Built to last
“This is no ordinary keyboard: it’s more like a typewriter.”
While designing our keyboards, we drew inspiration from industrial machinery of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Those machines were built to last and we wanted our keyboards to be equally as tough, well-made and reliable.
We’re committed to providing long-lasting quality and always advocate repairing instead of discarding. Our keyboards are not built with economic efficiency in mind, but rather with a focus on ensuring maximum longevity.
That’s why we use the most robust premium quality materials available. It’s also why we carefully engrave and hand-paint the characters on the keys, instead of simply printing them on.
People form stronger emotional relationships with durable, long-lasting products. We’re proud to produce uniquely beautiful objects that will stand the test of time and may one day be passed on to the next generation.
“We use the most ecological option for every component and process.”
Computers are a central part of so many people’s lives – and we think this should be reflected in the products we use to click and type. Sadly, IT hardware is typically made from the cheapest possible materials and ultimately designed to be thrown away. We wanted to create an alternative, both in relation to the product lifecycle and the sustainability of the manufacturing processes and materials involved.
One of the co-founders of Gebr. Hentschel has a background in international forestry, so we take particular care to source timber from verifiably sustainable sources. The components are sourced from small and medium-sized businesses, because we believe that such companies make a greater contribution towards social and economic sustainability than large corporations.
Our products contain an absolute minimum amount of plastic. Wherever possible, we use components made from durable and recyclable materials such as steel and mineral composites, as well as sustainable wood and organic textiles. Ultimately we aim to replace the few plastic parts in our keyboards with bio-composite alternatives.
We’re passionate about quality products that are designed to be repaired instead of replaced – products that are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
“Two brothers – a forester and an electronics engineer – who share one goal: perfection.”
Gebr. Hentschel was founded by brothers Gunther and Volker Hentschel. Gebr. stands for Gebrüder, which means brothers in German. The pair grew up together in Osnabrück before moving to Berlin to found their own business. They have been perfecting the design of their keyboards since 2008.
As a forestry consultant, Gunther is deeply rooted in the world of wood. His brother Volker has been a gifted electronic engineer since a young age. Over a beer in Gunther’s hobby room, an idea was born. The realization that we could craft a truly exceptional keyboard from wood completely captured our imagination.
“We wanted to create something fresh and new that would outshine all those bland, uninspiring black and grey plastic keyboards. We were also particularly concerned about the throw-away mentality associated with conventional keyboards, given that for us, quality means sustainability above all else. A keyboard should be as sturdy as a typewriter. You should be able to repair it instead of simply throwing away,” explains Gunther.
Volker Hentschel developed his passion for computers at a young age. When he was 13, he build his own computer. Later he completed an apprenticeship as a mechanical technician and discovered the fascinating and creative world of design engineering. In his work, Volker is a relentless perfectionist and generally the last person to be satisfied with the result.
Gunther has lived and worked in tropical countries, where he conducted sustainability audits of forestry companies and monitored their compliance with the associated ecological and social standards. He was particularly bothered by the fact that despite the positive developments and the unique characteristics of wood as a building material, the market almost exclusively demanded wood in the form of a homogeneous mass produced product. This approach pays little attention to the fascinating diversity of this natural material.
These insights laid the foundation for the brothers’ desire to create a unique and distinctive keyboard made from the most aesthetically stunning types of timber. Even though in technical terms it would have been far easier to use other materials, the brothers were determined to produce a wooden keyboard from a single piece of timber. After years of perseverance and testing, they managed to successfully realize their dream.
The result is a product that unites craftsmanship with premium materials and classic design: a keyboard that is yours for life.