The “Bigrigio”: the last of the rotary phones

Siemens Bigrigio, Lino Saltini

Between 1962 and 1985, the Siemens S62 was the most popular phone in Italy.

Designed by Lino Saltini for the German manufacturer and later distributed by the national phone company SIP (Società italiana per l’esercizio telefonico) as the unified model rented out to all customers, the S62 was also known as “Bigrigio”, due to early models’ two tones of gray.

It was the last phone with a cord, bound to the table where it was placed (or the wall where it was mounted), and had a rotary dial: instead of pushing buttons on a keypad, you made the analog wheel turn clockwise holding your finger in a transparent plastic disk right on the front.

Manufactured in a variety of colors (as you can see in our gallery), it retired after almost twenty-five years of honorable service and was replaced by the push-button “Pulsar” – but is still in the memories of nostalgic Italians (and in the homes of many collectors!).

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March 31, 2017