Holiday time has officially started, many people left to find out if the grass is greener indeed at the other side of the fence. Expecting many of you readers being watch lovers, Switzerland might be a good destination for your journeys.
Switzerland isn’t only well known for their watches, cheese and chocolate though. Their official Swiss railway station clock is something which at least every watch lover should be able to draw with their eyes closed as well.
The design of the, originally Mobach, official railway station clock was adapted by Mondaine for the design of their watches long ago. Hans Hilfiker by the way designed this Swiss railway clock already in 1944. Then in 1953 he added the red second hand in the shape of a railway guards signalling disc to complete the design as we know it now.
The Mondaine I’m wearing this week is not just design adapted however. The way the movement runs is equal to the original station clock as well.
To be short this means two things different to a regular quartz movement. One, the second hand doesn’t jump per second, it runs more smoothly. And two, the second hand stops every time at twelve, to wait for 2 seconds. So the second hand, just like an official Swiss railway station clock, rotates the dial in 58 seconds in stead of 60.
The rest at 12 o’clock enables the clocks on all Swiss railway stations simultaneously to be synchronized by a central master clock to the second; in fact to the minute. In that period of rest the minute hand moves to the next minute, and at exactly the first second of the next minute the second hands of all clocks simultaneously start to move again.
In fact during the course of the minute all clocks – as well as the Mondaine stop2go watch – are a little ahead. However when starting the next minute they’re all exactly on time again.
The Swiss Made calibre 58-02 in the Mondaine stop2go is the movement enabling this trick. I can’t find much inside information about it, however I’ve heard that in fact it’s build up from two quartz movements. One to power the second hand, and one for the minute and hour hands. Might very well be true.
Additional to this special movement, the casing of the Mondaine stop2go is quite a bit more robust than the regular Mondaine railway clock watches. It also sports an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a screwed solid case back. A beautiful thick leather strap with a heavy buckle, being comfortable at the same time, fits the 41 mm casing very well. The dial has nice raised minute markers, a detail you won’t see on other Mondaine station clock watches as well.
As a last I want to mention the crown of the Mondaine stop2go, which effectively isn’t a crown. It operates more as a switch. When pulled out the second hand runs towards the 12 and stops. At that point the minute, and hour hand in relation, can be moved fore- or backward by turning the knob slightly to the left or to the right. Kept in a turned position the minute hand will first move per minute at a time, then faster per many minutes. When the knob is released the hands stop moving. Pushing the knob in makes the watch run again, starting exactly at the minute of course.
The special movement together with the robust 41 mm casing and the other mentioned details eject this watch into a higher league than just a design watch. Consequently it’s price is in a different league as well. Almost 3x as much compared to regular Mondaine railway clock designed quartz watches, however in my opinion still very worth it.
More information on the Mondaine stop2go can be found through the official Mondaine website here: www.mondaine.com.
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more