Japanese clockmakers TAKATA Lemnos Inc. started out in 1947 in Shirogane-machi, Takaoka, casting brass altar fittings for Buddhist shrines. In 1963, the factory was transferred to Takaoka, where the company is now based. Over the next 20 years, the firm began producing clock frames for Seiko (in those days, Seikosha Co., Ltd.). By 1986, Lemnos had started manufacturing their own clocks in full. They received their first Good Design Award just 3 years later.
The name Lemnos was chosen by company founder Hiroshi Takata, after the island that was home to Hephaestus, god of craftsmen in the Greek mythology.
"A clock is not only for telling us time — a clock is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and design. It forms space. It is not a fading fashion; it is timeless."
Lemnos, Greece. Original photograph by Annatsach — CC.
After facing counterfeiting issues in the late '90s, Lemnos moved away from the casting process and began developing new techniques and materials, using wooden frames and bent plywood to create their designs. Around the same time, at a design awards ceremony in Toyama, Mr. Takata met with current designer Akira Yamamoto, a close associate of the celebrated designer Riki Watanabe.
Akira Yamamoto & Riki Watanabe
The relationship led to the production of the iconic RIKI clock, Lemnos' signature design. The company now sells their designs all around the world, (now including here in Manchester!) We have added a selection of Lemnos clocks to our product lineup, including, of course, the famous RIKI clock, alongside designs from Awatsuji Design and MUJI design team alumnus Yota Kakuda.
The collection includes two sizes of clock finished in bent ply - the RIKI Optima and AWA Toki, designed by Mr. Watanabe and Awatsuji Design respectively. The Campagne model is framed in dark beechwood, with the pared-back design omitting a second hand.
Especially charming and a staff favourite in the shop, the PACE cuckoo clock features a mechanical cuckoo which will bob its head and open its beak as the chime sounds. It was designed by Akira Yamamoto, who heads up the RIKI brand since Mr. Watanabe's passing in 2013.
Finally, Yota Kakuda's City POP alarm clock is the smallest offering, sitting neatly on any desk. Kakuda's past career designing for MUJI is clear to see, with a simple utility to the design reminiscent of Braun. The City POP is elevated through the use of black beechwood, elegantly framing the minimalist face design with the single red alarm hand standing out boldly.
Thank you for reading! We hope you'll enjoy the beautiful craftsmanship of Lemnos. You can browse the collection here.