A few months ago, I was introduced to the Swiss company KWC, a company that has completely changed the way I look at kitchen and bath faucets. From award-winning designs to innovative features I was unexpectedly affected by the beauty and unparalleled functionality of KWC’s designs. The morning I spent at KWC America in Norcross, GA was an experience that has left an indelible impression on this self-professed design aficionado.
I had the pleasure of interviewing a member of KWC’s management team, and I wanted to share what makes this company so noteworthy. My goal is to always bring the most cutting edge products to my readers, and the offerings from KWC certainly deliver.
Tell us a little about KWC and its mission.
As one of the world’s leading brands of premium faucets, we combine innovation, precision and aesthetics in sophisticated solutions for our customers. We want to make sure than an investment in KWC pays off-not just now… but in the future.
Can you share with my readers a little about the company?
In the middle of the 19th century in Switzerland, people in the city of Unterkulm lacked opportunities for any leisure activities. Adolf Karrer decided to start a company in this valley to develop and produce mechanical music boxes for their entertainment.
At the end of the century, Thomas Edison invented the gramophone, which became a problem for Karrer and his music boxes. Combining his know-how of metal manufacturing and the professional skills for precision, Karrer and Eugen Weber (who joined the company in 1888) decided to produce faucets.
By 1914, The Hotel Negresco in Nice, France, and various other international establishments were equipped with KWC kitchen and lavatory faucets. The letters KWC are an abbreviation for Karrer, Weber & Company, the name the company took in 1919.
What makes KWC & its products unique in the market?
The KWC brand is defined by innovation, precision and aesthetics.
KWC developed and patented the world’s first single-hole kitchen faucet with a pull-out hand spray in 1957. We also have a patented highflex™ spring hose technology that we introduced in 2008, the first of it’s kind in the world, which offers unprecedented flexibility. Both the hose and spray head can swivel independently of each other a full 360 degrees. Another unique feature is the flexGuard™, a ceramic-disc cartridge that “drives” the KWC faucets and allows for variable control of flow rate and temperature. It also seals the cartridge from possible contaminants ensuring cleaner water. The COOLFIX® feature is an energy saving concept. The center starting position of the COOLFIX® delivers cold water, hot water is delivered only when you need it ensuring that energy is not wasted heating water, underlining our commitment to preserving water for future generations.
I am also proud to say our designs have won several awards from international experts for their unique aesthetics and user-friendly ergonomics.
With several new products slotted for introduction in 2015, what are some of the outstanding features that you’d like to share with my readers?
The KWC ZOE basin-mounted lavatory faucets will feature a spout that swivels 90 degrees or 45 degrees in either direction from its center point shape making it easier to rinse soap and toothpaste from the basin without splashing the surrounding areas.
Also, we are excited to introduce the touch light PRO feature within the ZOE product line. Touch light PRO is an award-winning concept in electronic faucet operation that enhances ease of use and safety in the home. Slightly depressing the cylindrical control activates one of three pre-set temperature and flow-rate programs. An LED light ring gives an indicator of the temperature and flow rate selected. KWC ONO touch light PRO, introduced in 2012, includes two electronic controls one of which is permanently mounted or an optional completely wireless and portable touch operated device that can be positioned virtually anywhere near the kitchen faucet. At the ISH trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, KWC unveiled the ZOE touch light PRO that will combine a pull-out spray available late 2014. The touch light Pro will utilize LUMINAQUA® technology which allows light and water to interact enhancing visibility for the user by acting as a task light whether the flow of water is on or not.
What is the thought process behind the design of Zoe which is scheduled to be released early this year?
KWC believes if a consumer is drawn to the design language of a particular product line then they should have the option of using it throughout the entire living space. So KWC challenged NOA Design Studio of Aachen, Germany, the designers of the KWC ZOE kitchen faucet, to also design the new KWC ZOE bath faucet which launched April 1.
NOA was tasked with designing a completely new premium product incorporating the latest trends in architecture and interior design. The bath faucet design echoes the same elegantly curved shape of the original kitchen faucet. The ZOE takes inspiration from a “parabolic jet of water” resulting in a form that creates a new sculptural image every time the spout is swiveled, and a product that can be included in any traditional, transitional or contemporary space. It’s also available in a wide array of colors from champagne to classic black to suit all kinds of different tastes and lifestyles.
Although the product is available in 50 countries, what do you think drives its mass appeal in the U.S.?
KWC is highly regarded by those “in-the-know,” especially among architects and designers. KWC draws on its long company tradition to ensure that its products provide value and make an impact around the world.
Thanks to innovative technical features and quality Swiss production, our products have a long usable life and stay out of the waste stream as long as possible. Thoughtful — and not trendy — design makes sure our products are relevant now and for a long time to come.
Where can a potential buyer purchase the product?
KWC products are available at decorative plumbing retailers. Of these, most are independent, boutique showrooms. These showrooms have a variety of KWC products on display and in stock, and their trained salespersons can assist in selecting the product that bests meets the consumer’s needs.
An up-to-date list of authorized dealers, including KWC Destination Showrooms, is available on their website, www.kwc.us.com.
I hope you seriously consider using KWC products in your next kitchen or bath project, and if you have a chance visit one of their Destination Showrooms, you’ll soon see what all the “buzz” is about. For more information about the complete line of faucets available visit www.kwc.us.com
Until next time,
BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZED.
As always we are committed to bringing the best in design to our readers and while we received compensation for this post- all thoughts, musings and opinions are entirely our own.