Dive Into The 1960s With The Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 Re-Edition

Dive Into The 1960s With The Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 Re-Edition

For 2020, Mido is presenting a re-edition of one of its most sought-after vintage timepieces – the Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961.

By Sophie Furley

The original Mido Ocean Star Powerwind “Rainbow” ref. 5907 diver watch from the 1960s was a genuine diving tool with its multi-colored tables on the dial that indicated decompression stops to be respected while resurfacing. It was a timepiece that attracted the attention of both divers and style-seekers who appreciated the vibrant design.

The New Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961

This 2020 re-edition stays faithful to the original version with the same colorful decompression information on the dial (in both feet and meters), a vintage-style glassbox sapphire crystal, and a turning bezel with a countdown function.

It comes in a stainless-steel case that is slightly bigger than the original 38mm model at 40.5mm. It is powered by the brand’s automatic Caliber 80 (on an ETA base) and comes with an impressive 80-hour power reserve. The new Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 is water-resistant to 200 meters and features an engraving of a starfish on the caseback.

The Decompression Scale

A decompression scale is quite rare for a wristwatch, and, historically, only a small handful of brands used them, such as Vulcain, Buler, and Cornavin Genève.

How a decompression scale on a watch works, is you look at the depth of your dive, always rounding up, in the black segment at 12 o’clock to determine which colored ring you are to use.

For example, if you make a 34-meter dive for 35 minutes, you use the scale for 35 meters (the pink ring in this case) and then follow its corresponding scale to 35 minutes on the outer watch face.

As this falls between 25 and 40 minutes on the pink ring, you need to halt your ascent at six meters from the surface for a 40-minute decompression stop (again, always rounding up to be on the safe side).

Obviously, today’s divers have state-of-the-art equipment for these calculations, but in the 1960s, these scales were key to preventing the bends.

Mido’s Ocean Star

The Ocean Star is one of Mido’s iconic lines and was inspired by the lighthouse on the southeastern tip of the Rock of Gibraltar at Europa Point. First lit in 1841, this famous lighthouse is positioned on the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet.

This area is known for its changing seas, strong currents, and fog, making the lighthouse one of the most famous beacons in the maritime world. Mido’s Ocean Star collection dates back to 1944 and was inspired by this lighthouse role in keeping sailors safe.

A Tribute To The Ocean Star

This new Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 reissue is limited to 1,961 pieces and comes with a choice of three straps. One stainless steel mesh bracelet, one black calfskin strap, and one black leather strap with yellow stitching.

With its vintage good looks, unique decompression function, and colorful dial, this is surely a piece that is going to catch the collector’s eye. It certainly caught our attention at Watchonista, and we look forward to taking one out to sea as soon as we can.

(Images provided by Mido)

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