Hands-On with the Mido Multifort Escape Horween Edition

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In an episode of The Worn & Wound Podcast titled Patina, Fauxtina, and Aged Watcheswe discuss a polarizing industry trend—the intentional aging of modern watches to give them the appearance of aesthetically-pleasing wear/degradation, otherwise known as patina. At Baselworld this year, we saw more than a handful of brands wading in these waters, with firms as different as Laco and Longines offering pre-distressed watches. Love it or hate it, fauxtina is likely here to stay for the forseeable future.

The watch at the center of today’s hands-on is the Mido Multiform Escape Horween, and it, too, gets the fauxtina treatment. The retail on this watch is $1,090, and for that you get a solid, Swatch Group-produced timepiece with a lightly modified ETA 2824 caliber dubbed the Caliber 80. The most interesting thing here, and it’s what sets this watch apart in my mind, is the finishing on the case (and to a certain extent, the finishing on the dial, too). Let’s jump right in. 

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$1090

Hands-On with the Mido Multifort Escape Horween Edition

Case
Stainless steel with gunmetal PVD (blasted)
Movement
Caliber 80 (modified ETA 2824)
Dial
Black with Geneva stripes
Lume
Super-LumiNova (vintage style)
Lens
Sapphire with AR
Strap
Horween leather
Water Resistance
100 meters
Dimensions
44mm x 51mm
Thickness
11.8mm
Lug Width
23mm
Crown
Push-pull
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1090

Let’s begin with the case. It features a sandblasted, PVD gunmetal coating, which kind of looks like aged pewter, though a touch warmer. At a glance, the wear does look authentic. It even looks like there is slight pitting in some areas. This is, of course, all an illusion. There is no actual damage to the case. Now, I’ll be perfectly honest and say that this sort of distressing isn’t really my cup of tea—I’m not really that big on patinated cases and my short stint with a bronze watch is evidence of that. However, I cannot deny that the finishing here is extremely well done, especially at this price. I’m sure the whole process is industrialized, but the final product looks artisanal. Kudos, Mido. 

The one iffy—and maybe iffy isn’t even the right word—thing here with regard to the finishing is on the crown. Whatever finishing process Mido uses to get this done does not adequately get into the nooks and crannies of the branded area on the tip of the crown, which results in a sort of black halo effect around the “MIDO” text. Now, I could be completely wrong about this—for all I know this is the intended effect. Either way, it’s worth noting that it emphasizes the branding on the crown.

It’s a large watch at 44 millimeters with a lug-to-lug of around 51 millimeters, and while size is certainly subjective, I’m still going to offer my two cents here and say that I wish this watch were smaller. I’d like to see a 40-millimeter version where everything is pulled in a bit, which would get rid of some of the excess negative space on the dial. Now, having said that, I do think that the execution here is well-done for its size, and even the date window, which can be a bit of an eyesore on a 44-millimeter, ETA 2824-powered watch, is executed well here, sandwiched between the “MULTIFORT” text and the Arabic “6.”

The watch is 11.8 millimeters thick, with some of the height coming from the case back, which bulges out a bit to accommodate the movement and sapphire viewing window. This part dips into the wrist when you’re wearing the watch, so in practice the added height from the case back is somewhat negligible.

Shown here on a 7-inch wrist.

Moving to the dial, what we have here is a relatively straightforward arrangement. There’s an outer minutes/seconds track, followed by an Arabic hours track, a date window, and some minimal branding. The black dial is accented with vintage-colored paint—or you can call it old radium, cream, what have you. But because this is the only color on the dial, to me it reads less like fauxtina and more like a fun, contrasting color choice. The date window is white text on a black base.

The dial has a way with light. Look at it straight-on, and you see black. However, angle it against the light and it reveals different levels of graining, the most prominent being the large Geneva stripes running vertically from 12 to 6.  And, strangely, under warmer light, these stripes take on some brown, which gives the whole thing a tropical look.

The hands are semi-sketelonzied and half-filled with luminous paint. The hour hand is split into two sectors, and the minute is split into three. The second hand is an exaggerated arrow with a long needle tip. The handset is, in my opinion, well-paired to the dial.

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As the name suggests, the Mutifort Escape Horween Edition comes on a two-piece leather strap made of Horween leather; shown here is the beige-colored strap, though there is also a second black band that comes with the watch. The design is vintage-styled, with a single row stitch near the lugs, two rows near the buckle and keeper, and an arrow tip at the lower edge of the second piece. It’s a good fit for the watch, thought a bit too matchy for me. That should change over time as the leather ages and darkens as it picks up natural oils from wear.

My one point of contention here is that the lug width is 23 millimeters, which is a very uncommon strap size, even more so than 19 or 21 millimeters because it’s on the larger end of the spectrum.

Chicago’s finest.
The buckle on the strap has the same finishing as the case.

All in all, this is a neat package from Mido, and a relatively unique one at this price. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any other brand offering something similar for the same amount of money. Now, this is a sporty watch, or at the very least a casual one, so I don’t think it’s the most versatile thing in existence, but it’s not trying to be. It can fill the “this is my playful weekend watch” spot in a collection. Or if you’re younger or you simply don’t care about old (and arguably stale) rules about what you should or shouldn’t wear to, say, the office, then there’s no reason why this shouldn’t work, especially if the size fits you and you really dig that finishing. Mido        

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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