Baselworld, the world's largest watch tradeshow held once a year in Basel, Switzerland, is a defining event for the watch industry and sets the trends for the coming year. More than 145,000 attendees of which encompassed exhibitors, buyers, and journalists from over 100 countries appeared this year. Mondaine showcased its iconic Swiss timepieces, debuted new designs for 2016, unveiled its exclusive Gottardo collection as a tribute to the soon-to-open Gotthard Tunnel, and presented the Mondaine PayChip™ for contactless transactions.
Mondaine Gottardo 2016
Set to open this June, the Gotthard Base Tunnel will officially be the longest rail tunnel in the world at 57 km., connecting Northern and Southern Switzerland and forming the heart of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA). Initially commissioned in 1952, 120 trains traversed the Gotthard tunnel guided by the Ae6/6 locomotive known by drivers as 'The Old Lady' until the tunnel was closed for renovations in 1992. As the main partner of the Gottardo 2016 event, Mondaine launched an exclusive watch collection at Baselworld 2016 to honor the grand opening of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel, an extraordinary Swiss achievement.
The first watch style of the collection is the Gottardo2016 stop2go, which is limited to only 2,016 pieces available with either a brown or beige leather strap. In homage to 'The Old Lady' locomotive, each watch features a bezel made from material used in the driver's cab door. The bezels were laser-cut from the door of the Ae6/6 locomotive and were otherwise untouched, leaving the original army green paint and making each bezel different from the others. The watches are finished with a stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and the official Gottardo 2016 logo on the case back.
The Mondaine SBB Nord Sud (North South), the second component of the collection, celebrates the union of the northern and southern regions thanks to the innovation of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. Embossed on the black leather strap above the 12 o'clock mark is the local Swiss German word for 'hello', 'Grieäzi', for the far north of the Tunnel in the Canton Uri region, and the local Italian dialect 'good day', 'Buon di', embossed on the strap below the 6 o'clock mark for the Canton Ticino region in the south where the tunnel ends. Printed on the underside of the strap are the two Cantons' flags, met in the middle by the official Gottardo 2016 logo on the case back.
View the Gottardo 2016 watch collection on our global Mondaine site.
The first watch faces were unveiled at the press conference at Baselworld on March 17th, along with the inauguration of the Mondaine train at the SBB Basel train station by Mondaine owners Ronnie and Andre Bernheim. The Bernheims are proud to be taking this journey as the official partners of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in 2016, a year that also marks the 30th anniversary since Mondaine launched its first Mondaine SBB design watch back in 1986.
Watch the video from the Mondaine train inauguration here.
The Mondaine PayChip™
In addition to the exciting introductions of the Gottardo 2016 watch collection and the Mondaine train at the SBB Basel station, the new Mondaine PayChip™ premiered with a live demonstration of the prototype. Always at the forefront of technology, Mondaine continues to innovate with the creation of the Mondaine PayChip™ in partnership with Oberthur Technologies using Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless payment technology. The chip, which is the same size as a phone SIM-card, slips securely into a specially-designed part of the Mondaine watch strap for convenient and efficient transactions at contactless payment points.
Head over to our Instagram page @mondaineusa to see photos from Andre Bernheim's takeover during Baselworld!