1986 Bang & Olufsen Beocom 1000 Telephone

Back in the day, this landline phone would have cost as much as a decent cell phone today.

Having lived through the 80’s and 90’s, I don’t much care to re-live their design trends, but sometimes you just have to recognize fundamentally good design aesthetic (I’m adding in the ‘aesthetic’ part because the B&O approach often puts things like mass appeal and functionality in a different priority than say, Apple or Ford). At a time when typical phones had rounded shapes and were just beginning to shake their ties to the rotary dial phones of the previous generation, making a flat-faced square phone was cutting edge. Advances in manufacturing techniques, materials and electronics meant you could replace many of the moving parts of older rotary phones and compress them into a small space .  True to B&O standards, the fit and finish is immaculate and precise.  Considered proportions are evident: the handset is .33 of the height of the main body panel, whose height is 1.5x its width.  The angle of the face squarely meets the pads of your fingers when placed on your desk a couple of feet from you. It’s heavy, with a dense feeling and solid engagement when you put down the handset.  The slide panel reveals a paper phone book for the presets, and instructions on programming the ringer.

Yes, programming the ringer. It has separate bass and treble controls.


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