Mido is working hard to add value to its watches without increasing their price. The Mido Baroncelli Calibre 80 Chronometer Si is a classic dress watch, 40 mm in diameter and very slim, with a COSC-certified movement providing 80 hours power reserve, at a price starting from €1,050, so about €100 more than the Mido Baroncelli Heritage.
Its case is in 316L stainless steel, with a water resistance of 3 bar (30 metres, no swimming or showering). The bezel with its complex moulding is the most elaborate part of the case, and perhaps has a reference to the building that Mido cite as inspiration for its aesthetics, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Apart from this, the watch is minimalist in dial design, as befits a dress watch. The baton hour indices are applied, the hands have dual finish, polished on one side, sandblasted on the other.
The movement used for the Mido Baroncelli Chronometer Si is the self-winding Mido Caliber 80 Si, made by ETA with reference C07.821. The “Si” of the watch’s name refers to the silicon balance spring made by Nivarox. The use of silicon is celebrated on the movement with a gold disc bearing a Si logo on the balance bridge, visible through the sapphire caseback. The movement is decorated with Côtes de Genève on the oscillating weight, and blued screws.
Silicon is better in nearly every way than the nickel-iron alloys (such as Nivarox, the name of a material as well as the company) previously used for balance springs. A balance spring in silicon has far greater resistance to temperature variations, shock and magnetic fields, improving regularity in its oscillation speed. When used for a series of components such as the escapement, it reduces friction. The only problem is that it is very hard to manufacture, and processes such as deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) are very advanced and accessible only to a few companies.
In addition to Nivarox, other suppliers of silicon components include Mimotec which uses EDM, electrical discharge machining. Mimotec’s clients for silicon balance springs comprise Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and other Swatch Group brands such as Omega. A lot of pure research in this area is performed by EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) with its ComLab and the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology, CSEM. The manufacturing process basically involves building up a part from nothing (electrical discharge machining) or eroding it from a silicon wafer using plasma.
Elinflex mainspring for higher power reserve
To return to the Baroncelli Chronometer Si, the Calibre 80 movement also has an Elinflex mainspring. This is another piece of Nivarox technology. Elinflex is a patented material whose exceptionally high flexibility enables a smaller arbour to be used in the mainspring barrel, so the mainspring becomes longer, for a higher power reserve. The same sort of technology is used in the 100-hour Calibre 36 movement within the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence. The 80-hour power reserve is also attained through the slower balance spring oscillation rate, 3 Hertz instead of the usual 4 Hertz.
Prices of the Mido Baroncelli Calibre 80 Chronometer Si
All this means that Mido have put some refined technology into an entry-level watch. The watch is chronometer-certified by COSC, meaning that its deviation from perfect timekeeping is within -4/+6 seconds per day. It is available with a leather strap (€1,050), a stainless steel bracelet (€1,070), in a gold-plated version with leather strap (€1,740), and gold-plated with a bracelet with the same finish (€1,940). The reference of the model shown in the photo below is M027.408.11.011.00.