‘Design,’ as a concept, is defined as: purpose, planning, or intention that exists behind an action, fact, or object. Many designers use this concept to simplify a complex system to solve a need. This intention to streamline, at its core, is ‘reductionism’ and has made a large impact on the way design is viewed.
Hans Hilfiker, the designer of the iconic Swiss railways clock, described the idea of reductionism as, anything you would add would be too much and anything omitted would leave it wanting. When Mondaine took the Swiss railways clock design and brought it to the wrist, reductionism naturally became essential to our brand.
Mondaine’s Andre Bernheim, in a recent interview with Cool Hunting, explains “For many years we have seen the ‘more is more’ approach, but recently many customers are yearning for something simpler that tells a deeper story. The Mondaine core positioning is simple, classic, timeless and highly oriented to functionality. After all, the watch is primarily an instrument to read time. This frees us in a way from the ebb and flow of trends.”
What many refer to today as ‘minimalism’ is not only an aesthetic choice. For us, it is also an intention to make the experience of using a product as easy and enjoyable as possible. For example, on each Mondaine SBB or Helvetica watch (as well as the clocks), the combination of clean lines, clear shapes, and purposeful color work together to make the time clear and easy to read at a glance.
As technology and material capabilities change, Mondaine will continue to keep reductionism at its core. When we introduce a new material, such as sustainable Rizinus oil into the casing of our SBB essence watch, it is with the intent to streamline the materials we are putting into the world. And when our customers look to us to incorporate activity, sleep, message, and call tracking into our brand new Helvetica Smart connected watch, we take on the challenge to do so in the clearest way possible.