Hands-On with the Mido “Inspired by Architecture” Limited Edition, a Timepiece Celebrating the Guggenheim

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Mido is one of those brands that has, in North America at least, flown under the radar of many enthusiasts for years, quietly producing excellent pieces like the Baroncelli and Ocean Star at competitive prices while the watchmaking world looked on. As such, the Mido catalog is a treasure trove of hidden gems, and some of the finest jewels in that collection are undoubtedly those from the limited edition “Inspired by Architecture” series.

Introducing the Mido “Inspired by Architecture” Limited Edition, a timepiece celebrating the Guggenheim Museum.

Over the past few years, the brand has drawn inspiration from such iconic structures as the Roman Colosseum, London’s Big Ben, and the Great Wall of China. For the newest iteration, however, Mido has moved away from classical monuments and set their sights on something decidedly more contemporary: New York City’s temple of mid-century modernism, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum.

The edifice has been the gold standard of the entire school of architecture since 1959, but does the latest “Inspired by Architecture” timepiece capture a bit of what makes the Guggenheim special? Let’s dig in.


Hands-On with the Mido “Inspired by Architecture” Limited Edition, a Timepiece Celebrating the Guggenheim

Stainless steel
Caliber 80 Si Chronometer
Sapphire w/ AR; sapphire display back
Integrated leather
Water Resistance
50 meters
40mm x 40mm
Lug Width

The case is a fine work of architecture in its own right, but it also manages to beautifully integrate the signature look of the Guggenheim’s main building. The lugs taper inward from the bezel to the case back, creating an angular, bowl-like form. This tapering is then accentuated by the helical grooves running the circumference of the case, mimicking the spiral structure of the museum’s main building.

In addition to immediately calling to mind the inspiration, this spiral grooves allow Mido’s casework to shine with the continuous polished line adding a dynamic flash to the otherwise evenly brushed surface.

This main brushed structure is topped with an outwardly curving, mirror-polished bezel, adding yet another layer of sparkle. The signed crown at three echoes this flaring shape, though it’s altered just enough so as not to be garish. Flipping the watch over, we get a glimpse of the watch’s inner workings through a sapphire display window.Glimpses of the Guggenheim Museum don’t only show through in the case. The dial integrates another of the building’s signature elements into a handsome, unique design. The glass dome atop the Guggenheim’s rotunda is a modernist icon on its own: the curving, spiderweb-like lines come together to create a focal center for the museum from below, as well as gifting the museum with abundant natural light. The six main spokes of this structure are present in the dial here, cleverly added as three-dimensional raised elements on top of an already textured surface. The effect when viewed from an angle is dramatic, with the sloping spokes casting deep shadows across the applied indices while the overall dial pattern gives the sense that the entire surface is made of architectural stucco. Surrounding this sculptural dial is a steep, stainless chapter ring, brushed and engraved with the words, “Inspired by Architecture” in a slim, modern font.


With all the clean, unique design at play here, it’s hard not to see the cutout date window at three o’clock as a blemish on the surface. A no-date would have made a stronger impression.

The handset topping off this piece is a pair of faceted batons with a light Super-LumiNova fill. These are paired with an attractive stick seconds hand with matching oval counterweights recalling the indices at each end.

Mido continues the quality workmanship to the interior, where their COSC-certified Caliber 80 Si sits comfortably behind a sapphire window. The specs on this one are impressive—although it may start with an ETA C07.821 base, Mido has added a host of modifications to the movement. In addition to being a certified chronometer, the Caliber 80 Si boasts an 80-hour power reserve, 25 jewels, a 21,600 bph beat rate, and one of Mido’s trademark advancements, the ELINFLEX material. ELINFLEX—a durable, bespoke compound derived from silicon—is a hallmark of Mido’s top-level movements unveiled the past few years, and it’s used here for both the mainspring and the balance spring.

Though the watch is 40mm, the case’s lug-free design gives this an almost classic wrist presence.

Mido only offers a single strap choice here, but it’s the correct one. The integrated, stitch-free, black two-piece is perfectly minimal, and it doesn’t steal any attention away from the case or dial. It’s hard to find something more versatile than black leather, so it’s certain to work in a variety of occasions.

While Mido may not be the first name on the average American collector’s lips, perhaps that needs to change. With the “Inspired By Architecture” Limited Edition, the brand has produced what may be its strongest offering in an already very strong collection through its blend of evocative design work and impressive mechanical acumen. Mido

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Hailing from Redondo Beach, California, Sean’s passion for design and all things mechanical started at birth. Having grown up at race tracks, hot rod shops and car shows, he brings old-school motoring style and a lifestyle bent to his mostly vintage watch collection. He is also the Feature Editor and Videographer for Speed Revolutions.