Flip Clocks – The Story

We can define the flip clock as the vintage furnishing clock par excellence. The history of this watch begins in Italy with the foundation of the Solari company in Udine in 1948. Remigio Solari, a self-taught engineer, is its founder. Early prototypes had metal (later plastic) folders attached to a rotating mechanism within a glass display.

The Solari board, as it would become known, was installed at the Liège-Guillemins station in Belgium in 1956. Never before had information been displayed in this way. It immediately became a success and an industrial standard in rail and air terminals. Travelers around the world in train stations or airports rely on the Solari card to consult departure and / or arrivals. After Remigio’s death in 1957, his brother Fermo incorporated the ingenious technology of the Solari card into the watch. The turning point came in 1965 when Gino Valle designed the Cifra 3, the symbol of flip clocks. A timeless masterpiece preserved at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Science Museum in London.

The technology of today’s flip clocks remains essentially the same as that of the past. The arrivals / departures tables at airports and the station vane clocks have not been replaced by common LED displays. Why? Some have, but a majority still stick to this classic. World-famous international airports, such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, continue to use giant billboards operated by the mechanism invented by engineer Solari.

Orologio a Palette Hotel Twa NY

Orologio a Palette Hotel Twa NY

The reasons are various:

The vane display does not require special light conditions for viewing. It remains clearly visible even in very strong lighting conditions, making it an ideal choice for outdoors (train stations and bus terminals) over many digital LEDs or LCDs, which are quite sensitive to lighting conditions.


Little energy is needed to operate the vanes . This is a great way to be eco-friendly especially when you have a lot of information to view. The vane screens are virtually fault-tolerant in the event of a power failure. Should there be a blackout, the information displayed on the board remains as it is! This works as an additional emergency backup plan.

The Palette Clocks are Cool . Even if technology has advanced, the style of a flip clock will always be a timeless classic. Apple Computer Inc. (Macintosh) and other cell phone manufacturers such as HTC have favored the flip clock style by using it in many of their screen savers and other applications.

Thanks to their clarity and visibility they are very useful in homes hosting elderly people with memory problems

The original version of the Cifra 3 also inspired the world of furniture design. There are many models born looking at the icon of Valle. Twemco, a company from Honk Kong, which produces various models and colors, has been added to Solari’s production. Among the many models we offer there are Vintage Style Alarm Clocks like AL30 , Table clocks Icons Arredo (BQ38). Large Watches (BQ170) identical to those present in the Railway Terminals. With the passage of time they have therefore become the icon of Vintage Furnishing Watches.

Another use of these versatile watches is in the homes of people with memory problems. A clear and direct reading of the date and time from a distance is what the BQ12 model offers . The common element of all models is the high quality and zero maintenance required.


Why Buy Them

    • High Accuracy
    • Card movements Made in Germany checked one by one
    • Less than 1 second loss per month!
    • Automatic day adjustment for meal License.