Mido Multifort Datometer

Launched in 1939, the Multifort Datometer was a variant of the famous Multifort (the brand's oldest collection, produced since 1934). This elegant piece allowed the date to be displayed using an additional hand. At this time, Mido was focussing on the production of functional and very hard-wearing self-winding watches, with great success. The cork crown gasket (subsequently designated the “Aquadura”) had been designed to ensure perfect water resistance; a cutting edge invention for the era. 

 

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With the launch of the “Mido Multifort”, a water-resistant, shock-resistant, antimagnetic model, the brand took one of the most important steps in its history. It was with this model that the Swiss watchmaker forged the image on which it based its future development, and which characterises it to this day: understated, with an original design; highly resilient and functional even under the most extreme conditions. The New York-based “Electrical Testing Laboratories Inc.” tested this model very thoroughly. Its water resistance was assessed in fresh water and salt water for over a thousand hours. The watches were subjected to ten 15-minute cycles at temperatures of 50°C followed by cycles at –40°C. The crown was subjected to the equivalent of 34 years of use. The immersion tests to 13 ATM (120 m) and the altitude tests at 6600, 13,300 and 16,600 metres were all passed successfully with the exception of a single failure. One of the six watches tested actually stopped running at 13,300 metres. These procedures became the official tests undertaken by the US government.

 

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The highly innovative gasket system, which ensured almost absolute water resistance, formed the basis for these superb results. It uses natural cork which has been specially treated and which seals the crown, a weak point on all watches. By forming a perfect seal around the crown winding stem, Mido guarantees complete water resistance even if the crown is not pushed fully back in. From 1934 until a few years ago, this unique system proved its worth by protecting the precious mechanisms from water. In 1959, it was christened “Aquadura”.

As one of the earliest four-colour advertisements in Switzerland attests (the inside cover of the Zürcher Illustrierte no. 19 dated 12th May 1939), 1939 saw a whole host of innovations being released. This advert illustrates several versions of the Mido Multifort, including the Mido Datometer.

 

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