Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 23rd 2017, 11:33am

Just today I've picked up a parcel from my local post office. Inside, my prize from a WUS Vintage forum giveaway:

Image

It's a rather lovely stainless steel Mido Multifort. Given that the Powerwind system, Mido's own invention used in their "reserved" movements based on A. Schild ebauches, was introduced only in 1954, that's the earliest this watch can date to. Since it's a rotor automatic with a sub-second, I can only guess that the movement inside is the Mido 0916P. If it is so, it can't be later than 1960. Anyway, I've contacted Mido, who apparently have decent records for watches manufactured after 1938.

It's only 28mm- yeeeeees, I know, some would rather get their arse impaled on a giant cactus than wear a watch that small, but since my wrist size is roughly 6.5 to 6.8 (depending on the weather), I think I can pull it off:

Image

...mostly thanks to the chunky case. I know, it's hard to believe that 28mm was a gents' watch size back in the day - well, believe it or not, have I got news for ya: it was. Now, if you've done some basic reading about vintage Multiforts, you probably know that the case is what it's all about.

Image

Recognize that case back type?

I'm tempted to say: you should. It's one of the most distinctive (and reliable) waterproof case designs of its time- the case is by Taubert, the company that evolved from that of Francois Borgel.
Image
Picture from vintagewatchstraps.com

Of course, these cases are no longer really waterproof- which has nothing to do with the wear to the metal, only the cork gaskets used in Taubert cases are no longer made, no viable replacement seems to exist, and the old stocks have dried up. That said, I think I'll be much better off not trusting it, when it starts to rain. With the gasket intact, these cases could be trusted upon submerging them - and that was quite something back then.

Still, the case is in a fantastic condition, and even has its original, signed crown:

Image
(Mr. Bloke offers his sincere apologies for his fucking awful photography skills, and hopes you can read the Mido inscription on the crown)

Also, in this shot you can see just how thick that case is! The case alone, without the crystal, is only slightly thinner than my '52 Eterna from the case back to the very top of the domed hesalite.

I'll end this thread with an original Mido ad from the 1950s (bottom left: what appears to be my watch):
Image

I think I know what will occupy my wrist for the next few days...or weeks.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby Thunder1 » August 23rd 2017, 12:47pm

Congrats!!..I still prefer the look of your Eterna, however..
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 23rd 2017, 1:31pm

Thunder1 wrote:Congrats!!..I still prefer the look of your Eterna, however..

Thanks!
Well, I can't blame you - I really love that Eterna, and it's the watch that I wear the most (especially that the case back doesn't let humidity through, it's a good daily vintage wear for the summer). As for me, I have no preference in that respect - I have quite a number of watches that I like equally, and to say that I like one more than the other would be a wee bit like saying "I like my right leg more than the left one." Why, maybe not necessarily is it the right comparison, as I don't have ten legs or so...

Also, they're very different watches, in a number of ways. The Eterna is a dress watch, and although it has a rather sturdy case, it was more likely meant to be a looker rather than a beater. The Mido, on the other hand, was more of a casual sports piece, an understated everyday beater, designed with emphasis on durability and showing off the manufacturer's capabilities by squeezing as many technical gimmicks as possible into the smallest package. The case is 28mm, the movement - if it is indeed a 0916P - is 25.8mm, so it's literally "squeezed."
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby 3Flushes » August 23rd 2017, 1:54pm

When I was a kid, I got a Multifort as a gift from an uncle who did business in Japan and Hong Kong- they were virtually unknown in the US back then. With Mido's fairly recent push into the US market they are largely perceived to be a young brand here. Your post highlights both a very cool watch and that Mido has an abiding watchmaking heritage.

That's a great looking classic- nice catch.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby AlbertaTime » August 23rd 2017, 7:52pm

Mido has a great vintage heritage and modern reputation, and deserves both, especially so since the company has always had a distinctive artistic vision. That case design was very successful for Mido, and with good reason. Nice catch!
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby conjurer » August 23rd 2017, 8:50pm

That's a beautiful watch, Mr. Bloke!
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby Mortuus » August 23rd 2017, 11:29pm

I've always had a soft spot for Mido since the first time I came across the brand during a feeBay auction. I was so smitten with the watch that I got into a bidding war over the doggoned thing and managed to wrest it away from that little brassard who was bidding against me, the jamoke... And I've since acquired two more of these lovelies, and they are a much-loved part of my modest little collection of watches. I'm very eagerly looking forward to seeing what you do with this lovely old girl, one who has such great bones and innards (hope that last term wasn't too technical for all you non-vintage collectors out there...). At any rate, a BIG congratulations to you for winning such a wonderful prize as this... 8-)
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby svaglic » August 24th 2017, 6:56am

That's cool, it couldn't be much nicer for it's age.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 24th 2017, 8:54am

Thanks, guys and gals!

Got a reply from Mido today- the watch was made in 1959. Quite late for that design, so I guess that's just before the time that Mido went more into the 1960s avant-garde.

Mido has quite a heritage indeed, especially that they put a lot of effort in modifying the ebauches used, and the Multifort line was in production for quite a few decades. They're underrated these days, but I guess that's good in a way, as they still can be found on eBay at reasonable prices.

BTW- 3F, how did that Multifort of yours look?
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 24th 2017, 5:40pm

Mortuus wrote:I'm very eagerly looking forward to seeing what you do with this lovely old girl, one who has such great bones and innards (hope that last term wasn't too technical for all you non-vintage collectors out there...).

Well, Mort, that's a good question - what am I going to do with it? I will try to get its only flaw sorted out. I intend to go on a bit of a fool's errand - I've asked a friend to ask a few watchmaker friends of his, if they know anyone who can cure the watch from the plague common among Taubert cases - i.e. make a replacement stem gasket from scratch. As I've said, finding a NOS gasket is impossible, since nobody made them after Taubert went out of business, and the stockpiles ran dry years ago.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby 3Flushes » August 24th 2017, 7:36pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:Thanks, guys and gals!

Got a reply from Mido today- the watch was made in 1959. Quite late for that design, so I guess that's just before the time that Mido went more into the 1960s avant-garde.

Mido has quite a heritage indeed, especially that they put a lot of effort in modifying the ebauches used, and the Multifort line was in production for quite a few decades. They're underrated these days, but I guess that's good in a way, as they still can be found on eBay at reasonable prices.

BTW- 3F, how did that Multifort of yours look?

My cousin bought it in Hong Kong in 1960 NOS from a jeweler he dealt with there. It was a Powerwind with a center seconds hand; he gifted it to me in for my birthday in 1971. As best as I can recall, it was made in 1955 or '56. It was a sweet watch indeed that I lost on a cast while fishing.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 24th 2017, 8:18pm

3Flushes wrote:
MKTheVintageBloke wrote:Thanks, guys and gals!

Got a reply from Mido today- the watch was made in 1959. Quite late for that design, so I guess that's just before the time that Mido went more into the 1960s avant-garde.

Mido has quite a heritage indeed, especially that they put a lot of effort in modifying the ebauches used, and the Multifort line was in production for quite a few decades. They're underrated these days, but I guess that's good in a way, as they still can be found on eBay at reasonable prices.

BTW- 3F, how did that Multifort of yours look?

My cousin bought it in Hong Kong in 1960 NOS from a jeweler he dealt with there. It was a Powerwind with a center seconds hand; he gifted it to me in for my birthday in 1971. As best as I can recall, it was made in 1955 or '56. It was a sweet watch indeed that I lost on a cast while fishing.

Sweep second... That would be a movement from the 917 family. Since it must have been a rotor automatic as all Powerwinds were, depending on the size that'd be a 00917P (10.5'''), 0917P (11''') or 917P (12'''). Of course unless it had a date function.
Last edited by MKTheVintageBloke on August 24th 2017, 8:33pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby artman » August 24th 2017, 8:28pm

Beautiful Mido and really good read. I like how descriptive your write ups are.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 24th 2017, 8:35pm

artman wrote:Beautiful Mido and really good read. I like how descriptive your write ups are.

Glad you like them, mate. I do my best to keep them as educational and full of info as I can.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby Wasp » August 25th 2017, 4:33am

The brand has always appealed to me. That is a keeper.

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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby kevco » August 25th 2017, 4:46am

Here is a sample I own from the mid 40's I suppose....


20161017_124644.jpg
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » August 25th 2017, 9:17am

kevco wrote:Here is a sample I own from the mid 40's I suppose....


20161017_124644.jpg

Nice one- same case design as in my Multifort. The lumed hands and numerals give it a nice field/sports/"military" vibe.

Truth be told, it could have been made anytime between 1935 and 1954 - which means between the first automatic Multifort, and the year they stopped making the bumper auto movements. Probably a cal. 916 or 816, or one of its derivatives (with the diameter of the movement being the major difference).

Guess you can contact Mido - give them the serial, and the next day they'll give you the year of production...of course unless it's pre-1938, as they don't have the records for anything prior to that year.
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Re: Just In: 1950s Mido Multifort Powerwind

Postby TemerityB » August 25th 2017, 9:20am

Wow. 28mm. Post that on certain websites and you'd end up on a cruise ship surrounded by Dollar General khaki shorts.

Very cool, indeed, and the photos were outstanding. I'm sure this one will be the focus of attention for quite some time.
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