Mondaine watches are a Swiss watchmaker that started in 1951. The firm’s founder, Erwin Benheim, was actually a former tailor and built a reputation for quality watches that were also cost-effective to repair.
Benheim developed one of the very first digital watches and the first LCD watch with the help of Howard Hughes. As the company developed, it focused entirely on better designs and modern technology – a focus that would, consequently, see Mondaine launched into the watch hall of fame.
Firstly, Mondaine watches comes with a backlight that means you can read it clearly all the time, even at night. It also has a continuous charge which means it’ll constantly glow.
Then, in daylight, the white dial cleverly reflects the sunlight to charge the luminous foil on the underside of the hands which at night emits light.
Let’s take a closer look a the collections on offer from Mondaine.
$490 / £420
The Stop2Go is one of the originals. Production was halted nearly 20 years ago but began again in 2013 with its current name. It was inspired by the station clocks in Zurich.
It comes in a 41mm by 12mm case with that clock-inspired round face. The case is made of brushed stainless steel. The face is protected by anti-reflective sapphire crystal (which is also scratch-proof). Furthermore, you can choose a red or black leather strap.
The movement inside the Stop2Go is powered by a calibre 58-02 quartz which differs from normal quartz. Like its father, the station clock, the movement will tick around the dial for 58 seconds.
This collection is inspired by the Helvetica font which was designed by a Swiss graphic designer called Max Miedinger.
The aim of the font is to be discreet and considered. It was made to flow harmoniously with logic and structured form.
This unisex watch comes in various sizes from 26mm to 43mm. There’s one for every wrist size. The strap comes in different materials, like genuine leather and stainless steel and they certainly all come with the Swiss-made stamp of quality.
Within this collection, you’ll find the Helvetica No1 Regular ($300 / £232). This comes with dual timezones. The No1 Light Holiday Edition ($320 / £260) is a special gold-plated version. Furthermore it has a beautiful Milanese mesh wristband for more formal occasions.
There’s a surprising smartwatch in this collection. The Regular Hybrid ($520 / £450). This can be connected to an Apple or Android smartphone to deliver notifications for texts, calls and emails as well as monitoring activity and sleep patterns. It certainly doesn’t look like a smartwatch at all with its traditional Mondaine design and leather strap.
All the Mondaine collections offer something different to the others and the Essense is an eco-friendly option. These timepieces are made from totally sustainable materials – the straps are made with a cork lining, for instance.
The Petite Black and Large Black come in 32mm and 41mm respectively. They’re made of recycled PET bottles and natural rubber.
Mondaine guarantees the quality of this collection is the same as every other in their catalogue. However, the best bit is the price tag, you can have your very own responsibly made watch for around $100.
This is, without doubt, the most iconic of all the Mondaine watches. It comes in various styles and sizes.
The price range varies between $200 to $900. It depends on which version you’re looking at. You can get a slimline 30mm or a heavier 40mm with a leather strap, but you can also change it for something more colourful.
The Classic collection was developed into a sort-of sub-collection called the Evo series. This was really popular in the mid-80s. It’s like a Classic, but offers much more evolved features and design.
The Evo2 ($700 / £650) sees the addition of automatic movement inside, which can be seen through the reverse of the case. It has a stainless steel case with a round shape.
The theme here is certainly subtle elegance. This collection is a development of the Classic collection with the familiar iconic dial of a Mondaine dial and red second hand. It makes for a great everyday watch. It also can look pretty good in a formal setting.
These watches are the most simplistic in the catalogue. You can get them in a slim 36mm or 41mm for a larger wrist with a leather strap in either red or black. Cost-wise, it varies between $300 – $400.
Which watches are the best alternative?
Mondaine are anything but mundane. The company certainly has put a lot of time, effort and consideration into making each collection completely different.
If you’re looking for another traditional watch to compare to a Mondaine, it’s worth checking out the Junghans collection if you have money to play with.
If you need something a little more budget-friendly, see our review of Certina watches.