1956 — 1960
The entrepreneurial venture which will lead to Palomar begins: the Palchetti family (father and son) found the 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.
Left: Fabio Palchetti, 8 years old
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
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, Gold Winner of the German Design Award.
2014 — 2015
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. 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 bike world keeps inspiring our company’s creativity: here comes Lochness, the innovative multishape bike lock.
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. We love water! Phil the bottle is the compact, small and precious city bottle designed for tap water. Each Phil the bottle is dedicated to a specific city and 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.
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. 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 is a magic box that connects you to the world's Live city radio stations. This radio won The Adi Design Index and it is nominated for the ADI Compasso d’ORO 2022. With this project Palomar, gives its contribution of innovation in the world of Internet of Things.
We created a new shape for the world! The Dear World collection of globes and wallpapers is born. The designer Martì Guixè has drawn an abstraction of the Urban Plan of the most famous cities in the world which becomes the illustration of the new City Diaries notebooks.
Sebastian Bergne started the collaboration with Palomar and designed a smart solution to collect those small objects that we all take home as memories of our travels: MemoryMaker, Souvenir collector.
CityGrapher is the first product born from Palomarlabs Master Class “Grandi Idee per Piccoli oggetti”, the short intensive Master Classe in product design promotes by Palomar (www.palomarlabs.com) and - in this case - led by the designer Giulio Iacchetti. It’s an innovative “normografo urbano” that allows you to transform marks into drawings. Using the CityGrapher you can correctly draw the specific and original architectures of the cities of the world.
The cofounders Cristina and Fabio are glad to share with you a little bit about who they are and the place that inspires them every day, through this article published in the Magazine Elle Décor.