The Bauhaus-style minimalism of the Swiss railroad clock has been iconic since its adoption in the 1940s. That simple design is now seen at railway stations around Central Europe. And since the 1980s, the iconic design has brought success to a Mondaine, a Swiss watch company. Since 1986, the company—founded in 1951 by Erwin Bernheim—has become known for its Swiss Railroad Watch, officially licensed from SBB, Swiss Federal Railways.
Until recently, the Mondaine watch was missing a key feature of the Swiss railroad clocks. To ensure accuracy, Swiss (and German) railroad clocks were sent a magnetic pulse synching them every minute, on the minute. The addition of a second hand caused problems, so the railroads came up with an ingenious solution: The second hand completed its resolution in 58 seconds, then waited for the minute hand to move to embark on another revolution.
Mondaine has now incorporated this motion into its Official Swiss Railway Watch. Like the original clocks, the stop2go features the famous red second hand with a bulbous head that turns full circle in 58 seconds and then waits at 12 o’clock for the black minute hand to move on, before jumping one marker forwards, starting its next rotation.
Designed by Martin Drechsel, the Stop2Go features a unique Swiss-made quartz movement developed exclusively for Mondaine. It has two synchronized motors: one to move the second hand, the other to release the minute hand jump and to turn the hour hand. The sweeping second hand glides for 58 seconds around the dial and then stops for 2 seconds at 12 o’clock. The minute hand then jumps one marker forwards and the second starts again. The two motors that drive the continuously sweeping second hand have high power consumption; therefore this model is equipped with a larger battery to ensure an operating life of more than 3 years.
Check out the watch here and watch the video review below.