History of Mido Multifort watches
Mido’s Multifort fake watches have a name that goes back pretty far – the first time the company used the name was in 1934, for an early self-winding watch with a bumper-type winding rotor. Founded in 1918, Mido was a staple maker of solid, affordable, but always well-constructed wristwatches (with one of the more charming company mascots of 20th century watchmaking: Robi the Mido Robot, figures of which you can still occasionally find for sale). The modern versions of the Multifort are of course quite a bit larger than the original models, but they still have a great deal of graphic clarity in their designs, as well as a movement that offers a step up from a standard ETA caliber.
All the parts are best
The Multifort Escape, introduced this year at Baselworld, is a large watch, 44mm in diameter, with large lume-filled Arabic numerals, slightly vintage-feel skeletonized hands (also filled with Super-LumiNova), and a touch of orange in the minute track and lettering. The case is in 316L stainless steel, sandblasted, with an attractive PVD gunmetal coating. Though it’s a simple watch, quality components have been used, including a sapphire crystal both in the front and for the display back, with anti-reflective coating.
Mido Multifort replica had both khaki and black versions of the watch in the office. The two dials are finished with vertical Geneva stripes, with an interesting effect: When you look at the watches straight on, the stripes tend to disappear and you get a solid field of color (or in the case of the black dial version, absence of color). However, viewed at an angle, the Geneva stripes catch the light and produce a very striking look. Generally I’m not a huge fan of Geneva stripes on watch dials, but it works in this case, possibly because of the generous amount of uncluttered real estate. Though these are quite simple watches, at a price intended to make them an easy buy for just about anyone, one feels that some real care has gone into the typefaces, sizes, and colors used and the result feels visually attractive and well proportioned.
Through the display back you may feast your eyes upon the Caliber 80 Mido replica watches, which is an ETA C07.611 base (this in turn is based on the ETA 2824). The movement is “Elaboré” grade (as delivered from ETA, the movement comes in three grades, with Elaboré denoting adjustment in three positions, with an average rate of plus or minus seven seconds per day, and a maximum daily variation in rate of ± 20 seconds).
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there are two schools of thought about a display back on a watch at this price point, and with an industrially finished movement (that is, not hand decorated). The purists say, put a solid caseback on it, there’s really nothing to look at. I take their point but I feel that anyone who’s going to spring for a mechanical watch is probably, at some point, going to want to watch the movement do its thing, or explain to a friend what an automatic watch is and how it works, or what have you and opening up the back makes this sub-$1,000 watch much more discussion friendly. Purism is all well and good but so is having a little fun in life every once in a while.