Swiss watchmaking company Mido is one of the earliest brands to experiment with automotive-themed watches with some of the examples dating back to the early 1920s. Legendary car designer and manufacturer Ettore Bugatti famously gifted Mido watches to Bugatti’s successful racing drivers, cherished employees, and privileged customers. However, the Italian-born French founder of the automobile brand commissioned Mido to create a wristwatch for his personal use. The ultra-rare Mido timepiece personally owned by Ettore Bugatti is up for sale at a specialist auction for vintage watches and automobiles.
Crafted by Paris-based jeweler Pierre Blanc in 1930, the Mido watch has a case that is shaped in the form of Bugatti’s famous horseshoe grille. The winding crown is located on the top at 12 o’clock just above the Bugatti logo. The patented dial has an interesting diamond pattern that appears to be inspired by the metal floorboards of vintage cars, painted Arabic numerals, and blue hands. Housed inside the case is a manually wound movement that weighs 27.2 grams and measures 22.5mm by 34mm. What sets this example apart from the rest of the Mido watches for Bugatti is the yellow gold bracelet with a jeweled clasp. All other watches came with a leather strap. The Ettore Mido watch is said to be in excellent condition and has a pre-sale estimate of 80,000-120,000 euros (about $94,000-$140,000 USD).