From August 2021, social Using the clear design of the famous “Official Swiss Railways Clock”, it offers a mechanical version in its evo watch collection. In this visit to the Watchtime archives, we’ll take a look at these evo2 SBB automaticAppropriately a quick train ride across Switzerland.
Like any railway company, the 1902-founded Swiss Federal Railways (often referred to by the initials of its German, French and Italian names SBB, CFF, FFS) knew early on the importance of coordinated precision timing. Building and safely operating what would eventually become the densest rail network in Europe. Today, the Swiss travel by train more than any other country in the world, covering an average of 2,400 km each year along the country’s border. Switzerland has the highest railway station in Europe (3,454 meters), the longest railway tunnel in the world (57 km long), 5,200 km of railway lines, a 21,500-km public transport network and 1,000 km of mountain railways. . In other words, the Swiss actually take timekeeping very seriously, and not just because of the many watches that are made there.
In the 1940s, a fully state-owned railway began with the introduction of synchronized station clocks. Trains in Switzerland always leave a station on the full minute (railway timetables do not list or require seconds), each clock receives an electrical impulse via a telephone line from a central master clock every full minute, resulting in a synchronized advance of the minute hand every minute. These watches were designed by Swiss engineer and SBB employee Hans Hilficker (1901 – 1993) and manufactured by W. Moser-Baer in Sumiswald in the canton of Bern. Hilficker had already designed a clock for a train station in Zurich in 1932 and worked on a prototype version with a second hand as early as 1943. However, it will take another two years for the red second hand. A conductor’s baton was used by train and station staff (hence the nickname Rot Kelle or Red Signal) to become a standard feature of the design, officially in use from the 1950s.
In original watches, the second hand is driven by a motor independent of the master clock and requires only 58.5 seconds to complete a rotation, then pauses briefly at the top of the watch. It starts a new rotation as soon as the next minute is inspired from the master clock. The SBB watch is not Hilfiker’s only contribution to modern living in Switzerland. He also developed the fitted kitchen concept and was responsible for standard Swiss measurements for kitchen components. However, with the red second hand, he created a very effective signaling design, one of the most recognizable and familiar watch designs in the history of Swiss timekeeping, and had the greatest impact on the country’s collective appreciation for timekeeping. Switzerland currently has 798 train stations). Passengers have to look at the red second hand to know how much time is left to catch the train (or to know that the train has already left the station). Surprisingly, the design has been recognized by various museums around the world and won several awards (and was briefly used by Apple, which used the design without permission for its mobile operating system iOS6, which was released in September 2012, resulting in a patent dispute with a Swiss railway that was widely reported in October 2012 to cost several million settled for unofficial amount).
Swiss watch brand Mondine has been licensed to manufacture wall clocks, desk models and wristwatches based on the design since 1986. Not surprisingly, the watch quickly became one of the flagship products of the family-owned company. Mondine Board Member André Bernheim says, “The iconic, unobtrusive and minimalist design of the SBB clock in train stations has remained unchanged since 1944. It has since been produced by us based on the original plans and is the centerpiece of this. A Mondine brand since 1986. The collection today offers a wide range from wall clocks to table clocks and wristwatches, with a choice of different case shapes, purist, slightly round, thin and even cases made of sustainable materials like castor. We also offer a choice of different functions such as our patented backlight, stop2go and different movements, which allow us to appeal to a wider audience with a consistent design. Now, the Swiss watch brand finally brings back a version powered by a mechanical movement (the Cellita SW 200-1). Bernheim adds, “We’ve had mechanical watches in our Mondine range for about 20 years. [in 2012, for example, Mondaine introduced the first hand-wound mechanical railway watch (ETA 2801-2) as a limited edition of 400 pieces]. We have now developed some additional models with a steel case in 316L and a sapphire crystal at a much lower price, Swiss Made. And he also mentions another reason for the mechanical choice, “Sustainability has been a major concern for us for decades, and now that we are the first watch company in the world to be completely CO2-neutral, automatic movements clearly reflect both of us. Strategy as well as Zeitgeist, this is another reason why we are expanding our range of automatic watches.
The latest mechanical version of the watch is part of the evo2 collection, which is described by Mondine to feature “subtle and dignified design refinements in keeping with Mondine’s vanguard reputation.” As the rounder curves that wrap around the case fold into the transparent caseback, the case becomes more organic. The case lugs have also been slightly refined and the crown modified to increase its functionality, resulting in an overall more balanced look. Mondine offers two case sizes, the 40-mm version shown here with a red (Ref. MSE.40610.LC) or black leather strap (Ref. MSE.40610.LB) and a 35-mm version with a black leather strap ( Ref .MSE.35610.LB). Alternatively, both case sizes can be purchased with a mesh bracelet instead (ref. MSE.40610.SM in 40 mm, ref. MSE.35610.SM in 35 mm). These watches are assembled at the Mondine factory in Solothurn, Switzerland, and each watch is tested for water resistance up to 30 meters and comes with a 2-year international warranty.
From a design perspective, the dial design uses red, white and black colors, already synonymous with Switzerland, and as a wristwatch with a mechanical movement, the watch undoubtedly brings together the country’s watch industry and the national railway system. A symbol of pride for many Swiss people. Not surprisingly, dial legibility is excellent. In this case, Mondine decided not to cover the black hands, minute markers and indicators with luminous material (the company uses a concept called “backlight technology” in some watches using an extra strong Super-LumiNova material, which is painted on the back of the watch hands), which would prevent people traveling by train at night. Literally leaves in the dark. On the other hand, Mondain has managed to offer the watch at a very attractive price, making it a very unique offering given the importance of its design (especially since the Tissot Heritage Memphis comes exclusively with a quartz movement).
The Mondyne evo2 automatic costs two months of unlimited access to the Swiss railway network (in second or standard class), but it will be a travel companion for a long time. The Sellita SW200-1 certainly doesn’t add much novelty to the watch collection, but remains a reliable engine. Since the design originated as a non-mechanical concept and the Cellita SW200-1 obviously does not reflect the quintessential pause of the second hand at 12 o’clock, one of the central elements of the watches is missing, but fans of mechanical watches finally have another option to wear a lot of Swissness on the wrist. Bernheim concludes, “We created this watch for people who value traditional watchmaking, are passionate about mechanical movements, timeless design and long-lasting, sustainable products – and at a very competitive price for a Swiss-made watch.”
Manufacturer: Mondine Watch Ltd., Etzelstrasse 27, 8808 Pfaeffikon, Switzerland
Reference Number: MSE.40610.LB
Duties: Hours, minutes, hacking central seconds hand, date display
Movement: Cellita SW200-1, automatic 28,800 vph, 26 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, diameter = 25.6 mm, height = 4.6 mm
Case: 316L stainless steel case, sapphire crystal above the dial, water resistance up to 30 m
Strap and clasp: Black leather strap with pin buckle
Measurements: Diameter = 40 mm, Height = 10 mm, Length = 46 mm, Weight = 60.0 g
Variations: with red leather strap (ref. MSE.40610.LC); With Mesh Bracelet (Ref. MSE.40610.SM)
Price: $665 on leash; $720 on the bracelet