’s feel (though 40 years ago was the mid-seventies). There are two models, a steel case with black dial, and a PVD rose gold case with cream dial. Both dials feature an interesting eggshell texture, giving them a matte, almost paper-like finish. On the surfaces are straightforward indexes featuring thin lines for the hour/5-minutes and dots for the individual minutes/seconds in a contrasting color. No fuss, not overly decorative, and very easy to read. Perhaps the most decorative element is the script Baroncelli above six. I’m oddly into this detail, as I really like how the type plays off of the off-center “Heritage” beneath, as though each watch was signed.

At 3 is a date window, which is white with black text on both watches. Not the most elegant execution, as the white doesn’t really work with either dial. The position is also a bit awkward, though at least it doesn’t interfere with the line at 3. I would have loved to see the date at 6, and at least have the black dial feature a white on black date. Nothing is perfect, but it’s not so bad as to throw the whole design.

The Baroncelli Heritage watches feature nice, thick Dauphine hands with an interesting finish. They are half diamond cut and polished, and half sandblasted for a coarse, matte finish. Using contrasting textures on the hands is a very cool way to take a very standard hand design and give them a unique personality. The black dial version features Rhodium plated hands for a clean, silver color, while the cream dial uses PVD gold for the hour and minutes, and blue steel for the seconds. The contrasting blue seconds hand is another nice touch that plays well off of the otherwise warm colors.

Usually, I’m drawn to the steel case model, but in this instance, as a dress watch, the rose gold is really speaking to me. The combination of the textured cream dial with the gold hands and case is very attractive. I could see this looking great as a subtle, but warm accent to a blue suit. Perhaps just switch up the strap from the accompanying black to a dark brown or even dark blue.

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The Mido Baroncelli Heritage is one I’m really looking forward to seeing at Basel 2016. Since the press release images are only top down, it’s hard to make out the detailing of the case. I’m very curious to see how they shaped it to keep it so thin. Pricing is also TBD, but judging by their other watches, I’d guess $800 – $1,000 Update: The steel model is priced at $1,100, while the rose gold is $1,220.

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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