Top notch gadgets that look pleasingly vintage; we choose five of the best.

Manufacturers have cottoned on to the fact that, while we lap up slick technological advances, we also yearn for the classic designs of the past.

For all the benefits of the march of technology, sales of retro-looking household goods are soaring. We customers like having our cake and eating it, you see.

Take Roberts Radio. The clever people there spotted that customers have never stopped enjoying the satisfying, solid design of its first Revival design of 1956 (which was based on its creator’s wife’s handbag). So, today, they churn out their gorgeous, iconic, old-fashioned-looking radios complete with the latest DAB technology, full-colour displays and Bluetooth. No stylish kitchen is without one.

Here, we select a few other pieces that look pleasingly vintage but benefit from today’s sharpest technology.

Nokia 3310


Nokia have released a revival of their iconic 3310 model, which was the first mobile that many of us ever had. The phone has new functions, like Bluetooth and 3G, as well as reminders of our favourite ones from yesteryear (the game, Snake, has been replaced by a similar one with updated graphics, for instance).

Bluetooth Record Player


The careful, antiquated ceremony of selecting your record, removing it from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable and gently guiding the needle is a far cry from choosing a playlist on Spotify. Clas Ohlson have tapped into that and produced an amazing, retro-looking record player for the 21st century.

746 Telephone


Don’t let anybody tell you that the landline is dead. You’ll find this iconic 1960s version in the chicest hotels and smartest homes. It symbolises a bygone era when good manners and reliability were key. Turns out that it’s wonderfully relaxing to have to sit down when you make a call.

Casio Watch


Sure, it looks like your dad’s watch from the 1980s. OK, so Sigourney Weaver first put it on the map in Alien in 1979. But hipsters the world over are wearing this super-cool update of a classic Casio design today – with pride. Simple, reliable and so unpretentious that it’s almost pretentious, this watch is set to stick around.

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Even in the Instagram age, sales of Polaroid’s Snap Instant Digital Camera are thriving. Nostalgic design and the brand’s 80-year heritage combine perfectly here with modern, digital technology. The novelty value in having print-outs of your photos is astounding.

October 2018