According to Immanuel Kant the schematism of pure understanding can exist only with the notion of time.“The sensuous condition (time) under which alone pure concepts of the understanding (the Categories) can be used.” *
Pure concepts of the understanding are abstract representations of objects in general.
However, they can result in thought about particular, specific internal or external objects if they are related to time. All concepts are derived from perceptions, therefore pure concepts (Categories) are based on pure perceptions. The purest perception, or schema, is time. Time has the purest relation to sensation that is possible. It is the mere form of sensation because sensations must be felt in succession. Therefore, time was designated by Kant as the purest possible schema of a pure concept.
Talking about a pure concept that can express time, an Italian company, Solari Udine, is putting back on the market an extremely succesfull masterpiece model: Cifra 3 – a pure concept expression.
Solari Udine has revolutionized the way in which we view and show the time to the people since 1725. With a design and production completely “Made in Italy”, Solari continues to write the history of time and of the industrial clock even today, with solutions that range from clocks for the home to public information display systems, from parking area management to the great international hubs.
Massimo Paniccia, President and CEO of Solari Udine, said about this comeback:
“Putting Cifra 3 back into production is an act of love towards those timeless objects, that have a story to tell and that represent the beauty of Italy throughout the world”.
Designed by Gino Valle and characterized by a flap system created by Remigio Solari and patented in 1966, the Cifra 3 clock is recognized throughout the world as a design icon of the 20th century, so much that it is a part of the permanent MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) collection in New York and of the Science Museum collection in London as well as the permanent Triennale Design Museum collection in Milan.
In 2000, the Metropolitan in New York dedicated an exhibit as a tribute to the 20th century, divided into periods of 25 years: Cifra 3 was one of the five Italian pieces chosen to celebrate design between 1950 and 1975.
The operation of Cifra 3 is simple, perfect and unchanged since 1966:4 flaps of 10 numbers that snap in a solid, crisp, precise manner, minute by minute, displaying every hour of the day. Nobody, in 50 years, has been able to replicate the mechanical perfection of the flaps that even today are rigorously assembled by hand in the Udine factory, by our skilled tailors of time.
* Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A 136, 1781
Photo courtesy of Solari Udine