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Mondaine is a Switzerland based watch manufacturer. In business from the year 1951, originally producing digital watches for export purposes. Since 1986, Mondaine is known as the company producing the Official Swiss Railways Watch/SBB, to a design licensed from the Swiss Federal Railways. The archetypal Swiss Railway clock – upon which the design of Mondaine watches is based - was designed in 1944 by a man called Hans Hilfiker (1901-1993).
The orginial Hilfker clock was had not only a unique design, but also illustrated the Swiss Railways’ commitment to punctuality. Because railway timetables don’t list any seconds, trains always leave the station on the minute. That is why station clocks receive an electrical impulse from a central master clock at each full minute, allowing the minute hand to advance. The second hand is driven by an electrical motor independent of the master clock. It requires only about 58.5 seconds to circle the face once, then the hand pauses briefly at the 60 second position. It starts a new rotation as soon as it receives the next minute impulse from the master clock. This second hand of the original Swiss Railways clocks has been successfully incorporated in a series of Mondaine watches called ‘Stop to go’.
Over the years the Swiss Railway clock design has become the standard for Railway clocks and airport clocks worldwide, making a Mondaine watch a familiar face for everyone who has ever travelled by train or plane.
The design of the Mondaine Classic Watch range comes closest to the original SBB clocks. The classic Mondaine watches are available in mat-brushed and polished stainless steel with quartz and automatic movements.
The Mondaine Evo watch range is designed with excellent visibility in mind. The watch face is circled by a gently rounded watch case with a slightly domed mineral crystal for a magnifying effect. Mondaine Evo watches have no or short straight lugs. Available with a big date or day/date window, with a Swiss automatic movement or an alarm function.
The Mondaine Sport I watch series is both elegant and functional. The streamlines brushed stainless steel case is fitted with a domed mineral crystal. The Night Vision models feature a self powered illumination system ensuring longlasting readability without any light source.
The Mondaine Simply Elegant watches are thinner than other Mondaine watches and as a standard feature a sapphire crystal. The watch lugs are not straight, but mitered, giving the watch an overall elegant appearance.
The seconds hand of a regular quartz watch jumps one step forwards each second. Based on the original Swiss station clocks, the second hand of the Mondaine Stop2go watch runs smooth and continuously. The seconds hand stops at 12 o’clock for 2 seconds. When the minute hand jumps one step forward the second hand starts the next 58 second round.
Swiss typography is iconic in the design world. The Mondaine Helvetica No 1 transfers the essence of the Helvetica® typeface to a watch. The result is a clean design, with a few unique design features. The date window was moved off its traditional position to fit in with the typography at bottom of the dial. The Helvetica® number 1, with its famous curved crossbar, was used as a template for the shape of the lugs.
Mondaine wall clocks and alarm clocks are both beautiful and functional accessories for the home and the office.