Tips & Downloads

Category: RSS

Choosing the correct Mondaine watch Strap – Part 1

PDF Download + Training Video 1

                               (Download the PDF File)

In this three part video training I will walk you through that exact process.

You will learn:

• How to Get the  right size for your watch strap 

• Understanding the type of replacement straps available for  your Mondaine

• I’ll show you the 4 types of straps and how to locate the IDs (numbers) for each strap

Once you have watched the above video, be sure to checkout Part 2 below

Enjoy and share :)




Is my Mondaine waterproof?

No!  But it is water resistant.

Water Resistant is a common mark stamped on the back of wrist watches to indicate how well a watch is sealed against the ingress of water. It is usually accompanied by an indication of the static test pressure that a sample of newly manufactured watches were exposed to in a leakage test. The test pressure can be indicated either directly in units of pressure such as bar or (more commonly) as an equivalent water depth in metres (in the United States sometimes also in feet).

The two most common markings found on the back of Mondaine watches are:

30 100 3 which means it has been tested at 30m, 100ft, 3 atm, and

100 300 10 which equates to 100m, 300ft and 10 atm.

An indication of the test pressure in terms of water depth does not mean a water resistant watch was designed for repeated long-term use in such water depths. For example, a watch marked 30 metres water resistant cannot be expected to withstand activity for longer time periods in a swimming pool, let alone continue to function at 30 metres under water. This is because the test is conducted only once using static pressure on a sample of newly manufactured watches. The test for qualifying a diving watch for repeated usage in a given depth includes safety margins to take factors into account like aging of the seals, the properties of water and seawater, rapidly changing water pressure and temperature, as well as dynamic mechanical stresses encountered by a watch.  This adds to the importance of changing seals at battery replacement time for example.

So what in practical terms does this mean?

3 ATM activities at this depth might include accidental splashing from hand washing or rain, but not washing up.

5 ATM – will cope with the above plus showering or swimming in shallow water

10 ATM – will also cope with swimming or snorkelling

30 ATM – will also cope with skin diving

50 ATM – will also cope with Scuba Diving

The first indication that you have water ingress is a slight misting on the inside of the glass.  IMMEDIATE action is required by a qualified watch repairer to dry the watch out before rusting occurs.  See the post on How To Get My Mondaine Repaired

The weakpoint of all watches is the crown adjuster which alters the date or time.


The hands on my Mondaine clock are bent.

This is an occasional problem usually associated with moving home and the clock getting knocked.

Mondaine produce a high quality product at quite a reasonable price, but the engineering and design challenge in replicating the look of the actual station clock has presented some problems for Mondaine.  The second hand has, as you know, a large spot on the end which replicates the signal used by guards or conductors on the trains to let the driver know that it is safe and ready to move off.  Excellent so far!  However, this spot puts a strain on the pivot at the motor and makes the second hand unbalanced.  To rectify this, Mondaine has put a counter-balancing weight on the opposite end.  This is a very fine balance which can be upset if the clock receives a knock.  Your first port of call is the Mondaine Service Centre which will rectify the issue (see where can I get my watch serviced above).  Alternatively, use a local clock maker who could do the job for you.  If you wish to carry this out yourself, it can be done.

The remedy is easy, but needs careful attention.  You will need:

  • a soft cloth on which to rest the clock face down
  • a small to medium cross-head screwdriver
  • a very small cross-head screwdriver
  • a very sharp bladed knife or Stanley blade
  • a small pair of square end pliers
  1. Place the clock face down on the cloth
  2. Remove the battery (ies)
  3. Remove the four large screws and take off the back of the clock
  4. (Large clock only) Remove the power input at 6.00 position.  Gently use the pliers to to unscrew the outer ring and push the socket clear of the clock.
  5. At each stanchion around the clock on which the back sits, there is a screw.  Additionally there are screws between the stanchions.  Remove these also.
  6. Withdraw the whole back of the clock from the frame.
  7. (Small clock) there is a “sellotape” seal joining the clock and the glass.  Slide the sharp knife around the join to split the glass and the clock.
  8. (Large clock)  As above, but there is a synthetic rubber seal around the glass which needs to remain on the rim.  If it comes off, it is difficult to put back, but it is not the end of the world if you cannot get it back on; the clock can still function.
  9. Carefully turn the clock over.  If the second hand has become bent or unbalanced gently press the centre to ensure that it is fully home.  If it is bent, try to spot at which point it becomes distorted and use this point as a fulcrum with your finger and bend the second hand up or down depending on what has happened.  DO NOT bend the whole second hand as this will put a strain on the pivot mechanism and you risk distorting it and making matters worse.
  10. Replace the glass in the frame and replace the back carefully aligning the screw holes holes.
  11. Reverse the above steps.

Replacement handbooks or manuals

Did you know you can obtain replacement handbooks and manuals?  

Try this link to download a pdf (instruction manuals) for all models of Mondaine Official Swiss Railways Watches.

Please note, that download link will take you to Mondaine official website.


Will I get this reaction to Mondaine watches?

I am sensitive to some base metals and especially have an allergic reaction to Nickel.  Will I get this reaction to Mondaine watches?

Mondaine, as a thoroughly responsible company, subjects all of its range to stringent tess to ensure they comply with EC and International standards.

To quote them:

The materials used by Mondaine are subjected to severe tests in order to avoid allergies. For those who are hyper-sensitive to stainless steel we recommend you buy a watch which is made from titanium, gold or plastic.

Can’t say fairer than that!  Most good retailers will I am sure be prepared to let you test drive the model you are interested in to see if there is a reaction.  Obviously, you would need to return the watch in perfect condition if you prove to be a reactor.

Watch repair

Where can I get my Mondaine serviced?

Mondaine watches are hard wearing and made to a high standard, but even so, occasionally the watch will need a service to maintain it.  The Mondaine service centre offers a range of services to keep you on time.

They offer a partial maintenance from a bracelet sizing service around £15 or so, or more complicated work including:

  • Rating/regulating check
  • replace crown, gaskets and a new battery where needed
  • water resistance control
  • Case and bracelet cleaning
  • Final bench testing

Costs vary according to the sophistication of the watch but expect to pay £20-£35 or so.

There is also a complete maintenance service:

  • Movement dissembling, cleaning, reassembling, oiling, regulating and functions checked
  • Replace crown, gaskets and battery where necessary.
  • Repair or replacement of worn movement parts
  • Water resistance control and case and bracelet cleaning and bench testing.

Expect to pay £50-£80 or so, and of course parts are extra.

Another optional service restores your watch to near perfect condition, with cleaning, polishing and scratch removal.  This is not a guaranteed restoration as obviously it depends on the depth of scratches etc.  But talk to them and get advice.

The address is:
Mondaine Service Centre,
Locker Hull and Thornton Ltd
10 High View Close
Vantage Business Park

01664-420003 or
Go to site.

A word of sensible advice – do use a “signed for” delivery service (Royal mail is perfect) and attach a tag with your details on it.  Do feel free to ask for an estimate. Allow a couple of weeks for diagnosis and estimate, and another couple or so from go ahead for the work to be completed.

How to reset a chronograph

My Chronograph doesn’t go to zero

Sometimes when you zero your Chronograph after using the stop watch and pause function, the second hand does not go back to zero.  You need to reset it and this is how you do it!

Instructions for re-setting.
On the right are 3 buttons lettered from the top A, B and C, and you will need to adjust the second hand (S), the 10th second elapsed hand (10th), and the minute elapsed hand (M).

1. Pull crown button B out to position 2. Press buttons A and C simultaneously for at least 2 seconds. This enters the adjustment mode.

2.  Adjusting second hand (S). Press A and the hand will move once; press sufficiently to allow chrono second hand to work towards 12 at the top. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C.
3.  Adjusting 10th second hand (10th). Press A as above and it will move once, continue until the hand goes to 10 or 0 at the tiop. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C
4.  Adjusting chrono minute hand (M). Press button A until the hand is set to 30. Confirm the adjustment by pressing button C
5.  Press B crown button back in and this is now reset.
Tip – for fast forwarding button A, press and hold for at least 1 second.

How do I adjust a mesh strap?

Adjusting a Mondaine mesh steel strap is easy but there are a couple of pitfalls of which you should be aware.

In the next few steps I will explain how easy is to adjust your watch, if you have chosen a mesh strap particularly. Mesh straps are very popular lately they all go very well with our collection of Mondaine watches and some of our clients prefer mesh and not leather.

See steps below:

Step 1.  On the reverse of the strap you should see a succession of ridges.  You will also notice a corresponding ridge on the clasp.  Sounds obvious, but once you have decided where the clasp should reside on the strap, you need to align these two ridges.

The reverse of the strap

Step 2. Get a piece of string or ribbon and wrap it around your wrist.  Snip the string so that one end meets the other and measure this diameter.

Step 3.  On the other end of the strap you will see the hook which goes over the clasp – you will see the next picture.  From this hook the measured distance will be where the end of the string lies.

The clasp mechanism - the watch is to the right of the picture

Step 4.  This is the tricky bit!  Insert a small screwdriver into the hole on the main clasp part, from the right hand side and bend it down towards the strap thus opening the clasp.  Do not  insert a tool from the left side, under the clasp and use the bar as a fulcrum; you will bend this rod and the watch strap will not hook over it.  Move the clasp to the desired position and gently locate the ridge nearest the position.  Once located, press down on the open clasp until it clicks into place – voila!


How Do I change a Watch strap

This is easy – but allow time to do it as it is a slightly fiddly operation.

You will need:

  • A sharp blade such as a “Stanley” knife.
  • A small pair of pliers
  • A small bladed flat screwdriver
  • Some patience

It is best to work from the back of the watch, it is more accessible and if you do have an accident you won’t scratch in a visible place.  Place the watch upright with the winder at the top.  It is best to cut off the old strap with a very sharp knife – don’t try this at home kids!! A small pair of pliers is then useful to slide the old retaining pin left or right to release the spring loaded ends.

Take one strap off at a time so you get them on the right way round.  At the end of the new strap is the new pin. From the back of the watch, insert the lower pin into the visible hole, and rest the upper pin against the opposite lug.

With a thin blade, depress the pin head and slide it under the upper lug moving it slightly to locate the hole on the underside. Bingo!

Mesh straps are a bit different as you cannot cut them with a Stanley blade or similar.  Instead, you will need a thin bladed screwdriver, or small and slim but strong blade to insert  and try to push the outer pin towards the other end.  As a last resort, the pin is weaker than the case shanks so a gentle twist with pliers might free it.

Retro straps contain a stiffening piece of plastic which you won’t be able to cut through.  On the back, you should be able to see a hole to access the pin.  As above, a small screwdriver should get you out of trouble.


My Battery Needs Replacing

No battery lasts for ever, so eventually it will need replacing.  When the watch stops isa good indication that it is time to replace it; and when the second hand behaves erratically is an indication that an upcoming stoppage is about to happen.

When the battery is replaced, a good repairer should also re-seal the watch so that the waterproofness is maintained.

Do not go to the market stall to replace it!  Do not go to one of the High Street shops that advertise battery replacement.  Do go to a specialist watch repairer if you have one near you.

Alternatively, you can send it to one of the retailers advertising on line, or send it to the official Mondaine Service Centre.  You will not need to speak French or German to do this, as they are located in Leicester!  See the page on servicing under this same tab.


How to buy a Mondaine watch

How to buy a Mondaine watch

5 Steps to Heaven Or Choosing your Mondaine Watch

Determine your price point.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Or once you have refined your choice then revisit your budget to see if you are still within your objectives. Generally, mechanical watches, by nature of their movements, are more costly than quartz watches, but there are a number of other factors that affect the cost of watches.

Let your lifestyle and environment be your guide.
The selection of a watch, in terms of style, design and brand, is purely based on individual taste. But there are a few factors that you should consider when selecting a watch from the Mondaine stable. All the watches are of superb quality but certain watches will do certain jobs better than others.

To get started, ask yourself a few simple questions:

* What is your lifestyle?
* In what type of environment will you wear the watch?
* In what types of activities will you participate while wearing the watch?

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, and no rigorous hobbies such as gardening, then perhaps a simple clear watch like the basic EVO is for you. If you are older, or have restricted vision, then again this watch may be for you. Gardening and simple DIY tasks are no problem for this watch, but if you have more rugged or demanding hobbies you might think a more robust watch would be better. Variations include Date or Day Date options which are clearly visible.

To get started, ask yourself a few simple questions:
If your live a casual lifestyle, enjoy sports and outdoor activities, and your watch will occasionally be exposed to the elements, consider purchasing a sports watch. If you’re a sports-enthusiast, think about a chronograph which features a stopwatch function. If your lifestyle revolves around the corporate world and you want a watch that projects a professional image, consider the classic and timeless design. For a traditional look, choose a leather strap. For a look with a modern edge, select a larger size with a steel metal bracelet. Above all, when selecting your watch, look for one that conveys your unique personality and individuality. The watch must ultimately be one that you love.

Consider the maintenance the watch will require.
The manual automatic watch should be cleaned and serviced every three years or so to ensure trouble-free time keeping and to retain the value of the watch. In quartz (battery operated) watches, the watch should be serviced when the battery is replaced. A watch battery usually lasts between two and five years, depending on the type of watch. When the second hand starts jumping every five seconds, it is time to have the battery replaced. Because the majority of people own quartz watches, it is very critical to stress that battery changes should be done by Mondaine authorised service center. If for some reason this is not possible the battery change should be done by a professional watchmaker. The reason for this is that during the battery replacement, the o-ring (gasket) must also be replaced and reattached to the back cover of the watch, then the watch must be properly sealed and undergo a water resistance test. A wide variety of businesses now offer “while-you-wait battery replacements,” allowing you to walk away happy with a new battery and a watch that is once again running. Unfortunately, you may later be disappointed to find water droplets on the dial of your watch, or worse yet, no signs of leakage–that is until your watch stops completely. Then it may be too late to repair the watch without a complete overhaul.

Consider your wrist size.
How big is your existing watch and are you happy with the size and profile? Are you thin wristed or large wristed? If you do not have a preference, check the circumference of your wrist and the measurement across the wrist where you normally wear a watch. Mondaine watches for men vary from 38-43mm. Some people prefer to wear a large watch to make a fashion statement – do you favour this?

Before you take the dive, check for water-resistance!
Water-resistance is measured in bars (unit of pressure, 1 bar being equivalent to 1 atmosphere), and watches are tested at these pressures for a certain period of time. Exceptional pressure, as when diving, may exceed those limits, so if you are a diving enthusiast you will need a watch that can tolerate those conditions. As a general rule, the following guidelines apply: 3 atm (30 m or 100 ft): rain, gentle splash, swimming, splashing in pool, but not heavy diving or jumping 10 atm (100 m or 330 ft): minimum for sport diving 20 atm or more for serious diving

The above is only intended to clarify the choice process – above all enjoy your purchasing process, as it should be as enjoyable as wearing it. Don’t forget, your Mondaine retailer is experienced at this process so talk to them and ask their opinions.