A line of Mondaine watches is heavily influenced by classical Swiss railway clocks, called the Official Swiss Railways Watch/SBB, to a design licensed from the Swiss Federal Railways since 1986. This design, by Hans Hilfiker, originated in 1944.
The original movement was unlike other watches and unique because of the following fact: By spreading 58 seconds over the 360 degrees (rather than the usual 60 seconds), the second hand comes to a complete stop at the 12 numeral for two seconds, giving the illusion that time has stopped. Then, the minute hand advances one step and the second hand starts a new cycle. However the company stopped making models with this mechanism around 2001. In 2013, a redesigned model was launched under the name stop2go. In keeping with how the movement itself works, the crown is shaped like a rocker switch that you flip back and forth instead of winding. This element is as practical as it is distinctive.
Lapalma’s success has been achieved step by step throughout the years. No overnight success stories here - just hard work and passion in equal measure.
The company’s story begins in the 1980s, when founders the Marcato brothers decided to go into business on their own. Their initial idea developed rapidly and Lapalma was established soon after, showing from the outset a preference for natural, recyclable materials. Following investments in machinery, Lapalma took advantage of the availability of new materials to develop a wide range of products for the contract market, which quickly demonstrated the brand’s appeal, attracting buyers on major projects worldwide for hotels, shops, museums and airports.
Wilhelm Seibel I, establishes the Seibel Britannia Goods Factory in 1895. In 1911 the first branch factory, the Hessischen Metallwerke Gebr. Seibel. The company attains global recognition in 1936 with its Olympia Flatware furnished for the Olympic Village in Berlin.
Thanks to the very healthy economy of the post-war years, staffing increased to almost 1000. In the '50s a major decline in the flatware industry resulted in the demise of almost 90% of all German manufacturers. Thanks to the bold leadership of Herbert Seibel, a grandson of the founder, who steered the company towards design oriented products, a catastrophe was avoided for the Hessische Metallwerke. The company was later renamed to Mono.