The Sub-$1,000 Summer Watch I’m Surprised You Haven’t Bought
Summertime Hands-On With The Mido Commander Shade.
Ok the title may be misleading, I don’t know if you have a Commander Shade in your collection, but based on Instagram, I see plenty of wrists that could benefit from owning one of these $870 tickets to funky town.
The Mido Commander Shade is a lot of things. To this author, it’s consistently one of my favorite watches in the “affordable” category. To many, it inspires daydreams of a seemingly simpler time, when the internet didn’t run our lives and our president was a Kennedy. However ironic it is that you’re reading this piece on your smartphone or computer, but times change eh?
What’s Old Becomes New
Luckily for many, time stays the same, after nearly a half century, the Mido Commander Shade is still in production. A retro watch befitting of a Mercury astronaut on leave, a Nixon-era politician, or perhaps your wrist during your next beach jaunt. This traveler from another era recently arrived on my wrist from the Swatch Group mothership and of course didn’t disappoint.
As one of Swatch Group’s entry level players, Mido has made a name for itself by producing an impressive array of affordable yet well-built mechanical timepieces. The Commander Shade is one of many examples of this philosophy. Yet, for all the watches Mido makes, there may not be a more iconic model than the Commander Shade.
About the Commander Shade
As you may have noticed, what sets the Commander Shade apart is its monocoque case measuring 37mm. This stainless-steel case is fitted to a semi-integrated adjustable Milanese mesh bracelet which completes this retro look.
Where does the Commander get its “Shade”? While the watch itself commands a unique wrist presence, the dial may be the icing on the proverbial cake. A silver to black gradient pattern makes the Commander Shade burst to life. The contrast between the satin finished dial and highly polished case and bracelet make this a stand out watch for many occasions.
Powered by an automatic ETA 2836-2 caliber, the Commander Shade will deliver reliable fun for many years to come. What’s more, the Commander Shade provides further functionality by offering a Day-Date complication.
Perfect For Summer
The Commander Shade surely looks great under a cuff, but where it may really shine is the beach. The Milanese bracelet provides breathability and easily expands should your wrist swell under the summer sun. I will caution, you’re not going to want to dive with the Commander Shade as the watch is only water resistant to 50 m (or 165ft). But let’s be honest, most of us don’t make it more than the deep end of the pool.
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)