Mido Multifort Datometer Review

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You may not believe it, but the Mido Multifort Datometer is a sports watch. Well, it was in the 1930s when it was first released. In fact, the watch was pretty cutting edge, featuring a new cork-based (!) method of water-resistance, which was then genuine innovation. These days, the domed silver dial, gold accents, twisted lugs and pointer date speak more to dress watches, but knowing that this watch, at its heart, was meant for more than formal occasions gives it character beyond its design.

Multifort Datometers: the 1930s original and the 2018 reissue

That said, the modern Multifort Datometer is perfectly suited to be a dress or business watch in today’s vintage-fueled atmosphere. While very faithful to the original’s case design, the watch has been upsized (40 millimeters wide by 47 millimeters lug-to-lug and 12 millimeters thick, which includes the domed sapphire crystal), making it daily-wear oriented and more modern on the wrist. This is obviously a point of contention, but in the time I wore the watch it never felt too big. Would I have liked it at 38 or perhaps even 36? Of course, but 40 does the job.

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$1350

Mido Multifort Datometer Review

Case
PVD Rose Gold
Movement
ETA Caliber 80.121
Dial
Silver
Lume
NO
Lens
Domed Sapphire
Strap
Leather
Water Resistance
50m
Dimensions
40 x 47mm
Thickness
12mm
Lug Width
19mm
Crown
push-pull
Warranty
yes
Price
$1350

Another difference from the original, which I’d say actually has a bigger overall effect on the watch, was to make it rose gold PVD rather than steel. Likely a good selling point for the brand, which veers a bit more conservative, the rose gold pushes it further into that formal territory—at least for me. As someone with one gold-plated watch (which was a vintage hand-me-down), gold is not a go-to for everyday wear. In steel, the original sportiness might have come through more clearly.

Looking closer at the design, it’s pretty classic save one detail that makes all the difference. The lugs have been milled in such a way to give them a bit of a twisted or bombé effect. This is accentuated by contrasting a sort of satin finish within the milled area with the polishing around it. It’s a smart way to add a decent amount of ornamentation and style to the watch without doing anything too elaborate. With that said, there is some inconsistency to the milling itself, making each lug a little different. At a glance you don’t notice it, but under scrutiny in becomes clear and a bit annoying.

The dial is very faithful to the original, and it’s a joy to look at. Sure, it’s rendered larger than the original was to fill out the case, but the proportions are about the same, the pointer date prevents any weird date-window placement, and the execution is flawless. Looking closer, you’ll find the surface is a soft, blasted silver that gently domes down towards its edge. The primary index then consists of large 12, 3, 6, and 9 numerals printed in black in a great typeface and thin triangular markers in rose gold.

Initially, and actually for a little while thereafter, I thought these were applied markers, and then I realized that they were actually concave. That is to say, they aren’t on top of the dial surface, but are indented, which gives a very curious effect of reflecting light the opposite way from what you’d expect. I imagine the reason behind this was to allow for hand clearance, specifically for the date hand as it rides close to the dial. Regardless, it’s very cool and an unexpected detail to ogle.

Encircling the hour index is then a seconds/minutes track with heavy markers at intervals of 5, lighter markers for each second/minute, and short thin markers for every 1/5th of a second. By being a closed index, it shrinks the dial visually, which helps the watch read a bit smaller. On the very edge of the dial is the date index with numerals from 1 – 31. Oddly, the numbers are placed such that 31 is just past 12, which just seems a bit off logically, though it doesn’t impact reading the date at all.

For the hands, Mido stuck with the original’s design and went with rose gold alpha hands for the hours and minutes. Rather than lume, both are filled with matte black paint, which is another great detail. It breaks up the hand’s surface so there isn’t too much gold, but it doesn’t feel out of place like lume would have. The seconds hand is then a black stick with a tear drop counter weight and the pointer-date hand is a gold stick with a red, crescent-shaped tip that cradles the date. The use of red here, a throwback back to the original, is a great touch, and it adds a pop of color to an otherwise metallic setting.

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The Datometer comes mounted to a 19-millimeter brown, leather strap with an imitation alligator pattern. It’s padded, has rolled edges, and no visible stitching for a clean, minimal look. As a dressier watch, this strap makes sense, though I don’t personally love imitaiton alligator straps . Other dress-style brown leather straps would have worked as well. My one genuine issue with the strap is that the leather and gator texture sort of wore off by the buckle very quickly. This wasn’t from undue stress, but from very light wear, so I’m not sure how well it would hold up in the long run.

That aside, wearing the Datometer was very enjoyable. As I wrote before, though I’d classify the watch as dressy and I’m not a huge gold guy, I wore it as a day-to-day watch when in Mexico City and it didn’t feel weird. That included long walks in 80-degree weather on the hunt for great tacos (found them, by the way), as well as when I dressed up for dinner and a cocktail party. The reality is that the genres we put watches in make sense on paper, but you can really wear a watch whenever and however you want. Do I think the Datometer looked best while wearing a blazer and longwings? Yeah, but it didn’t look bad with jeans and rolled up sleeves either.

The Datometer isn’t all looks though, and inside is a movement unique to Mido. The Caliber 80.121 is one of ETA’s 80-hour 21,600 bph automatics that we’ve seen them roll out to various brands in the last few years. This, however, is the first and only pointer-date in the group. It’s not the most common complication, and it’s genuinely appealing on a watch. It allows for the date to exist as an index and thus be any distance from the center that the designer’s wish it to be. Then, you get a swanky pointer date hand, which always adds charm. It’s also easy to read, which never hurts. Conclusion: more pointer dates please.

Mido did a really good with the Multifort Datometer. It gets things right where it counts, and it’s simply a very attractive watch. The dial really nails it, and though it’s basically a replica of the ’30s original it feels at home on a wrist in 2018. With a price tag of $1,350, the Datometer is fairly competitive for a limited edition Swatch Group watch. It’s neither a surprising value or obviously overpriced, so I think they got that number right. Oh, and don’t forget, there are only 1918 of these, so if it suits your fancy, don’t wait too long. Mido Multifort Datometer

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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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