Keeping time: Mondaine's latest model pays tribute to the New York City subway

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.

 Helvetica watch
The Swiss watch company Mondaine recently released three new styles of its Helvetica watch, in colours that pay tribute to the New York City subway
(Image credit: Mondaine)

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.

The Helvetica range’s light, regular and bold watches

The Helvetica 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, embellished with restrained flashes of colour that represent three of the city's subway lines

(Image credit: Mondaine)

postcards

Each special edition is packed in a special giftbox featuring the iconic Vigenlli subway map, which also includes a set of vintage postcards

(Image credit: Mondaine)

the New York City subway's eye-catchin

An example of the New York City subway's eye-catching visual language, which is also reflected in Mondaine's gift box

(Image credit: Mondaine)

INFORMATION

The ’No. 1 New York’ Helvetica, $540. For more information, visit Mondaine’s website (opens in new tab)

Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.