Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: Braun AW60 Chronograph


I have a complete obsession for objects that combine design and mechanical function, and the wristwatch may be the platonic ideal of such an object (with the automobile close behind).  I've built up a little design-focused collection of watches -- so far nothing over $350 or so -- that I'm planning to post reviews of over time.  It turns out there are some really great, well-built designs out there that aren't frivolity status indicators.  So to begin...

Braun AW60 Chronograph
I had a bunch of watches growing up (from the still-awesome Casio calculator watch to a variety of Swatches), but the Braun AW60 chronograph was the first that I thought of as "grown-up" watch.  I bought this in college, and for $300 from a Danish mail-order retailer it was my most expensive watch for a long time; I blew months of CD money on it because I couldn't imagine a more perfect watch:  a small, light-weight magnesium chronograph with a design focused on the beauty of function.  If I can make any claim to status, it's that I bought this a decade before Dieter Rams became an ID geek idol.

It's cliché to say a watch looks like an instrument (aviation, nautical, scientific, etc.), but to my eye Braun makes virtually the only watches that are designed like pure time-keeping instruments.  Most "instrument" watches have a design that only references the surface aesthetics -- the styling -- of an instrument for another purpose.  That isn't to say that I'm not into a nice altimeter-looking watch, but I still have more engineer's respect for the Braun than just about anything.

To violate my own point a bit, I'd like to draw a comparison to another instrument that I use somewhat anachronistically:

Mitutoyo Caliper

This is a caliper that was passed to me from my dad.  The ones you get today are really similar, except the readout is a little LCD instead of a mechanical dial directly connected to the mechanism of the caliper like this has.  The LCD lets me switch between metric and SAE units and re-zero my scale digitally, but, much like most digital watches (or reading the time from your cellphone for that matter), it loses the elegance and simplicity of the dial.

I love that the design of the "face" of the caliper is so similar to that of the Braun.  Both were designed to be easy to read at less than arm's length on an inch-wide gauge, with a similar granularity of "measurement".  Dieter discovered the same simplicity that the designer of the caliper did, and wrapped it in just the right styling details to make a great looking watch.

6 comments:

louisjkim said...

I have this watch and loved your post about it.

Unknown said...

ugg australia outlet
reebok shoes
vans store
cheap oakley sunglasses
polo ralph lauren outlet
micahel kors
michael kors purses
ralph lauren uk
reebok
valentino bags
ray ban outlet store
designer handbags wholesale
nmd adidas
nike free run flyknit
rolex watches for sale
ray ban outlet store online
cartier love ring
fitflop uk
michael kors outlet online
kobe 11
nike air max 90
coach outlet online
stan smith adidas
ferragamo
true religion uk
louis vuitton handbags
cheap ray bans
air max 90
prada sunglasses wholesale
polo ralph lauren outlet
converse sale
chi flat iron
pandora charms
rolex submariner
discount oakley sunglasses
20160714caiyan

Unknown said...

coach outlet store online clearance
ralph lauren sale clearance uk
broncos jerseys
jordan shoes
giants jerseys
adidas yeezy boost
michael kors outlet store
hollister clothing store
kate spade bags
ray ban sunglasses sale
xushengda0325

ninest123 said...

yeezy boost
new balance shoes
birkenstocks
air jordan shoes
adidas superstar
pandora charms sale clearance
ray ban sunglasses
vasque boots
air max 2019
ralph lauren sale clearance
mt0523

yanmaneee said...

nike shoes
kyrie 3 shoes
golden goose superstar
coach bags sale
moncler coat
hermes birkin bag
adidas tubular
ralph lauren uk
retro jordans
balenciaga

yanmaneee said...

goyard bags
air jordan
golden goose shoes
yeezy
goyard tote
goyard
supreme clothing
yeezy
balenciaga
yeezy supply

Post a Comment