Paul’s Braun Collection

In light of our recent collaboration with Braun – a wonderful Swiss-made watch – Paul pays homage to the company’s former design boss by delving into his personal collection of vintage Braun items.

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Among Paul’s many well-documented passions – cycling, photography, stationery, art – is a long-time love of German design giants, Braun. And as an inveterate collector, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Paul has amassed an impressive assortment of vintage Braun pieces. Over the course of a recent conversation about our latest joint project with Braun (a rather special Swiss-made watch, in case you missed it), the full extent of Paul’s fandom became clear. Alluding to one rare Braun piece in his archive, then another, then another, it dawned on us that it would be nothing short of irresponsible if we didn’t dig out a few of these and share them with you.

For anyone with even a passing interest in good design (and especially for those who are downright obsessive about it), the appeal of these items is obvious. Braun’s output over the last half-century or so has defined the minimalist aesthetic, shaping everything from the way our home appliances look, to the way our iPhones function. At once thrillingly space-age and comfortingly nostalgic, the Braun look is unmistakeable.

Braun has been home to many talented designers over the years, but of particular interest to Paul are those products created by Braun’s iconic former head of design, Dieter Rams. At the helm for more than 35 years, Rams is inseparable from the Braun story, and personally designed many of their most beloved products. Paul was kind enough to share with us his personal collection of Rams-designed Braun products, dating back as far as the late ‘50s.

Braun SK 61

Affectionately referred to by Braun aficionados as ‘Snow White’s Coffin,’ the SK 61 is not only one of Rams’ most enduring designs, but one of his most sought-after, too. Designed to play vinyl as well as the radio, every aspect of its design feels beautifully deliberate. A true classic.

Braun RT 20

A radio dating from 1963, the RT 20 is a particular favourite of Paul’s. “It’s a lovely piece, this,” he says. “I love how the speaker grille has just been cut out so simply when a lot of other designers were making them very decorative. And instead of going for red or black for the knobs, he’s gone for this very odd pale green, which is really funny, I think.”

Braun PC 3 SV

One of the earliest pieces in Paul’s collection, this miniature turntable elegantly embodies Rams’ clean, uncluttered approach. Paul is enamoured, clearly: “Look at that. Isn’t that the most beautiful piece of equipment ever?”

Braun HLD 4

It’s very nice, but what is it? That might well be your initial reaction upon first seeing the Braun HLD 4, a brightly coloured plastic cuboid with gently rounded edges and an extremely satisfying circular on/off button on the front face. Well, it’s a hairdryer, of course. Unlike so many of Rams’ designs, this one didn’t exactly catch on, but it’s a nice example of the playful side of his singular vision.

Braun PCS 5, CSV 13, and CE 16

A pleasing little family of products, here we have the PCS 5 turntable, CSV 13 amp, and CE 16 tuner. In the early ‘60s, these represented the top of Braun’s line of home audio systems, each realised with cool grey exteriors and tonal dark grey knobs. As a set they are a work of art, and would make a beautiful focal point for any living space.

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