100 years. How can we mark such an event? The Kontz family, which is at the head of Luxembourgish company Arnold Kontz Group, came up very quickly with the idea to publish a work that looks back at a century filled with events. Illustrated with period and contemporary photos, the book presents the highlights in the life of the company, whilst paying homage to the men and women who contributed to its development. Run by the fourth generation today, Kontz is one of the oldest family-owned and run companies in Luxembourg still going, and have every intention of continuing to do so. This is the message that must be conveyed through these pages.
“The memory of the company is the memory of a family, so the publication that chronicles its history by the fourth generation seemed commensurate to the event.”
Benji Kontz, CEO Arnold Kontz Group
Solution and added value
Advised and guided by Maison Moderne, the Arnold Kontz Group wished to create a genuine collector’s item, a book that people can leaf through for entertainment as well as its historical value and numerous illustrations from yesterday and today. A book that focuses on its family side, to all customers, staff and partners of the group, and is available for sale in the best bookshops.
In close cooperation with Benji Kontz and Tommy Kontz, Maison Moderne defined the editorial line and a rail line of 265 pages structured in several parts: a major interview with the managers, a visual part that presents the emblematic premises and turns the floor over to ambassadors of the brand and passionate adherents, a historical section retracing the 100 years of the company through several dozen illustrated stories and anecdotes, a zoom in on the sport and cultural sponsoring activities of the group, and finally a presentation of the various lines of business and their development during the past century.
“This anniversary was the ideal moment to cast a glance at the past, remember what had been done and pay homage to those who had made a contribution. It is rather rare nowadays for a company to celebrate its centennial under the same name, in the same sectors and with the same family. We wanted to seize this opportunity. Celebrating this anniversary also had symbolic value for us, since after our strategic reorientation in 2016, we will close this century with fine results and start the next one on solid bases.”
Tommy Kontz and Benji Kontz
Ultra documented, À cent à l’heure boasts no fewer than 345 photos. The choice of a hard cover, in a sober fabric and design, as well as the cover, reflect the prestige side of the four English brands that distribute the group today. The book is accompanied by a box which contrasts with the cover and thus creates a surprise effect. Illustrated with original adverts, it also is intent on showing that the group does not forget its roots: the distribution of cycles and launch of its own brand, AKOR, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Printed in 10,000 copies, À cent à l’heure was unveiled on 31 May 2017 during the centennial celebration at the company headquarters. After the official speeches by prime minister Xavier Bettel and mayor of Luxembourg Lydie Polfer, the managers and Tommy Kontz came on stage to tell their family story, going over the most striking episodes of the book. The guests were then able to discover the book “live”, by visiting an exhibition mounted specially for the occasion. Archival elements and objects presented in the book (cars, motorcycles, bicycles, photos, tables, official documents, etc.) had been carefully collected and presented alongside the corresponding pages in the book. À cent à l’heure was thus the centre of an event that brought together aficionados, but also officials from the world of politics, culture and the media. Offered to the 200 guests on hand, the book is available on bookshops as of 1 June.
“The team of Maison Moderne takes great pride in having been able to support the Kontz family, for a year, in creating this book. And the way it has been used as a central element of the anniversary evening to tell a well thought-out story on stage and an exhibition teeming with archives was simply remarkable.”
Mike Koedinger, CEO of Maison Moderne