Apple licenses Swiss railway clock, knows what time it is

When Swiss federal railway organization SBB and the Mondaine Group pointed out that the iOS 6 clock face looked remarkably like theirs, they weren't so much upset as clearing their throat politely -- it would be nice to get credit, if you don't mind. That kindness has been met with some reciprocity, as SBB has confirmed a licensing deal with Apple that gives the iPad builder rights to use the iconic timepiece in its mobile OS. Exact terms aren't forthcoming, although it's likely not a princely sum when SBB is better known for punctuality than wheeling and dealing. All we know is that Apple can at last live with a good conscience when it checks the time in Geneva.

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SBB and Apple Sign Licence Agreement

BERN, Switzerland , October 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Apple have reached an agreement on the use of SBB's station clock on certain devices such as iPads and iPhones. This arrangement has been mutually agreed by both parties in a licence agreement.

For the use of the clockface on certain Apple devices such as iPads and iPhones, the parties have negotiated an arrangement that enables Apple to use the SBB station clock under a licence agreement. The parties have agreed that the amount of the licensing fee and any further details of the licensing arrangement will remain confidential.

The SBB station clock was designed for the company in 1944 by the engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker . It is a design icon that has obviously lost none of its appeal in the digital age. A special feature of the clockface is its striking red second hand in the shape of a railway guard's signalling disc. Even now it symbolises the innovation and reliability that are key qualities attributed to both SBB and Switzerland as a whole.