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A Swiss-Made Watch

Our latest collaboration with Braun marks an exciting first for the historic German design company: a Swiss watch.

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Should you encounter something you consider to be especially well-made, intricate, cleverly designed or ingeniously realised, you might remark – to yourself, or whoever’s present – ‘it’s like a Swiss watch.’ Of course, it’s no accident that the Swiss watch has become synonymous with such exceptional standards: Swiss makers have been at work for centuries, elevating their practice to the level of a fine art. Simply put, Swiss watches are very good, and we’re excited to be putting our name to one.

This particular Swiss watch comes courtesy of Braun, a company you might not associate with Swiss horology. That’s because this is the first time a Braun watch has been made in Switzerland, with a Swiss movement. What you definitely would associate Braun with, though, is impeccable design, and this collaboration only serves to reinforce that perception. The latest instalment in our long-running partnership with Braun is an automatic watch, a numbered edition of 100. Its design is typical of the unmistakeable Braun aesthetic, with a clean, uncluttered dial and minimal branding. In keeping with this restrained approach, our contributions are highly understated: a small Paul Smith logo at 9 o’clock, and a second hand that features our Signature Stripe colours. As Paul himself put it: “Braun’s products are so beautiful that I’ve always been very sensitive of not wanting to hardly change anything. Just adding a bit of our twist.”

Paul has been an enthusiastic fan of Braun’s products for a long time, and was in fact the first person in the UK to own one of their now famous calculators when they were released in 1987. Paul has a particular admiration for Dieter Rams, the iconic modernist designer who served as Braun’s head of design for almost 30 years, and whose influence can still be found in many of their products today. You might not think that Rams, a famous minimalist, would have much in common with Paul who, while not quite a maximalist, certainly possesses a more vibrant sensibility. However, Paul is proud to say that the legendary Rams once visited his office – an infamously cluttered Aladdin’s cave, packed floor to ceiling with all manner of strange and wonderful objects – and “didn’t die.” As Paul notes with a hint of pride, “That was, I think, quite an achievement.”

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