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Mondaine Helvetica watch series

Contributed by Indra Kupferschmid on May 15th, 2015. Artwork published in
October 2014
.
    Screenshot 2015-05-15 10.50.30.png
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Swiss watch manufacturer Mondaine – known for making the Swiss railway wristwatches – recently launched a series based on another Swiss icon. The watches were designed by German designer Martin Drechsel, taking inspiration from elements in the typeface and the modernist typography it stands for: asymetrically aligned dial, using only glyphs from Helvetica for the watchface, and incorporating the form of the numeral ‘1’ into the lugs. The watches are available in three “weights” – Light, Regular, and Bold – with the case getting thicker and more pronounced with the weight of the typeface and design of the dial, as well as many different sizes and color/material combinations. (For the Helvetica skeptics, the lightest and smallest watch has almost no type on it.)

    A dedicated Website presents the different models and includes a nice film starring Alfred Hoffmann, last director of the Haas type foundry. Interview with Martin Drechsel.

    Screenshot 2015-05-15 10.50.53.png
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Screenshot 2015-05-15 11.37.32.png
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Mondaine JBR.D046_10.14_low.jpg
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    L_R_B-2_o.png
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    mondaine-4snKHw.jpg
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    HEL-A4-quer-REGULAR.jpg
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    two1.jpg
    Mondaine. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Screenshot 2015-05-15 12.30.32.png
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Alfred Hoffmann. Still from the promotional film.

    Screenshot 2015-05-15 12.31.43.png
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Alfred Hoffmann going through his father’s “Helvetica journal”. Still from the promotional film.

    Typefaces

    • Neue Haas Grotesk
    • Neue Helvetica

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    3 Comments on “Mondaine Helvetica watch series”

    1. May 15th, 2015  10:17 am

      I had the pleasure (not in the empty-phrase sense) to consult for this likable family-owned company on the series. Although I’m hesitant to advance the Helvetica-cult any further (too late, guilty already) and – believe it or not – not being a Helvetica-fan myself, I think these watches are well made and designed and will also appeal to those who have no idea what Helvetica even is. My dad likes it and thinks the name is because it’s a Swiss watch. Others will prefer Bill. I stand by it because the Mondaine people are some of the kindest I ever worked with. 

    2. May 15th, 2015  2:39 pm

      Cool! I was hoping you would post this. Where was Neue Haas Grotesk used in the project?

    3. May 16th, 2015  11:42 am

      Some of the marketing material and watches.

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