This is a new way of enjoying something old. Since the 1980’s the classic Mondaine Official Swiss Railways watch design has been a staple of affordable good design. That it was easy to read, was merely a significant plus. The look has been adapted in a million ways, with each still feeling relatively fresh. Here is the Mondaine Railway Giant watch – a contemporary interpretation on a minimalist look, that is surprisingly more minimalist. To be honest, I don’t quite get the “Giant” part of the name. This isn’t a giant watch. Although it wears large due to the thin bezel. The case is polished steel and 42mm wide.
What can I say about the dial that you don’t already know? This is the classic look – made simple. No date, just the time, and that classic red ball tipped seconds hand you’ve become familiar with over the years. Ease of reading, even at distances was the original purpose of the design. One thing that the watch doesn’t have, but it doesn’t really need is a 12 o’clock hour indicator that is a bit different. Though the look has always seemed to work without it. You’ll notice that the hour markers are raised a bit, and painted black on the top.
Lugless in design, the leather strap (available in at least two colors I think) fits directly into the back of the case. The strap is relatively thick, and makes for a comfortable fit on the wrist. Water resistant to 30 meters, the case has a mineral crystal and is a bit barrel shaped in design. It makes for a good look, and the domed crystal is nice. I would have preferred sapphire, but at this low cost that wouldn’t be a reasonable request.
Swiss in design and movement, the watch houses a Ronda 512.S quartz movement that does the job just fine. I appreciate the colorful touch of the red enamel crown which Mondaine “M” logo. Is it just me or is the crown a bit smaller than you want it to be? Not that you need to wind the watch or anything, but I find that slightly larger crowns give watches a more substantial, masculine look. Actually, while perfect suited to be worn on the male wrist, the Railway Giant is easily considered a unisex watch (as most Mondaine Swiss Railway watches are). I have seen women wear it, and it looks good on their wrist as well. At just under $200, but Mondaine Railway Giant is a big value, and a satisfying look for those craving a new way to enjoy an old favorite.