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Mondaine

 
Mondaine Watch Ltd. was founded in 1951 by Erwin Bernheim and is managed today by his sons Ronnie and André Bernheim. The assembly of these watches takes place in the Mondaine factory in Soluthurn/Switzerland.
  
Hans Hilfiker
 (1901-1993)


Back in the 1940s when the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) was looking for a way to take advantage of their name for punctuality and incorporate this theme into their national image, they asked Hans Hilfiker, an SBB employee, engineer and prolific inventor, to come up with a highly visible clock that would not only form the basis of their later corporate identity, but it would help to guarantee on time departures as well. Hilfiker, an exponent of products that were both functional and well designed, created the Railways' masterpiece in 1944. The copyrighted design, with its clear and easily read face, mimics the smooth running of the trains and incorporates clever features that demonstrate punctuality in a highly visible fashion.

Despite having no numbers, the clock is readable at a glance. Its striking red second hand is a small replica of the station manager's hand-held departure signal and can be seen from great distances allowing passengers to know exactly how much time is left before the minute is up and the train will depart. This second hand has become a
symbol of Swiss punctuality. Historically Swiss trains were, and still are, timed to the second and depart on the full minute. As the second hand on the station clock reached the 12, the station manager waved his distinctively shaped, hand-held signal to the conductor to indicate the train's departure.

Hans Hilfiker's design was the inspiration for Mondaine Swiss Railway Watches.
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