As a home-from-home, New York City has always had a special place in Wallpaper's (and countless others') hearts. The Swiss watch company Mondaine clearly feels the same way. The design stalwart recently released its tribute to the Big Apple: three new styles of its Helvetica watch in colours that nod to the New York City subway.
The range’s light, regular and bold watches have been given the true New York treatment: all black faces and cases paired with minimal white dials and numerals. A flash of colour appears on the underside of each watch’s strap: red, blue and green to represent three of the city’s most popular subway lines.
Mondaine’s selection of the Helvetica watch for this purpose is no coincidence. In the 1960s, after years of using a confusing blend of different signage, typefaces and styles, the City of New York hired the firm Unimark to create a standardised design for the subway, allowing commuters to clearly navigate the underground. After extensive research, Helvetica was chosen as a typeface and the black and white model that still reigns today was formed. The changes were swiftly implemented by the creation of Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda’s style guide, ‘New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual’, and by the 1990s, Helvetica ultimately became the sole font to be used on the subway.
In honour of these landmark design events, each Mondaine watch comes wrapped in a special giftbox featuring the iconic Vigenlli subway map and including a set of vintage postcards – a perfect gift for true New Yorkers.