Mido Decompression Diver 1961: A journey to the colorful 60s

I have a weak point for vintage diver reissues, that’s a fact. Sometimes I look for more modern watches but I always turn back to the vintage design. My collection really reflects this…I will mention one of my latest articles https://michaelswatchblog.de/2020/07/03/legends-form-the-60s-reissued-seiko-sla017-doxa-silver-lung-and-zrc-grand-fonds/ about the Seiko SLA017, the Doxa Sub and the ZRC Grand Fonds.

I don’t think when the famous names of the skindivers of the 60s come to your mind you will think about Mido at first. You probably name the big names like Rolex, Omega, Seiko or Blancpain. Some thoughts later maybe Doxa, Favre-Leuba, Aquastar or Yema come to your mind. But Mido? I don’t think that the usual collector will think about Mido. Nor did I. But in June 2020 Mido released a colorful diver limited to 1961 pieces named Mido Ocean Star Decompression Diver 1961 (what a name…). I was interested a first sight but did know nothing about the original watch. The only hint was the year 1961 and since this is my birthyear I began my research. But there is very few material about this Mido from 1961. It seemed to be extremely rare and prices for a good example reached easily 5,000 USD. Wow, that’s a lot of money for a Mido! Finally I found a good source: https://alphahands.com/vintage-watch-research/mido-powerwind-ref-5907-deep-dive-timer/, so most of my information about the vintage diver is from this source.

Mido 5907 (picture by ajaneb8)

The name of the vintage watch is Mido Ocean Star 5907 Powerwind Diver – seems like Mido loves long names. The name of the reissue “Decompression Diver” is because of the decompression scale on both the vintage and the modern piece and they added 1961 as the release year of the ref. 5907 (although some say it was released in 1959, but Mido should know I think). The decompression scale is the special feature of this watches and the dominating design element. The picture shows how to use this.

While the vintage piece only shows the table in either meters or feet, the reissue shows both. And that’s the first difference. The vintage piece was available in four different dial versions. The inner part was always white, the outer part black or white. The modern version has a black outer and a black inner part and that’s the second difference. The crown is signed Mido in both versions but the modern version has some crown guards, the third difference. In fact the whole case of the new version is taken from the common Mido Ocean Star line, Mido didn’t develop a special case for the reissue. So the case back has the Mido seastar engraved instead of a diver, fourth difference. The fifth and in my eyes biggest optical difference is the bezel. While the original 5907 had a steel bezel the reedition has a black one. So all in all the Decompression Diver is not a real reissue like for example the Doxa Sub 300. Seiko would call this a “modern reinterpretation”.

Four dial versions (picture: https://alphahands.com/vintage-watch-research/mido-powerwind-ref-5907-deep-dive-timer/)

And of course the modern watch has a modern movement. Like most Swatchgroup mechanical watches in this price range the new Mido is powered by a Powermatic 80 from ETA with 80 hours power reserve and 21.600 bpH. Most of the watches with this movement I have seen have a rather good accuracy. My Mido is – with a defiance of +3,5sec/24h – no exeption.

As I said this watch is a limited edition of 1961 pieces and seems to be sold out right now. Prices on Ebay or on Chrono24 are above retail price now so it seems this piece also will become a collector’s piece – a big success for the Swatchgroup.

The watch comes with three straps. A Milanaise, a leather and some strap that seems to be made of something between leather and plastic. All straps have quick-release springbars. I like the Milanaise (a similar strap was delivered with the vintage 5907), but I don’t like the other two straps. It remains a secret to me why Mido didn’t throw in a Tropic style strap instead of this random extra straps, the watch looks gorgeous on it. To find such a strap is not easy because of the 21mm lug width, but the Kaufmann Nautic is available in this size and really a great match for the watch.

Mido Decompression Diver 1961 on Kaufmann Nautic

So the most colorful diver of today is now part of my collection. I wonder what will be the next 60s Diver reissue catching my eye (the new Aquadive would be absolutely great, but is too big for my wrist).

Even in black and white the design gorgeous 😉