LORENZ is an Italian watch brand established in 1934.
Among the first to sense the potential of design applied to the watchmaker’s art was Tullio Bolletta, the founder of Lorenz, an Italian watch-making brand whose name was inspired by the technician with whom the very young Tullio used to work. Below are the company’s most important milestones from the year of its foundation to today, highlighting its development in the design industry.
From the Golden Compass received in 1960 for the Static table clock, designed by Richard Sapper, to the Neos collection of 1986, celebrated twenty years later in a competition among young designers and the production of new models designed by the Spanish company CuldeSac, and finally Lorenz Lab, a new in-house fashion centre, inaugurated in July 2006.
In 1934, the master watchmaker, impassioned artisan, full of ideas and deep intuition, opens his studio in Milan. It is here that the founder’s ideas take form and become the first, innovative Lorenz watches.
In 1938, in Via Montenapoleone, in the pulsating heart of the city, the master Bolletta begins to create watches that will intertwine throughout the decades and to today at the cutting-edge of Italian design. And they will consecrate Lorenz’s vocation to interpret it at the highest levels. First through Tullio’s dedication, then the dedication of the generations that followed him, this vocation for design will remain a constant in the company’s production policy and that will enrich itself with always new stimuli.
In 1951 Lorenz started developing mechanical movements exclusively for its own watches. Made in Switzerland, they featured 19 and 25 rubies and an Incabloc balance wheel.
1960 | STATIC: TIMELESS SIMPLICITY AND AUSTERITY
Static is the first important achievement of Lorenz design. And indeed, a jury with such famous names as Belgioioso, Magistretti, Magnaghi, Morello and Zanuso assigned the 1960 “Compasso d’Oro” award to the Lorenz Static table clock, designed by Richard Sapper. This is how the jury explained their decision: “The simplicity and austerity of the design in its shape as well as in the materials, the charme of the object, and the classic appeal of the numerals, have won the Lorenz Static clock the 1960 Compasso d’Oro award. The triumph of this design is in its avoidance of a strong tendency, particularly for table clocks, towards the decadent and showy taste which characterises much of this sector.”
1970 | DIRECTIME: THE INNOVATION
In the 1970s, Lorenz continues its race to innovation, presenting Directime, an automatic mechanical jumping-dial watch. Three wheels (hours, minutes, and seconds) positioned to the left of the dial, immediately telling the time. (Pictures). It also continues with the production of high performance mechanical chronographs (anti-magnetic) with steel cases. To the right, the wall clock designed by Albert Leclerc.
1984 | INTRODUCTION OF THE MONTENAPOLEONE COLLECTION
On the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, Lorenz presents Montenapoleone, taking the name of the street where Tullio Bolletta began his relationship with the world of design. The collection distinguishes for its elegance, represented in the shapes, in the technical solutions and in the materials used.
1986 | NEOS: DECORATIVE NEO-MODERN TIME
A quarter of a century after the Static, Lorenz introduces Neos, which repeats the success of the previous collection and makes its mark in the world. The key aspect of the entire series, designed by George J. Sowden and Nathalie Du Pasquier, is the search for an “industrial” time. Neos collection reflects the very latest trends in neo-modern design and its power of expression goes beyond any purely functional concept, giving the watch an intensely decorative role. They come in different variants, leaving room for personal choice, but they are most of all an example of flexible industrialization, an alternative to anonymous and mass production. The collection includes wrist watches, table clocks, and wall clocks.
1992 | SERGIO ASTI EXPANDS THE NEOS COLLECTION
In cooperation with Sergio Asti, Lorenz expanded the Neos collection with several wall clocks.
1994 | LORENZ: THE FIRST SIXTY YEARS
The company celebrates its sixtieth anniversary by designing a watch that could represent its history and the development of the watch, thus introducing the Anniversaire model , inspired by the Lorenz model lines of the 1950s. The model’s signature logo is the same as in the past, and engraved on the back is the famous logo “omino Lorenz” that was a hallmark of the company’s products and communication in the 1960s.
2003 | LORENZ: HISTORICAL COMPANY OF MILAN
Major recognition from the Chamber of Commerce which awards Lorenz with the title “Historical Company of the City of Milan”. After the start of the new millennium, architects and designers give voice to a new explosion of ideas: design spreads and positively infects many industries not previously involved. Lorenz presents the new models of its historical Theatro, Montenapoleone, and Portoro collections that set the brand off in a new direction that continues to evolve, merging the classicism of the watchmaker’s art with the style of Italian design.
2004 | LORENZ CELEBRATES TWO ANNIVERSARIES
The Theatro Chronographe Réserve de Marche model celebrates the company’s 70th anniversary and at the same time the Montenapoleone collection turns 20.
2005 | THE INVITATIONAL CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF NEOS
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of cooperation with the world of design, Lorenz announces an international invitational (international competition by invitation) to develop a model that expresses the best of the brand’s distinctive values: Italian design and the Swiss watchmaker’s technique. The designers selected to participate in the competition are five young men, but already established players on the international design arena: the German Werner Aisslinger, the Spanish company CuldeSac, the American Jozeph Forakis, the Italian Gabriele Pezzini, and the British Theo Williams.
April 2006 | CULDESAC WINS NEOS INVITATIONAL
The winning model Is the one by CuldeSac, the multidisciplinary, creative studio set up in Valencia in 2002, consisting of four designers born between 1967 and 1974. The new Neos, made by Lorenz in accordance with strict Swiss watchmaking tradition, introduces highly innovative manufacturing solutions and combinations of materials.
July 2006 | LORENZ LAB DEBUTS
Lorenz inaugurates its new Lorenz Lab, a source of creative stimulus and style centre whose objective is to conceive and design new models that will be introduced in 2007 and beyond. The Lorenz Lab designer team renews itself at the conclusion of each project pursued.
September- October 2006 | STATIC AND NEOS GO TO CHINA
For more than 45 years, this watch, still in production today with the same design, fascinates aficionados of design throughout the world and is on display at several major international shows and exhibitions. The main features of 2006 are the Static and the new Lorenz Neos, on display at Beijing’s Namoc Museum from September 10 to October 10, 2006, hosting the show “50+2Y ITALIAN DESIGN” celebrating the last 50 years of Italian design.
May 2007 | NEOS BY CULDESAC WINS THE FIRST PRIZES
The new wrist watch, designed by CuldeSac, wins the RedDot Design Award for the “product” category for the superior quality of its design. Neos is also selected in the Adi Design Index 2007.
November 2007 | START OF THE 75 ORE LORENZ COMPETITION
The company holds the 75 Ore LORENZ competition for the stylization of time pieces inspired by the 1930s to celebrate a special occasion, its 75th anniversary (1934-2009), and to highlight the strategic importance and value that Italian design has had over the years for the brand. On the judges panel, in addition to Anna Bolletta (Lorenz S.p.A.), Richard Sapper (panel chairman), Carlo Forcolini (former chairman of ADI and architect), Matteo Ragni (designer), and Kazunori Iwakura (Deputy Manager of Triennale di Milano in Tokyo).
April 2008 | EMO DESIGN WINS THE 75 ORE LORENZ COMPETITION
EMO Design wins the 75 Ore LORENZ competition, presenting the wrist watch Evoke, which will be renamed by Lorenz in 2009 on the occasion of the company’s anniversary. The EMO Design watch “evokes” the 1930s through the signature stylistic elements of the time, without, however, neglecting contemporary taste.
June 2008 | NEOS WINS THE GOLDEN COMPASS
NEOS, the watch designed by CuldeSac, wins the LORENZ Golden Compass 2008, awarded by the ADI panel, for the “personal objects” category.
September 2008 | NEW VERSION OF NEOS: DEBUT OF NEOS ALL BLACK
The Lorenz NEOS is presented in its new ALL BLACK version.
2009 | LORENZ CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF HISTORY
The Milan-based company celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2009. During the course of the year, several projects will celebrate this important milestone, highlighting once again this major and strategic path in the field of design. A major display design concept is conceived for Basel World (world watch-making trade show) and the off-Fair in Milan, coordinated by POLI.design, with design and staging by Martino Berghinz and graphics by Umberto Tolino.
March/April 2009 | PREVIEW OF 75
75, the new name of the watch designed by EMO Design, winner of the 75 Ore Lorenz award, celebrating the brand’s 75th anniversary. Making its world debut at Basel World (March 26 – April 2, 2009), it is part of the Time 2 Design installation on program at the off-Fair in Milan (April 22-27, 2009) as part of the Interni Design Energies show.
Official website: http://www.lorenz.it/