It has been quite some time since I wrote a hands-on review of a modern watch. When the news announcing the revival of my beloved Mondia Top Second hit our press mailbox last September, I instantly volunteered to look at it. A deep green sample of the new Mondia Top Second eventually landed safely on my desk, so here we are.

I am a vintage watch nerd, but when someone says “Italian watch brand,” Unimatic is what springs to my mind first. I do not wear my only Unimatic watch as much as I used to a few years ago (blame Gallet), but it’s still present in my collection. And we can’t ignore how vocal Unimatic is on social media. But there is another interesting story I have associated with Italy, and it’s truly vintage. There, I collected my beloved Mondia Top Second, on which “every second is counted off by a coloured flashing signal.”

Mondia still exists?

Did you notice Zenith’s name in the early Mondia Top Second print ad from 1972 that Marco Lo Presti from Mondia sent me? Back in the 1970s, Mondia was part of Movado-Zenith. Then, the Italian company Sordi became the owner and world distributor for Mondia in 1990. Today, Mondia has about around 170 references in its product line, and its primary markets are Italy, the USA, Germany, and Spain. To be honest, I don’t find much eye candy when looking at the current Mondia portfolio. The revived Top Second is the only watch I find interesting.

Mondia Top Second green dial wrist shot

A smart move

Of course, it’s not rocket science to look back into a brand’s archives and choose solid material for the next release. These days, it’s a standard procedure. Is it a bit boring? Yes, I do admit so, but I’d rather see watch brands do that than ignore their heritage and design watches without identity. If it weren’t for this re-edition, we wouldn’t be here today discussing Mondia, that’s for sure. So I had to ask who came up with the idea of this re-edition. “Me, Marco Lo Presti,” says Marco, Private Label Manager at Sordi, who managed to get his idea for a re-edition through the management board.

Mondia Top Second green dial close-up


It took about one year to get from the idea stage to the production. Mondia decided to opt for the “square” case, one of the two cases available five decades ago. The other one, which I have, is more rounded and beefier. If I were in charge of deciding on that topic, I would go with the square case too. I always found it sportier and younger. I just couldn’t find one when I was hunting for the Top Second, so I was satisfied with an oval case. By the way, five years after I scored my vintage Mondia Top Second, the offerings are still scarce.

Mondia Top Second new and vintage

“There were about 20 iconic models,” says Marco when I asked him how many model variations there were in the ’70s. As you would expect, the designs included a wide range of lively colors, including dark red, grass green, and deep blue. Some had interesting gradient dials, and some featured striking geometrical shapes, such as long indexes, ovals on the dial, or circles around the flashing dot. The modern watch takes inspiration from vintage models. I didn’t check it precisely, but Marco Lo Presti says that the re-edition is about 90% identical to the original one.

Mondia Top Second green dial

A significant change

If you check my #TBT story on the original Top Second, you can watch the video of the flashing dot. What surprised me was the fact that Mondia changed the visual effect for the new version. Instead of the flashing red and black on/off effect, the revised model features a gradually fading in/out effect staged in about eight fragments. When black changes to red, it almost feels like sun blinds are rolling up to uncover the shiny red dot for a fraction of the time.


The new Mondia Top Second (with the easy-to-remember reference code MH-004-SS-GR-CM) feels chunky but not overly so. It’s still very comfortable. I hope I do not deserve a punch from you for saying this, but it has a tiny bit of a Nautilus vibe. Vintage Mondia bracelets had beautifully branded clasps, while the modern clasp looks a bit simpler. I would rather see proper stamping instead of a shallow engraved Mondia signature.

The bracelet

The bracelet is quite nicely integrated, and I liked that. A simple wrist check is quite satisfying. You will discover imperfections only when looking too closely. One of the four edges of the end links didn’t fit 100% precisely on my sample and felt a bit sharp when I rolled my thumb over it. But it’s a detail I believe you can address yourself easily if it happens. The bracelet is otherwise very nicely finished, especially considering that this is a €499 watch.

Last thoughts on the revived Mondia Top Second

If you do not have the budget for real watch complications or the vintage watch world doesn’t speak to you but you find this “flashing” beauty interesting, I believe you won’t regret it. There is no exhibition case back as a show-off element (the fading dot doesn’t count as a show-off). Nevertheless, the Mondia-modified automatic Myota 82S5 should be reliable enough.

You can forget about cleaning the crystal with your fingers, as I am used to doing with vintage watches. But anytime I rubbed it down with a napkin or my shirt, I was pleased by the magic green dial looking back at me. I was suspicious of how legible the polished steel hands would be, but the lume is wide and bright enough to ensure fast time reading. I found a special pleasure in the tiny lume dots on the edge of the dial, which really give the watch a vintage vibe. So does the crown, which some might find a bit dull, but I find it simple, functional, and classy. The very ’70s-like-sculpted indexes are nice to look at too.

What’s your verdict on this watch for the price? Let me know in the comments. You can also find all the specs listed below and check out all four currently available versions on Mondia’s website.

Watch specifications

Top Second
Green sunburst vignette with sculpted steel indexes, luminous pips, and flashing seconds dot
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
37.5mm (diameter) × 38mm (length) × 13mm (thickness)
Curved sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in
Miyota 82S5: modified by Mondia to show black/red fading dot, automatic with manual winding and hacking, 21,600vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 21 jewels
Water Resistance
Stainless steel three-row bracelet (24mm width) with stamped folding clasp
Time only (hours, minutes, black/red running indicator)