Clairtone’s G-TV

A modern TV for a modern home

Clairtone Project G G-TV tony mann peter munk
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While forever synonymous with the Project G stereo the Canadian company Clairtone also ventured into television manufacturing. Designed by Tony Mann and introduced in 1966 the pedestalled G-TV was evocative of Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chair. With its cast aluminum base and rosewood and leather body the design of the G-TV was meant to compliment the Project G stereo. And its looks was not the only thing the TV had in common with the Project G. Priced at $1,150 the G-TV was twice the price of an average TV of the time. This was due in part that the very latest (if not the most reliable) technology was used in the television’s manufacture and, as it was a first for the company, production cost overrides.

Clairtone Project G G-TV tony mann peter munk

Canadian model Katyha poses in this publicity photo for the G-TV.

The TV’s designer Tony Mann recalled mocking up the G-TV in a single weekend, “Peter [Munk] called me Friday at four in the afternoon from his car phone. It was my first experience with a car phone. There was a press conference on Tuesday and he wanted to launch the new television in a cabinet that didn’t have a traditional look. Could I have something ready for Tuesday? he asked. I took an old bicycle wheel as reinforcement for the circular base, which I turned in plaster. It was unheard of to have such a short time frame, even today … but that was Peter.” As well as the body design the G-TV’s well-proportioned panel – its small knobs reminiscent of a cockpit instrument panel – was influenced by Mann’s research at Macy’s in New York, where he tested TVs and interviewed TV salesmen and customers. Despite the rush the overall result a well-balanced and elegant piece of technology.

Clairtone's G-TV. Click on image for full view.

However the G-TV did not fare well. Despite an aggressive advertising and promotional campaign Clairtone itself was heading for trouble and the company shut its doors a few years later. In business for only 12 years Clairtone left behind a tremendous legacy of wonderful design that no other Canadian company has ever been able to replicate

Clairtone Project G G-TV tony mann peter munk

The G-TV I use to own. Rare to find one but a working one is nearly impossible. This G-TV has since been donated to the MZTV Television Museum.

1967 commercial for Clairtone’s G-TV directed by Frank Spiess

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7wiQlAt_9Q

Clairtone Project G G-TV tony mann peter munk

Tony Mann (B. 1927) Mann studied industrial design at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts. He spent a decade working as a graphic and exhibition designer in London before moving to Toronto in 1962, inspired, in part, by his friend Hugh Spencer. After joining the CBC, he was hired by Cooper & Beatty Ltd., where he replaced the distinguished typographer Allan Fleming as creative director. Mann left commercial practice and founded the visual communication program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he taught until his retirement in 1998.

 

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Louche Milieu
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Louche Milieu

We have this TV in storage . As far as I know it still works …. It did look fab with the G2 stereo! Later we played pong on it and other early video games after it was relegated to the family room in the house …Did this tv have an early 2 button remote? Cool to learn more about it … Thanks