As enthusiasts, we’re often drawn to “sleeper” watches and brands that for a variety of reasons tend to go under the radar, unnoticed by the masses. Mido and their Ocean Star line easily fits into that category. This dive watch collection traces its lineage back more than 75 years, but is rarely discussed in the same breath as diving pioneers like Rolex, Blancpain, Seiko, and others. Still, the brand has real heritage, and the watches themselves offer an impressive value, even if they aren’t particularly exciting on a visceral level. They are humble tools, don’t aspire to be much more than that, and therein, I think, lies the appeal for many. The brand has just unveiled an update to their Ocean Star 200 diver, and it’s one that we’re frankly surprised hadn’t been made years ago.
Mido is calling this release the Ocean Star 200C Trilogy, and the operative letter to take note of here is the “C” that quietly indicates the inclusion of, for the first time in the collection, a ceramic bezel insert. Ceramic bezel inserts, while not exactly standard equipment, have been quite normal on dive watches at all price points for several years now – they’re certainly no longer an unusual, high-end luxury feature that a big Swiss brand would use to differentiate itself from the rest. These days, an aluminum insert is almost more noteworthy, as it implies some type of authentic link to dive watch history, or just an old-school way of doing things. That said, ceramic offers real benefits for most desk-divers as the material is virtually scratch proof and the color won’t fade over time. So, while patina junkies might be at a loss for how to handle what will eventually be vintage watches that look brand new, most casual watch consumers are going to jump at a product that naturally resists wear and tear.
The addition of a ceramic dive bezel isn’t the only flourish that Mido has added to these Ocean Stars. Each dial (green, blue, or gray) has a matte finish with a wave-like texture. Similar to the addition of ceramic in the bezel, this feels like Mido coming to a trend a little late (their Swatch Group counterparts Omega have been doing wave dials for a spell), but the dials are still attractive and when you consider the entire package Mido is offering here, the Ocean Star 200C presents as a significant value for money proposition.
That value add really comes into play in the movement, which here is the Mido Caliber 80, the brand’s own version of the ETA C07.621. This is ETA’s newer 80 hour automatic movement, which is an awfully convenient thing to have in a watch rotation. While the movement isn’t COSC certified, Mido states that they’ve adjusted it in 3 positions for additional precision. It also includes a day and date display at the 3:00 position that we imagine some will find breaks the dial symmetry significantly. It’s hard to argue that it doesn’t, but then again, it’s nice to have a day and date. This watch will be a constant help in reminding you of how close you are to the weekend, if nothing else.
In terms of the case and its specs, Mido provides 200 meters of water resistance through a two piece 42.5mm stainless steel case with a mix of satin finished and polished surfaces. The case lines are traditional in nature and recall dive watches of the past without being a direct homage to anything in particular. The Ocean Star 200C is mounted to a stainless steel bracelet with polished center links and a folding clasp which contains a diving extension.
Retail pricing for the three watches in the Ocean Star 200C Trilogy is set at $1,150. That’s a small premium over the version with an aluminum bezel (which sells for $930 on a bracelet and uses the same movement), but it’s not a dramatic increase, and it still places these watches squarely in the value oriented spectrum for Swiss dive watches. Mido