A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MONDAINE GROUP
Management, Owners, and Focus
Division of management into the areas of Operative Management (André Bernheim,
*1958) and Strategic Management (Ronnie Bernheim, *1950).
In 2003, the company founder Erwin Bernheim (1925-2007) left the Mondaine
Companies; the sons each took over 50% of the shares of the companies. Focusing
on the lines of business Own Brands (Mondaine, M-Watch), the licensed brand camel
active, Private Label and Advertising Watches as well as Outsourcing Services for
third parties. Expansion of the retail department (direct delivery of retail trade in
Germany and Switzerland). Modernization of the infrastructure, construction of the
headquarters in Zurich, basic restructuring of production and logistics, fully integrated
Geographic focusing on main markets (depending on the brand), building up of
individual new markets selectively.
In cooperation with distributors, very close relationship to retailers and to branch
offices as well as department stores.
Strategic cooperation with private label customers and international advertising watch
customers. Integration of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) concept.
2000 - 2007
20th anniversary of the introduction of the first-ever “Official Swiss Railways”
The Mondaine brand is further expanded in key countries (Europe, USA, Japan,
recently Malaysia and Venezuela).
Mondaine’s own-developed M-Watch enters its third decade of continued close
cooperation with Migros and the sale of the 6 millionth M-Watch is celebrated in
Switzerland. Mondaine delivers the first M-Budget cult watches for Migros.
"camel active” is heavily advertised in key countries, repositioning and sales
New work organization proves itself, likewise the integration of the communications
technologies and the logistics locations of Biberist (production, distribution center,
repair and spare parts service) and Hong Kong. New Mondaine building in Zurich
expanded to include three galleries.
Optimization of just-in-time (JIT) production method and direct supply ex works of
major customers including Migros (factory direct); effective sales data results in
increased rate of inventory turnover and response time keyed to market requirements.
Mondaine is awarded the “Industrial Innovation Prize” of the Swiss Society for
Logistics for its innovative and efficient materials handling (JIT).
Intensification of direct market development in Germany, growth in sales and
expansion of sales rep network..
The innovative “outsourcing” concept for production (Private Label) with logistics
functions proves itself and is used by third party companies including the integrated
software as well as the warehouse and international delivery center and the repair /
spare parts service of Mondaine. The subsidiary in Hong Kong becomes integrated in
the development and logistics process.
Since 2004, the Basle offices/showrooms are in the 29th floor of the trade fair tower;
at the trade fair, Mondaine is represented with a new and bigger booth and a meeting
point in Hall 1.1/D41 (2007).
1951 – 2006 Anniversaries
1951 – 2001: 50 years of the Mondaine Watch Ltd. company
1954 – 2004: 50 years of the Mondaine brand
1965 – 2005: 40 years of its own production in Biberist
1975 – 2005: 30 years of cooperation with Migros
1983 – 2003: 20 years of the M-Watch brand
1986 – 2006: 20 years of the Swiss Railways Watch
1993 – 2003: 10 years of the Camel Trophy/camel active license
1951-2000 Prominent Cornerstones
Founding of the company “Frank & Bernheim”,
watch trade, especially for import and sales in Brazil;
Registration of the Mondaine trademark;
Takeover of Neuchâtel SA, a small manufacturer of lever watches (400 pieces per
year) and founding of Constructa Watch Ltd for the production of pin-lever watches.
Founding of “Remonta & Bernheim”;
Construction of a factory in Biberist/Switzerland to manufacture lever watches
Pioneer development of digital watches (LED) with Howard Hughes Corp;
Development of the world's first digital watches (LCD) with Brown Boveri & Co and
Hoffmann La Roche;
Market launch of the world’s first consumer programmable LCD watches fitted with
Introduction of the first solar quartz watches with analog and with digital displays
Introduction of the international service network MISO - Mondaine International
Development of the M-Watch in only 28 days and market launch with Migros in
Switzerland in February 1983;
New housing construction for waterproof watches with shaped glass
By the end of the decade, 2,000,000 M-Watches are sold in Switzerland;
Exclusive license agreement with the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB);
Founding of Mondaine Swiss Watch (Far East) Ltd. in Hong Kong (marketing and
sales in the Pacific zone).
5,000,000 M-Watches sold in Switzerland.
Introduction of the Mondaine brand to the Swiss retail trade;
Development of the world’s first post consumer recycling watch; world ecology prize
at the WEF (Davos);
German DesignPlus prize for the innovative design and the ecological concept;
A tribute in the Design Museum in London by Sir Terence Conran;
Since 1993, worldwide licensee for Camel Trophy Adventure Watches;
Oscar winner HR Giger, iron sculptor Bernhard Luginbühl and star
architect Mario Botta create exclusive watch objects with Mondaine;
In the Zurich main railway station, Mondaine gives the time at the “Meeting Point”;
Mondaine Design Line comes to famous museums (MoMA, SFMoMa, and
Guggenheim Bilbao, Nobel Prize museum);
Expansion of the international repair service Mondaine International Service
License agreement with Bally for watches in the luxury range;
Launch of the Jean-Michel Cousteau watches in the Lucerne IMAX Cinema (Keiko
Official time-keeper of the Tour de Suisse 1992 – 1994.
Official time-keeper at the CSI in Zurich 1997 – 2000;
Opening of the new Mondaine building in Zurich (2003)
Mondaine wins Swiss Logistics Award (2004)
Own sales representative network in Germany (from 2004)
Inauguration of the world’s biggest station clocks (clockface diameter 8meters/25ft) in
Erstfeld, at the Gotthard Tunnel1 for the 25-year anniversary of the tunnel (2006)
Acquisition of production of Luminox wristwatches (private-label watches with small
tubes containing tritium gas) and their sale in Switzerland and Germany (2006)
New and bigger booth at the Baselworld World Watch and Jewellery Show (Hall 1.1.,
D 41) (2007)
Heightened commitment on US watch market via Luminox Watch Company (Lumondi
Inc.). as distributor on VMI base.
Marketing budgets increased in key markets with the goal of boosting sell-through.
Integration of inventory management with VMI.
Erwin Bernheim, founder of the Mondaine Group and pioneer in the Swiss watch
industry, dies on January 29, 2007, at 81 years of age.