SAFE AND SOUND
From watches and diamonds to cigars and single malts, across the world, right now, billions of pounds’ worth of luxury goods are stored in Döttling’s renowned safes. Based in the German town of Sindelfingen (also home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche production), Döttling employs a team of 16 restorers, leatherworkers, smiths and painters to design innovative bespoke security solutions.
Andreas K. Schlittenhardt, the owner, says that many of the company’s bestselling innovations come from clients’ ideas. For example, the company’s unique travel safe (titled the Guardian) was designed after a customer sought help for a secure way to travel with his watches. The workshop produced a safe that could be carried as hand luggage, pass through x-rays, and guarantee the client the security he needed to fly with luxury items in tow.
Another innovation from the last few years is the safe room: a secure walk-in wardrobe built into a property that allows clients more time with luxury possessions. “If you open a safe, and it’s somewhere in your office, you always tend to close it quite quickly again,” says Andreas. “But if you have a safe room, you can go in, close the door, and take your time. It gives you more freedom, more liberty.” The trend is now well under way: Döttling has already produced nine safe rooms, and has a further three in development.
Although the company is known for its innovation, craftsmanship at Döttling extends well beyond creating new models like the safe rooms and the Guardian. The Legends series of antique restorations is what Andreas calls Döttling’s most “emotional” achievement. The range currently includes an early 20th-century Wilhelminian security cabinet, a mid-19th century Napoleonic coffre-fort, and even one piece originally commissioned by the last Medici of Milan in 1740. Naturally, whatever the antique, the commissions are always beautifully functioning safes, with fittings inside made to present-day German security standards.
Next year marks the company’s centenary and, to celebrate, Döttling will be commissioning a number of artists to produce unique editions for sale at auction next year. Names won’t be announced until the autumn, but given past collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld it’s safe to assume Döttling will lock in the leading talent.