Franz Linder, CEO of Mido, On the Brand and its (Cool) Dive Watches
Talking to the CEO of a brand that makes cool yet accessible watches.
Mido has been a partner of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series since 2019. During the recent competition in Puglia, Italy, where we had the opportunity to experience this impressive sport, Mido unveiled a new version of its Ocean Star 600 Chronometer. It was also the occasion for us to sit down with the brand’s CEO, Franz Linder, to talk about the brand, its strategy and some of its most recent dive watches introductions, including the very desirable Decompression Timer 1961.
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – How did you become CEO of Mido Watches?
Franz Linder, CEO of Mido – Well, it is a relatively straightforward story. I started at 26 with Mido as Area Sales Manager, and in 2001, I was appointed of the brand. Since then, a lot of time has passed.
How would you define the specificity of Mido within the watch industry?
Our ambition is to combine innovation, precision and quality with a timeless design while offering products at a hard-to-beat price/quality ratio.
Today, we are attending the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Puglia, Italy. How and why was this partnership created?
Mido has a tradition of crafting dive watches. When we developed the latest series, we thought of different ways to promote this new collection. All of our watches are grouped under the same ‘Inspired by Architecture’ umbrella, and we thought that this partnership would be perfect to communicate some specific values of our dive watch collection. Beauty, performance and precision are at the core of cliff diving. Imprecision can have dramatic consequences. Cliff Diving allows us to communicate these values in the most spectacular way… And of course, there is no need to mention the connection with the aquatic world.
You are presenting an updated Ocean Star 600. Can you tell us more about this facelift?
We want to respect the strong DNA of our collections. For this specific model, we focused on the dial. It now has a deep blue gradient effect, new indexes and new hands. But the signature features are still there. The watch’s water-resistance is rated 600m. The case is fitted with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a ceramic insert and a helium relief valve. The steel bracelet is secured with a folding buckle with diving extension. The Chronometer movement is the Mido Calibre 80 with an 80-hour power reserve and a silicon hairspring. There are few brands that can offer chronometer-certified dive watches of this quality at such a price.
Why did you introduce these changes to the look of the watch?
The idea was to achieve a look that was closer to that of the Ocean Star 200C collection. We had a facelift for this collection earlier this year. It was natural to have a similar evolution for our most technical dive watch, to keep a coherent family feeling.
Mido is a Swatch Group company. What resources does the Swatch Group share with Mido?
Naturally, there is the access to an exceptional calibre such as the Mido calibre 80 with ETA and the Nivarox specialists for the escapement. More generally, all of the Group’s internal suppliers give us access to superior quality components. In addition, the industrial power of Swatch Group allows us to deliver this quality at a price that, in my opinion, no one else can offer.
Mido presented another cool dive watch a few days ago with a new version of the Decompression Timer. Can you tell us more?
This is a vintage-inspired watch inspired by a Mido model from 1961. It is a watch like no other with its colourful dial and its unique diving scale. This re-interpretation of this historical Mido was released in a limited edition of 1961 pieces with a black dial last year, and it was extremely successful. The piece from this year with its silver dial is closer to the original. It is offered with different straps. It is a very cool piece.
How is Mido distributed internationally?
Historically, Mido is a strong brand in Mexico and South America in general. Today, Asia is the strongest market; it is a huge market. In Europe, we are active in a few countries, but there is great development potential there. I am convinced that with more awareness of the brand and our products we will enjoy a solid and promising future.
What is the main challenge for Mido?
Well, the watch industry is a brand world. Building a brand requires time and investment. This is constant work. Our challenge is to attract young customers to take an interest in Mido watches, in automatic watches and to enjoy wearing beautiful, emotional objects like the ones we create and manufacture.
For more information, please visit www.midowatches.com.