Helvetica ♥ NY

Dedicated to the city that never sleeps, Mondaine has introduced three new styles of Helvetica 1. The light, regular, and bold models each get the Big Apple treatment, with new colors inspired by the ubiquitous New York City subway. Black faces and cases paired with white dials, numerals, and batons emphasize the bold new colors for a high-contrast and cutting edge look that embodies the spirit of the city and stand as a clear visual reference to one of the most famous transportation systems in the world.

New York City's relationship with the Helvetica typeface is a famous story of functional design. For years, the signage throughout the expansive system were a tangle of styles, typefaces, and colors, creating a visual mess that was difficult for even regular riders to untangle. In the 1960s, the city hired the firm Unimark to create a cohesive design and language for the subway signs. Extensive research on the ways travelers used the system resulted in the famous, stark white-on-black model known throughout the world today, featuring clean colored circles to distinguish the many lines.

The typeface chosen for the superbly legible new signage? A relatively new one named Helvetica. Over the following decades, all signage throughout the sprawling system was changed over to the style outlined in the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual created by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda. After years of implementation, Helvetica became the sole font of the New York City subway in the 1990s. 

 Mondaine pays homage to this landmark combination of Swiss and American design with three unique new editions. The Helvetica light model references the blue of the A,C,E line, the regular model carries the green of the 4,5,6 trains, and the bold model is enhanced with the bright red of the 1,2,3 line that traverses the entire island of Manhattan, north to south. Each watch comes encased in a special gift box featuring the famous Vignelli map and including bespoke vintage-inspired postcards. 

Which new model is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram


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