In 1944, Swiss engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker created a clock that became known as the ‘Official Swiss Railways Clock’. This iconic, patented design has been the inspiration behind Mondaine watches for nearly 30 years.
The watch company, owned by the Bernheim family, gained official licence from the Federal Swiss Railways in 1986 and turned the famous clock face into a watch collection. One of the clock’s most recognisable features is the famous red seconds hand, directly inspired by the red paddles used by the station manager to notify passengers and train conductors when each train was about to depart.
With a focus on ingenuity and simplicity, Mondaine watches have become a highly respected icon in their own right. The simple design, easy-to-read face and distinctive hands are instantly recognised all over the world and the watches are regarded as a design classic.
In 1994, Mondaine created a four-metre high Swiss Railways Clock for the main station in Zurich, Switzerland. Named the Mondaine Railway Station Meeting Point, this clock is visible from every direction in the station’s central hall and is a popular meeting place for the 300,000 people that pass through each day.
In 2014, Mondaine launched the Helvetica collection – its first range of watches not to be inspired by the clocks of the Swiss Railway. These Mondaine watches take their inspiration from the famous Helvetica font, a favourite among designers and signal an exciting new direction for the successful watch company.