Mondaine (meaning “Fashionable Lady”) timepieces have become instantly recognisable across the globe for their incredibly simple and easy to read face and distinctive hands, including their famous red second hand.
The iconic face was inspired the “Official Swiss Railways Clock” which displays the time at over 3,000 railway stations in Switzerland and was designed way back in 1944 by Hans Hilfiker, an employee of Federal Swiss Railways.
Seven years later, the Mondaine watch company was founded by the Bernheim family, with their watches based on the railway clock design and the distinctive red seconds hand inspired by the red paddles that train station managers would use to announced that trains were about to depart.
The design is one of the most iconic in the world and it is even included in 20th-century design collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Design Museum in London.
Today Mondaine still capture the punctuality and precision of the Swiss railway network in their watches.
While the iconic design of the railway watch has endured, nowadays it is complemented by modern designs and on-trend colour schemes as well as features such as dual time zones, world time and date functions.
While the railway watch is by far Mondaine’s most popular design, they have recently started to branch out and launched their Helvetica No.1 range in 2014.
The Helvetica was born out of the company’s desire to take Switzerland’s rich design history and implement it in desirable, modern products.
The range is an homage to one of the world’s most widely used sans serif typefaces, Helvetica, which was the brainchild of Swiss typographer Max Miedinger in 1957.
All of the company’s watches are still crafted in Switzerland, in their factory near Solothurn.
Mondaine watches are perhaps one of our most recognisable ranges and represent an affordable luxury option.