The first time you lay eyes on this Mido, it’s almost as if it’s playing a trick on you like some punk kid. Take a second, it’ll come to you. There are two chronograph pushers. And zero subdials. Huh? In much the same way that some early 60s dive watches approached the problem in novel ways like alarm complications and jump hours, in the 1940s the standardized layout for a chronograph hadn’t really been well established. The clue here is in the name: the Multi-Centerchrono. Oh yeah, and it’s an FB case.
As Mido’s original ad put it ‘Here is the only chronograph that looks like a handsome watch.’ All registers are co-linear on the central pinion, thanks a modified Valjoux VZ (these are incredible movements to research) that went here by Mido calibre 1300. The blued steel hand tracks chronograph seconds, the red elapsed minutes. It’s so clean that you do kind of wonder why it didn’t catch on? Longines are the only other chronograph maker that come to mind to pull off the same trick, but their 13ZN-based Doppia Lancetta still had subdials. This may just be the cleanest chronograph dial ever in production.
So we have a 35mm FB with 1463 Tasti Tondi pushers, a remarkably clean dial, modified Valjoux VZ, and some of the earliest water resistant case construction. There’s not much else from 1940 that comes close. There isn’t even much from 2020 that comes close either. The dial and hands are radium, so one would expect a small and commensurate about of burn over this much time. Here though, nah. This is one of the best examples I’ve seen. Among your rooms full of Daytonas and Speedmasters, this is a gentleman amongst boys; there, I’ve said it. Your grandparents did things carefully and well, remember? Just pure, purposeful, innovative watchmaking.
The case is full. Its dial shows all the signs of age but none of damage. Not refinished. Engravings on back are deep. This is a winner. It comes from a well-regarded Canadian retailer.
Find this Multi-Centerchrono here from Watchable for 7650 USD.