Braun's functionalist approach to household goods made the German brand one of the most influential manufacturers of the 20th century. This success was largely due to its association with a group of pioneering European designers, chief among them the young Dieter Rams.
Rams was appointed head of Braun’s design team in 1962, and in his 40-year career that followed with the brand, he set about fulfilling co-owner Erwin Braun’s mission: to create "honest, unobtrusive, practical devices".
Whatever the product, its constituent elements were pared back, arranged in the most rational manner, and realised in a careful combination of materials and colours. Rams applied this approach to everything from hi-fi systems to calculators and electric razors for the brand, but it was perhaps the watches and alarm clocks that he designed – often in collaboration with colleague Dietrich Lubs – in which Braun’s design mission was most purely expressed.
Rams and Lubs' designs have inspired watchmakers well into the new millennium. Manufacturers such as Paulin and Uniform Wares both cite the duo as an inspiration. So the announcement that Rams and Lubs' designs would be reappraised to create a new range of Braun Watches was highly anticipated.
Launched under license by British watch manufacturer Zeon, designer Michael Carr adopted many of the pair's working principles. But Carr didn’t just look to the past. "We designed each model for a modern purpose, utilising the most up-to-date materials and innovative technology to produce a forward-thinking watch range," he explained.
The success of that decision has been confirmed by the iF awards received by five watches from the range, two of which were won by the Braun BN0035 chronograph in 2012. For Carr, however, it's merely "a pleasure to work on a range that is so pure and honest in its design ethics. We take pride in continuing what Braun started."