I once owned a Seiko 5 Sports Open Heart. Ostensibly, it was a sort of 6139 Pogue reissue–only it wasn’t a chronograph. But that’s neither here nor there. The important part of this story is that the watch had an open heart through which one could view the balance wheel. A fact most watch enthusiasts have come to grips with at some point in their watch collecting lives is that no one cares about your watches. The average person is highly unlikely to ever pass commentary on your wrist game, and if they do, it is even more unlikely to exceed, “Hey. Nice watch.” In fact, the only time I can remember receiving any fuss at all about the watch on my wrist was when I wore the Seiko 5 Sports Open Heart. It was the least expensive watch in my collection.
The moral of this story? Never underestimate the power of an open heart.
People marvel at what they cannot understand. And the function of a mechanical watch is indeed a minor marvel. But people cannot marvel at what they cannot see. So what’s what better than a watch with an open heart? A watch with a skeletonized dial. In other words, don’t just show them them balance wheel. Give ’em the gears.
And if you’re going to do anything, then you might as well do it in style. In that case, the Mido Multifort Skeleton Vertigo is a pretty good place to start. Mido is a Swiss heritage brand that has been producing watches since 1918, and their sporty Multifort line has been around since the 30s. The Skeleton Vertigo, its most recent incarnation, was just launched this year.
As with many of the brand’s models, the Multifort line is influenced by architecture. From its inception, the Multifort looked to the Sydney Harbour Bridge for inspiration. The Skeleton Vertigo sports Geneva stripes on its Rhodium-coloured outer dial, reminiscent of the bridge’s iconic truss panels. Like the mechanical marvel of the Sydney Bridge, we can also gaze into the mechanical mechanism of the Vertigo through its elegantly skeletonized plate, which echoes the Geneva stripe motif.
What we see there is the equally elegant Caliber 80—an ETA-based movement, fitted with a Nivachron balance-spring. Nivachron is a titanium-based alloy that has the benefit of being both anti-magnetic and economical. The calibre is so-named for its substantial 80-hour power reserve.
The common criticism of a skeletonized dial is poor legibility; however, the Vertigo manages to avoid this with bold, faceted indices around the outer dial and a second, distinct anthracite minute track circling the inner skeletonized plate. Over this float graceful three-sided minute and hour hands, along with a diamond-cut seconds.
Along side the Rhodium reference featured here, there are three other colourways of the Vertigo from which to choose: Anthracite, Black, and Anthracite/Rose Gold. All maintain their legibility despite the skeletal structure.
The case of the Vertigo is 316L stainless steel with a predominantly stain brushed finish and a polished bezel. It’s a standard 42mm in diameter with a comfortable lug to lug of 48mm. It is also a discreet 10.6mm in thickness, allowing it to slip prudently under a cuff at the office. In addition to good looks, the watch has a screw-down caseback and crown which contribute to a solid 100m of water resistance. Its low profile and technical specs make the Vertigo a strong contender for your GADA (Go Everywhere Do Anything) watch.
To maintain the clean dial design, Mido have opted to print their brand name on the sapphire crystal, along with the term “Multifort” above the six. Flip the watch and you will find another piece of sapphire glass through which you can see the signed rotor, also decorated in Geneva striping.
The Vertigo comes a s stainless steel bracelet with push pins and a signed, smart butterfly clasp which maintains continuity.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
48mm Lug to Lug
22mm Lug Width
Exhibition Screw-Back and Crown
100m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire /w AR|
|Movement||Mido Calibre 80|
80-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Stainless Steel /w Butterfly Clasp|
& Push-Button Release
Mido Multifort Skeleton Vertigo
Since the 1980s, Mido has been a part of the Swatch group of watches. This association has allowed the brand to develop and grow. In an interview with Forbes, CEO Franz Linder credited this partnership with the brand’s ability to to produce high end watches at affordable prices. Indeed, innovations like silicon and Nivachron hairsprings (in watches under $1000) might not be possible without the financial and industrial capacity of its mother company. An interesting fact is that Mido produces more COSC-certified timepieces than any other watchmaker.
According to the spec sheet, the Vertigo is treated with an application of white Super-LumiNova; however, I would not depend on it to light your way in the dark.
The Mido Multifort Skeleton Vertigo makes a good argument for your go-anywhere, do-anything timepiece. It is sporty without being brash. Classy, without being delicate. The fit and finish are top notch, and the dial is a true conversation piece. The technical innovation of the Nivachron balance spring provides more resistance to magnetism than silicon and also protects against both shock and changes in temperature, ensuring reliable, accurate timekeeping in all conditions. With a screwed-down crown and 100m of water resistance, there are few activities–barring saturation diving–in which you could not participate, including dinner parties. It is a watch with charisma and charm.
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