Founded in Switzerland in 1918 by Georges Schaeren, Mido is currently based in the city of Le Locle, in the heart of the Swiss Jura mountains. The name Mido comes from the Spanish “Yo mido”, meaning “I measure”.
Mido’s philosophy combines innovation, aesthetics and functionality. The brand shares these essential values with some iconic architectural glories from which it draws inspiration for its collections.
Cutting-edge technology, automatic movements renowned for their excellence and high-quality materials are the three pillars on which Mido’s unique expertise rests. In addition, the refined, understated designs of Mido timepieces endow them with a resolutely timeless quality.
Beyond fashion and passing trends, Mido watches are thus distinguished by their durability. For nearly a century, Mido has been a global benchmark in Swiss-made mechanical watches. Mido watches are available from 2,700 official retailers in 70 countries. The brand is part of the Swatch Group, the world leader in watchmaking.
1918: Founding of the Mido G. Schaeren & Co. AG watch factory in Solothurn by Georges Schaeren on 11 November 1918.
1920’s: Extremely elegant lady’s watches with coloured enamelled shaped cases and modern straps as well as visually attractive timepieces for gentlemen rapidly achieved the image required for the new brand name. Mido found a market in the flourishing automotive market. Mido produced watches in the shape of radiator grills of a wide range of brands such as Buick, Bugatti, Fiat, Ford, Excelsior or Hispano-Suiza etc. so that automotive fans were able to express their passion in places where they couldn’t take their four wheels.
1924: Appointment of Georges’s brother, Henri Schaeren, as commercial director of Mido.
1930’s: Mido very successfully concentrated on the production of scroll-free, functional and very resistant watches. In particular, the invention of the cork-crown sealing system (later known as “Aquadura”) was pioneering for absolute water tightness; a rare feature in those days.
1934: Launch of the “Mido Multifort”, which was absolutely watertight, antimagnetic and impact resistant. One of the most important milestones in the brand name’s history. The introduction of this watch provided the Mido brand with a totally new image which right up to the present day has served as a basis for the development of watches: clear, original design, very resistant and functional usage.
To prove that the watch functioned perfectly under very extreme conditions, Mido had this model tested very thoroughly by the New York “Electrical Testing Laboratories Inc.”. Underwater tests were conducted in freshwater and saltwater for over a thousand hours. The watches had to withstand ten cycles of 15 minutes of 50°C heat followed by –40°C cold. The winding crown had to pass a test representing 34 years of use.
Immersion tests to 13atm (120 m.) as well as altitude tests to 6600, 13 300 and 16 600 metres were simulated and Mido unfortunately had to record the only failures of the entire test procedure. One of the 6 watches tested ceased operating at 13 300 metres. This procedure was the official test of the American government.
The trailblazing new sealing system, assuring almost complete watertightness was the key to these superb results. It involved the use of specially treated natural cork which sealed the crown insert, the critical point of all wristwatches. Because it formed such a perfect join with the winding shaft, Mido was able to guarantee absolute watertightness even when the crown is pulled out. Between 1934 and the present day, this unique system has proven itself excellently and protected valuable mechanisms from water. In 1959, this cork system was named “Aquadura”.
1935: Start of production of the Mido Multifort Automatic, the first watch available on the market combining all four modern advantages: self winding, watertight, antimagnetic and impact resistant.
1936: Launch of the first indestructible winding springs for watches by Mido.
1939: Birth of the “Mido Datometer” incorporating an additional hand to indicate the date. This year, for the first time ever, Mido used the Mido Robot as an ambassador and symbol of progress and robustness. The “Robi” is still a well-known feature today in many markets.
1940’s: Mr Walter Schaeren, son of the founder, pilot in the Swiss Air Force, and later President of Mido. Many watches for pilots were developed.
1943: Production of the first chronograph which by means of a totaliser displayed the time measured using an indicator in the centre of the watch: the legendary “Multicenterchrono”. The aim of the designers had been to provide optimum readability of the time measured. The watchmakers had moved the minute counter into the centre of the user’s field of view.
Not only the hour and minute hands but also the second and even minute chronograph hands were also located centrally, perfectly justifying the Multicenterchrono name. As with automatic winding watches, the Mido 1300 calibre was not a recent development. The tried and tested 13-line VZ calibre of Valjoux served as a basis which Mido had modified for its own purposes.
1946: Purchase of the state-of-the-art, new production facility in Biel. For the first time ever in the history of watch making, the “Stronghold of the hermetically sealed watch” featured a comprehensive system of fans blowing dust-free and temperature-controlled air into the work rooms.
1954: Invention of the “Powerwind” winding system – simplification in design from 16 to 7 parts. In addition to the simplified design, this movement also had a longer running reserve and was deemed to be one of the most easiest watches in the world to service and was also one of the least prone to faults.
1957: Mido’s main supplier, Rohwerke A. Schild SA, handed over a certificate to Mido testifying that 1 000 000 automatic raw material parts had been supplied.
1959: Presentation of the new legendary “Mido Ocean Star” with its single piece case (Monocoque) which in an almost unaltered form has remained an important part of the collection as the Mido Ocean Star Commander. The ingenious design with its innovative Monocoque case together with the press-fitted Permafit glass and Aquadura sealing made the watch not only watertight but also airtight. These characteristics brought the Mido engineers a step closer to their objective of producing watches with extremely long service lives.
1967: Launch of the “Mini Mido”, the world’s smallest automatic, watertight, antimagnetic and impact resistant watch produced in volume production.
1968: Mido watches sold in 111 countries.
1971: Mido joined the umbrella organisation of the ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG) and therefore gained access to high-tech electronics essential to the imminent quartz revolution.
1977: During this year, Mido produced 29074 officially certified chronometer movement, thereby attaining 2nd place in the Swiss watch industry.
1981: The well-known professional tennis player, Björn Borg, became an ambassador for the brand.
1985: Following the merger of ASUAG and SSIH (Omega and Tissot) in 1983, SMH (now the Swatch Group) emerged in 1985 with Nicolas G. Hayek as President of the Managing Board.
1996: Mido launched two world firsts: Bodyguard and Worldtimer. An alarm signal of over 100 dB is fitted in the Bodyguard. As a result of rotating the bezel and the subsequent pressure on the crown, the Worldtimer can set the time zone required within seconds.
1998: Coming full circle. By resurrecting the Multifort, Mido returned “back to its roots” to celebrate its 80th anniversary. The company’s philosophy, applicable over the decades, of producing robust, automatic watches with above average watertightness and original design, has since once again become a number one brand objective.
2000’s: Mido concentrates again on automatic watches of TIMELLES VALUE.
2018: Mido celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Official website: http://www.mido.ch