Braun AW 10: Minimalism is a Bitch


It’s a hard to be a minimalist watch designer. The more you take out of a design, the more important each element becomes. As does the relationship between the elements. Have a look at the resurrected Braun AW 10 watch above. Notice . . .

the size shape of the hour and minute hands. Now look at the yellow second hand: its hue and shape and size relative to the other hands.

Check out the 5 in the date window; it’s a fraction smaller than the numbers ringing the dial. Clock that “Made in” and “Germany” sits just above the indices, bisected by the number 6, leaving a huge amount empty (a.k.a., negative) space.

Yup, there are a lot of decisions that go into creating a simple watch. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Braun designer Deitrich Lubs’ insight into the process [via]:

‘We couldn’t just make a bigger version of the original. The design had to change to quite an extent.’  Lubs describes the new watch as having ‘all the character of the AW 10’ with elements such as the angle of the lugs and the size of the date window changing to accommodate the new scale.

‘With the black version, the font is made bold – it looks more masculine, and we found the fine lines were disappearing and it lacked presence because the black visually compresses the other design aspects,’ explains the designer.

‘Balance is key, so the graphics and printing all had to change. The black ring around the dial masks out the light and looks more compact.’ Other minor adjustments, such as the ventilated strap, reflect Braun’s obsessive attention to detail.

Bottom line: less is more . . . work.

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