Perfect synthesis of technology and creativity, of design and communicative power.
The Cifra 3 has been the stylistic hallmark of Solari for over fifty years.
Designed by Gino Valle at the end of the sixties, it is recognised as a twentieth century design icon throughout the world, and is part of the permanent collections of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York and the New Design Museum in London.
Today the Cifra 3 is the smallest clock with direct readout still in production, featuring the flap system created by Remigio Solari and patented in the sixties
World-renowned architect, designer, painter: Gino Valle didn’t want to create simple objects, but was interested in their relationship with people, in their communicative power, in how they changed the environment and the space in which they were placed.
In 1954 he began working with Solari on the design of an electromechanical flip clock, the Cifra5, which won the “Compasso d’Oro” (Golden Compass”) in 1956: four flaps of ten digits to make up all the hours of the day.
Subsequently, with the help of Belgian inventor John Myer, Valle successfully designed the roller with forty flaps, containing digits and letters, and at the end of the sixties he created the Cifra 3.
For Valle, design was the language of objects and the Cifra 3 is the finest expression of this: it keeps time and describes its incessant flow through the movement of the flaps and the distinctive flipping sound.
“I don’t make objects,I establish relationships”
Rollers with digits which flip over cleanly and precisely, minute after minute.
With no hands to interpret, the Cifra 3 is a table clock with white digits on a black background. The lettering has a different typeface for hours and minutes and was chosen by Massimo Vignelli at the end of the sixties.
Its functioning has remained unchanged since 1966: with periods of alternating current, which are converted into units of time, and the motor which generates the rotary movement of rollers and flaps.
Simple and perfect.
Today, just as it was fifty years ago, the mechanical perfection of the Cifra 3 is still dependent on the skilled craftsmanship of the person who assembles tha flaps by hand, one by one, in a specific sequence.
It was back in 1725 that the Fratelli Solari Company, known as the “Antica e premiata fabbrica di orologi da torre*” was established in Pesariis, a small town in the mountains of Carnia in Friuli.
In the twentieth century brothers Fermo and Remigio Solari transformed their entrepreneurial vision into business success with the invention of the flap system which revolutionised the display of time and public information throughout the world.
Today, with a design and production completely Made in Italy, Solari continues to write the history of time and industrial clockmaking with solutions that range from clocks for the home to public information display systems, from the management of parking areas to major international hubs.
Solari is the company of time: time for the individual, time for travellers and large transportation, time for smart cities, time at the service of communities and the quality of life.
Solari Lineadesign is an entrepreneurial vision which is primarily aimed at retailers. Those who sell solari lineadesign will become a bridge between history, future and people; a showcase for the creativity, spirit of invention and beauty for which Italy is renowned throughout the world.
The strategy pursued for solari lineadesign is therefore one of selective distribution, comprising carefully chosen, outstanding retail outlets which will be key partners in a project which will evolve over time: starting with the re-launch of historic clocks, and then continuing with the development of cutting-edge new products stamped by Solari’s experience, technology and industrial innovation.