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.



2017 is starting in high gear.

In February Nello the magnetic bike bell won the German Design Award: This is the jury’s statement: Nello represents  a new contemporary interpretation of the bicycle bell. It is innovatively designed in terms of its form and functions. Once again Palomar is rewarded for the design driven innovation it has always pursued.

As winner of the ADI Compasso d’Oro award - with Lucetta magnetic bike light  - Palomar was invited to participate in the very first Italian Design Day, on March 2 2017, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It was an important day for Italian design, with 100 Italian designers travelling around the world to promote Italian design and with Palomar seated at the “top table”.

A new small magical radio joins the collections: The Monkey radio/speaker with its innovative design that multiplies its use. The Monkey has immediately  attracted a lot of attention in the design world: the little radio has been reviewed in important design blogs and specialized press, who emphasize the originality and innovation of the “tail” as key element of the project.

The bike world keeps inspiring our company’s creativity: here comes Lochness, the innovative multishape bike lock.


2018 is starting in high gear.
Two German Design Awards are won by Palomar in February 2018.
Both the Monkey radio speaker and the Here Globe are awarded as Winners.

Also at the beginning of the year the City Icons - contemporary souvenir collection is born. Black architectures, symbolic and mysterious, enclosed in a snow globe. An innovative project that rethinks one of the most classical souvenirs, often relegated to the territory of kitsch. The urban landscape - a recurring element in Palomar’s history – becomes travel sculpture, table architecture, metaphysical furnishing.

Palomar’s vocation for analogue cartography is now complemented by a new project: My Crumpled City Map.
This city map is much more than a new variation of the revolutionary Crumpled Maps. The “MY” in the name announces a great project. The most innovative analog design map in the world is now open to user’s creativity: in five easy clicks a personal, original and unique map of the city can be created.

We love water! Phil the bottle is the compact, small and precious city bottle that we have designed for tap water.
Each Phil the bottle is produced in Italy, it is dedicated to a specific city and bears its name. On the back side of each one there is a list of the locations where to find the city’s drinking fountains to fill the bottle, which becomes a sort of analog APP. This list of drinking fountains reminds us that every city has a privileged relationship with water, the most precious and often forgotten public asset. This project is an amusing invitation to use more tap and less bottled water.


Another prize in Palomar’s collection of awards: Lochness, the multishape bike lock wins the German Design Awards 2019!

A new map product is born: the Magic Maps for magic walls. For the first time micro-suction technology is used for a wall map.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the Moon, Palomar introduces THERE, the lunar globe, which shares its shape and materials with its companion HERE, the terrestrial globe, already in the collection. A small astronaut - Neil Amstrong – completes the product an lets you “pin” the locations of moon landings since 1969.


2020 started with two amazing new products: the Here illustrated collection and The City Radio.

We asked four international illustrators to depict their own vision of the world. The result is a collection of colourful, dreamy, wishful and poetic Here globes

The innovative The CityRadio connects you to the world's Live city radio stations.