The History of Palomar


1956 — 1960

The entrepreneurial venture which will lead to Palomar begins: it’s the Palchetti family (father and son) Paim company. They import the first reflex cameras from Japan to Italy.


1960 — 1990

PAIM extends its range and includes optical instruments, creating the Antares brand of high quality telescopes, binoculars, microscopes and meteorological instruments.

1993 — 2001

The third generation joins the company: Fabio Palchetti becomes CEO of PAIM. Fabio makes a shift in the company’s design and cultural policy. There are innovative projects for observing the sky, the Moon in particular, and a website that makes it possible to build telescopes on demand.


2001 — 2004

Fabio Palchetti and Cristina Cencetti establish the Palomar Company; the company’s name is mainly a tribute to the writer Italo Calvino and his novel Mr. Palomar.

Palomar is located in a historic building in the heart of Florence; it is a fascinating and a typical location that reflects the company’s spirit. The company creates innovative projects in cooperation with major international publishers.

2004 — 2008

ZoomArt is the brainchild of Cristina Cencetti: it is the first optical instrument in the World that is dedicated to observing art in detail. The idea is brilliant and the design is great: ZoomArt is sold in the bookshops of museums all over the World and wins the Honorable Mention ADI XXII Compasso d’Oro.


2008 — 2011

Palomar reiterates its design calling and decides to develop a collection of “timeless” items that satisfy the most simple, and most basic needs and this is what frees them from the vagaries of fads and fashions.

In 2010, Galileo’s Telescope, is a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first astronomical observations. The telescope wins the Honorable Mention ADI XXII Compasso D’Oro.

In 2010 Fabio and Cristina decide to produce the Crumpled City Maps, the soft maps that don’t need to be folded. This marks the beginning of an adventure that made it possible to produce a revolutionary collection of maps of the world’s most fascinating cities.

The Crumpled City Maps are published in the Dezeen Book of Ideas, as one of the world’s most brilliant design projects.

2012 — 2013

In 2012 Palomar continues working on the theme of developing contemporary maps; the results are the felt PinWall Maps. This new collection includes maps of the world, countries and the most important international cities.

In October 2013 the Lucetta magnetic bike light is born. A revolutionary object in design and function.

Lucetta magnetic bike lights immediately receives prestigious design prizes (Design Plus, Solutions, ADI Design Index). Last but not least it is the Gold Winner of the German Design Award.


2014 — 2015

Transparent Maps are the new collection of Travel Map Diaries.

As PalomarLab the company authors both the concept and the design of this new product.

From The Air Collection it is a new collection of city maps which applies an original graphic elaboration to satellite photography.

Palomar’s cartographic series would not be complete without a globe: it is Here, the personal globe.

Nello and Lucina are two objects that complete the family of magnetic accessories introduced with Lucetta. Nello is a magnetic bike bell and Lucina is a wearable light.



Lucetta, magnetic bike lights (design Pizzolorusso) has won the ADI Compasso d’Oro 2016 award and is hailed among the absolute masterpieces of Italian design.

ADI international jury commented about Lucetta «A great little product. An article that gives an intelligent answer to an objective need».

An impressive tribute to the value of simplicity as a form of sophistication and the radical innovation Palomar aspires to in developing its design collection.