The cuckoo clock man: a story of professional independence.

Gian Paolo Bernini   |   Italy

Gian Paolo Bernini, owner of Progetti Srl, interviewed at his production laboratory.
Gian Paolo Bernini, owner of Progetti Srl, interviewed at his production laboratory.

After years of working with subcontractors, Gian Paolo Bernini, a maker of cuckoo clocks from northern Italy, has discovered a new freedom – from both a business and creative perspective – thanks to a

From the Black Forest to the heart of Brianza.

Situated in Carate Brianza (MB), near Milan, a region of Italian craftmanship par excellence, is Progetti Ltd. For over 30 years, this family-run business has produced wall clocks, coat racks, umbrella holders and other furnishing accessories. The product that made them famous around the world - the cuckoo clock.

"It is a truly unique item. A little bird emerges from the clock and sings with the sounds of the Black Forest in the background. The quality of this product is as high as those produced in Germany, and the mechanics come from the heart of the Black Forest, because this is where the cuckoo clock was born,"

comments owner Gian Paolo Bernini.

Detail of a cuckoo clock, a handcrafted product by Progetti Ltd.
Detail of a cuckoo clock, a handcrafted product by Progetti Ltd.

There is a museum dedicated to this very special invention in Triberg, Germany, where on display are some creations by Gian Paolo Bernini himself – who has been declared by a Norwegian journalist as the creator of the first modern cuckoo clock as we know it today. These are cuckoo clocks with high design elements, created in collaboration with talented international designers. They are a winning combination of German technology and Italian creativity.

When Gian Paolo discovered Roland.

Over time, Gian Paolo's business grew, but at some point, that growth plateaued. "We didn't have a machine capable of printing on larger thicknesses, so we were forced to outsource a lot of our processes to subcontractors. This hindered our quality controls and ate into our margins." So, after extensive research, Gian Paolo visited Roland DG in Acquaviva Picena, where he discovered the potential of the LEC2 flatbed printers for UV printing.

Possible applications of the Roland VersaUV LEC2-640S-F200.
Possible applications of the  Roland VersaUV LEC2-640S-F200.

Capable of printing on objects up to 20cm in thickness.

Thanks to its ability to print on any object or surface, up to a thickness of 200mm, Gian Paolo chose the Roland VersaUV LEC2-640S-F200, a flatbed printer with a compact floor width, so it fits into his working environment.

"We went for a Roland because it was clear that it is an extremely versatile machine that adapts well to the various rhythms of production and can work with many different materials without any issues. We needed to print on glass and wood, but also on stone, marble, and terracotta tiles. We can finally do this, and we do it in our own workshop, where we can control the quality of the work at every step. This allows us to maintain profitability while continuing to innovate and come up with new ideas."

Bernini adds:

"Now we're making customised products of the highest quality, even individual items, without making any sacrifices in terms of quality and versatility in the final product."

Thrilled with his new printer, the owner of Progetti Ltd talks about making the most of the material textures that can be printed with the VersaUV LEC2-S, combining them with the exceptional performance of the ECO-UV EUV5 inks.

Stampe UV dai colori vibranti e dettagli ad alta definizione, con Roland VersaUV S-Series.
Vibrant colour UV prints and high definition detail with Roland VersaUV LEC2 S-Series

UV printing, pushed to the highest quality.

The quality of the print is one of the major strengths of the Roland flatbed, together with the wide reproducible gamut (a combination of CMYK, orange and red). It can handle even the most challenging materials thanks to the printable primer, onto which the desired colours can then be printed. As the Progetti team points out, this finishing offers ample opportunity for customisation (which, as we well know, is what makes the difference for printed objects). Finally, the variety of printable materials makes it possible, even with just one device, to undertake several types of graphical applications – from promotional materials and wayfinding/road signs to packaging and industrial applications. This, combined with unparalleled simplicity and speed of execution, has allowed Progetti to immediately begin production with a high level of added value. With their exclusive and highly prestigious clocks, they can continue to build a truly unique professional history.