For almost 70 years, the legendary 2 second pause on the clocks at the stations of the Official Swiss Railway (SBB) has fascinated travelers across Switzerland. Once every minute, the second hand pauses at the 12 o’clock position, creating the illusion of a stop in time – 2 seconds of stillness and then the minute hand jumps forward, with the second hand starting its next 58 second rotation: 2 seconds to remember. Mondaine has brought this magical moment from the railway station to the wrist with its newest introduction, the Mondaine Official Swiss Railways stop2go watch.
The history behind the iconic second hand began in 1944, when Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker, employed by the Swiss Railways, was asked to design an easy-to-read clock for train stations that could be synchronized throughout Switzerland. And so he developed an electrical railway clock that was synchronized every minute via the telephone cable, ensuring the precise and on-time departure of Swiss trains ever since.
“The Swiss are known for their punctuality and precision, and yet we produced a watch which runs fast for 58 seconds and then stops? What looks like a contradiction serves one purpose only: to be on time, every minute, again and again,” said Andre Bernheim, Chief Executive Officer of Mondaine Watch, Ltd.
The stop2go movement’s development in Mondaine’s wristwatch was a complicated task as a regular quartz watch works with only one motor controlling the hands’ movement. The Mondaine stop2go has two synchronized motors: one to move the second hand, the other motor to release the minute hand jump and to turn the hour hand. The two motors that drive the continuously sweeping hand have high power consumption; therefore, this model is equipped with a Lithium battery to ensure an operating life of more than three years. The watch’s accuracy is set by the quartz crystal, but the brain is in the unique Special Integrated Circuit (IC) that controls the hands.
Designed by German designer Martin Drechsel, Mondaine’s stop2go case features a stainless steel cylinder with two matte-brushed stainless steel braces custom fitted for the strap. The crown, which was specially developed by Mondaine to act as a functional switch, easily sets the hands to the correct time. The watch is equipped with an anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal and the soft, black natural leather strap completes the modern, Swiss-made icon.
The face of the Mondaine Classic Swiss Railways (SBB) watch has been a mainstay of minimalist, Bauhaus design for 70 years. It was in 1944 that Hans Hilfiker, a Swiss engineer, designer, and employee of the Federal Swiss Railways, created a clock for the railway platforms. Known as the “Official Swiss Railways Clock,” the design features an iconic red paddle-shaped second hand – inspired by the paddles that were used to signal the arrival and departure of the Swiss trains – and an easy-to-read black and white face. This signature design has been responsible for the legendary punctuality of the Swiss rail network for seven decades. The Mondaine watch company, which was founded by Erwin Bernheim in 1951 and is still owned and operated by the Bernheim family today, found inspiration in the blueprint of the iconic, patented design of the Railways Clock and turned it into a watch collection officially licensed by the Federal Swiss Railways.
Mondaine Official Swiss Railways watches are the famous clock in miniature, created with Mondaine’s legacy of Swiss manufacturing, uncompromising authenticity and straightforward aesthetic. A favorite of architects, designers, artists, innovators and influencers around the globe for its timeless appeal and pure, unfettered approach to design, Mondaine timepieces represent the epitome of craftsmanship, punctuality, precision and uncomplicated, concise design and are widely considered to be one of the “10 Classic Swiss Watch Designs.” New Mondaine lines are introduced each year and are available in a range of sizes for men and women. They are priced from $195 to $990 and are available at leading jewelry, design, and accessory retailers including the MoMA Design Store, Fred Segal, Fossil and Tourneau in the United States.
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