Why Braun's Watch Designs Are Timeless Classics

When you hear "Braun," you probably think record players, electric toothbrushes, toasters, or possibly even coffeemakers. That's because when Dieter Rams became chief design officer in 1961, the dynamo executive elevated everything at Braun into a piece of utilitarian sculpture by using ten principles for good design. They were, as follows...

1. Is innovative
2. Makes a product useful
3. Is aesthetic
4. Makes a product understandable
5. Is unobtrusive
6. Is honest
7. Is long-lasting
8. Is thorough down to the last detail
9. Is environmentally friendly
10. Is as little design as possible

His Braun design and concepts have resulted in some of the most compelling designs of the past 100 years—but most of the catalog sits on a table, not on your body. Except for the watches.

Using the same functionalist principles of design, Braun watches have a certain elegance due to a simplicity that hits a slightly different mark than the utility of tool watches. From the standard three-hand to the chrono dials' simple arabic numbers, color schemes in black or white, the measured lines give these watches the classic measured look that a majority of northern European design includes. And it's not just visual functionalism. These quartz watches are water-resistant down to 50 meters and sized for all wrists at 40 millimeters wide.

Considering these watches, it's obvious that Braun anticipated contemporary designs rather than having just become old futurism, like smellovision. But if you think about it, the fact that they've been around for decades means that essentially, their modern look has become timeless. Even though, of course, they certainly can give you the time.