Braun

AW 10 (alu face)

Dietrich Lubs

1989

Braun AW 10 (alu face)

Lubs' first analogue wrist watch design. The face of the AW 10 in many ways resembles that of the ABW 41 domodisque wall clock, an earlier  Lubs design of 1981. In both, elongated dash markings draw numerals into a clustered grouping (Akzidenz fiends will note with disappointment the Helvetica substitution). Although we don't keep an example of Peter Hartwein's  AW 12, since its 1996 issue places the design just outside the Rams period, the model does present an intriguingly relaxed version of the supremely rigorous AW 10.

All incremental markings have been eliminated to leave a dial consisting only in untethered Helvetica numerals. Their position appears fixed only by a slightly heavier weight. Perhaps the idea was to communicate an easier, more laid back attitude to time keeping. The virtue of Lubs' original design, however, lies precisely in the fact that it does not seek to communicate anything at all beyond the device's function as a chronometer.

For much the same reason, the AW 10 serves as a useful corrective to the recent wave of  so-called 're-issued' Braun wristwatches. Of these entirely new designs, the ladies' watches (Braun never produced watch designs according to sex but only according to the need to know the time) are greater in every dimension than the AW 10. The mens' watches are larger to an almost grotesque degree. The idea that a watch, indeed any object, should symbolise the wearer's status is, of course, absolutely anathema to the Braun project as it used to be.

analogue wrist watches see also:

AW 10 (black face / grey bezel)

AW 20 (black face w/o numerals)

AW 50 T

body / bezel: black thermo plastic

approx diameter: 33 mm

approx thickness: 6 mm

price: £140