By Ryan Walsh
Easily one of the most recognizable watch dials in the world, Mondaine watches are styled after the classic railway clocks found all over Switzerland. In fact more than 3,000 original clocks still grace Swiss train stations. ( It was in 1944 that Hans Hilfiker (engineer, designer and employee of the Federal Swiss Railways) created an easily readable clock that fast became the Official Swiss Railways Clock.) The iconic look has been the blueprint for Mondaine’s watches since 1986.
Now, Swiss watch brand Mondaine takes the iconic look a step further – unveiling an all new Swiss inspired watch line that is bound to also intrigue purists, typographers, journalists and a host of artistic types with its legendary history. The new line: Helvetica. Helvetica is a sans-serif font developed in 1957 by Max Miedinger, a Swiss typeface designer. It is a monument of International Typographic Style, meaning it is one of, if not the most recognized font in print.
Keeping with the reincarnated classic typeface, the lugs of the watch are designed after the famously curved “1” of the Helvetica font. Centered on the watch are the words “Mondaine Helvetica Swiss Made” in – you guessed it — Helvetica type. The new Mondaine Helvetica Swiss-made collection includes three separate models: the smallest, No.1 Light; the medium No.1 Regular; the biggest, No.1 Bold. All reminiscent of the variety of depths of the Helvetica font. The watch is offered in several sizes ranging from 26mm to 43mm with multitudes of dial colors, case colors, and strap options. All models possess the same water resistance depth (5atm), house a Swiss quartz movement and feature a sapphire crystal. They retail for approximately $300-$450 depending on the model and materials.