Traditional Czech Brands from the Comfort of Home

Traditional Czech Brands from the Comfort of Home

When you want something truly Czech, find inspiration in our tips

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Would you like to travel and bring home a practical, but yet traditional Czech souvenir? Unfortunately, that is not possible at the moment, but we will introduce you to some souvenirs from traditional Czech brands you may like to check out and order online from the comfort and safety of your home.

Measure time with Prim

In Nové Město nad Metují in east Bohemia, handmade watches have been manufactured for almost 70 years. It is one of a few manufactures in Europe that makes all the components. From the movements to the cases and dials. And yet, the prices of the watches, whether men’s or women’s, are not as high as those for Swiss watches. Prim watches have accompanied the lives of most Czechoslovak citizens and today, they are coming back into the spotlight, with a bit of nostalgia, becoming popular both with the young and old. You can check out the watches at: https://www.prim.cz/en/ or buy them in the manufacturer’s e-shop at: http://www.prim-shop.cz/.

Koh-i-noor… Not only for artists

Do you have a regular pencil at home? It is a thing we take for granted these days. It is something that has always been there, just reach into the drawer. However, the reality was different before 1789. For example, architects and designers only used graphite at that time and they looked more like miners at the end of the day. And so, designer Josef Hardtmuth invented a wooden graphite case in his Viennese studio and the pencil was born. He founded Koh-i-noor and started to mass-manufacture pencils and writing accessories. After he died, the manufacturers moved from Austria to České Budějovice in south Bohemia, which was still moving within one country – the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Koh-i-noor has a few plants in south Bohemia, where they still manufacture writing and painting accessories to this day, and you can buy their products all over the world… Or in the e-shop.

Dermacol for stars

Dermacol was founded in the 1960s in Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia. The ideal of beauty has changed many times since then, but one thing remains the same – women want to look good and beautiful. Dermacol developed one of the first cover make-ups in the world, originally for medical purposes, in the field of aesthetic medicine to be more specific. However, a few years later, the products were already being used in Hollywood. Today, Dermacol makes almost anything one might need for skin care. From shower gels, lotions to make-up. You buy their products, for example, at https://eu.dermacol.cz/.

Botas – shoes with tradition

The traditional Czech sports shoes are celebrating their 71st anniversary! The manufacture of shoes in the town of Skuteč in east Bohemia started as early as in 1534, but the production of Botas, the traditional sports leather shoes, started in the first half of the 20th century. To the Czechs, Botas is a synonym of sports shoes, or trainers. It speaks volumes about the tradition of these shoes. Today, you can buy Botas shoes for sports such as volleyball, hockey or cross-country skiing, as well as town shoes of various colours and designs. A few years ago, some students at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague came up with an idea about how to revive interest in Botas shoes. This resulted in the Botas 66 shoe, based on the 1960s design with a modern twist. You can order them, for example, at https://www.botas.cz/botas-66.

Detoa wooden toys

Do you have children or grandchildren? Then you should definitely check out our last tip for a traditional Czech product. In the Jizerské Mountains in the north of Bohemia, there is a factory owned by Detoa that has been manufacturing wooden toys for generations of children all over the world for more than 110 years. They make everything there – dominoes, wooden trains, or cartoon character figures. It might be difficult to find someone who sells the Czech wooden toys in your neighbourhood, but you can check out their website at https://www.detoa.cz/products – or write to the factory. They will definitely be happy about that!

Thonet: when you want a chair with a story

Six pieces of hand-bent beech roundwood, two bolts and ten woodscrews. This is what it takes to make the iconic tonetka, or Chair Number 14, the best-selling chair in history. It was created 160 years ago and it inundated the world together with other bent furniture manufactured by Michael Thonet. You will find the chairs used at Microsoft and Google, in Starbucks, or in the office of Preciosa in Singapore. And also in many cafés and homes. The chair has been captured in paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Renoir and Dalí. Today, you will still find the TON Company in Moravia, in the small town of Bystřice pod Hostýnem, where they still make bentwood furniture. And where can you buy your own tonetka chair? For example, at https://www.ton.eu/en/.

Would you like some Tonak?

Tonak – a brand that has already experienced its best years. It is not the fault of customers that their products are no longer as widely purchased. Tonak is a hat factory. And hats are no longer as fashionable as they were a hundred and more years ago. Tonak was founded in the north of Moravia, in the town of Nový Jičín in 1799. Yet the hat-making tradition there dates back a few centuries. Even though hats and other headgear are no longer popular with Europeans, there are cultures where this tradition is still alive. And so, Tonak exports 80% of their products out of the country. You can find Tonak hats on the heads of Jews in Israel and the USA, Muslims in Africa and Asia (fez), in Japan, or on the heads of native women in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes. If you cannot find a local seller in your neighbourhood, check out the Tonak website, where you can even try on a hat online.