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INTRODUCING: Braun’s Swiss Made Automatic Watches, Including a Paul Smith Collab (Ref. BN0279)

Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch

Fans of Dieter Rams, Paul Smith, and minimalism can all rejoice at this collection and collaboration.  

Late last year, German electronics firm Braun announced it was releasing, for the first time, a small production of Swiss-made timepieces based on its award-winning AW10 watch from 1989. While we wonder why a German movement maker wasn’t chosen, we’re still delighted to get an automatic version of the iconic watch finally.  

Braun AW10
Braun’s Swiss Made Automatic Watches are based on this award-winning AW10 watch from 1989.

You may recall the AW10 designed by Dietrich Lubs, the protégé of Dieter Rams, who headed Braun’s design team for 30 years. Lubs left the brand in 2001 but has returned in recent years to update the AW10 and AW50, with the latter taking Rams’ concept of “less, but better” even further. The AW10 and AW50 have changed in recent versions, with sharply angled lugs and a larger case size. And starting in November last year, Braun has been releasing eight automatic models over eight months, each limited to 150 pieces.  

Sir Paul Smith
An English iconoclast, Sir Paul Smith is best known for his vibrant aesthetic.

Braun + Paul Smith 

The most exciting of these models is a collab release with Sir Paul Smith’s eponymous label. Smith is an English iconoclast, and his fashion and homeware designs have earned him fans across the world. The Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch is restricted to 100 pieces each rather than 150.  

Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch
The Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch in stainless steel and gunmetal stainless steel, limited to 100 pieces each.

The watch comes in two styles: the gunmetal grey stainless steel version has three central hands and a date window, while the stainless steel one has a small seconds display and date window. Paul Smith’s logo is co-signed on the dial, and in both watches, the seconds hand features Smith’s iconic multi-coloured design with a bright blue counterweight end.

Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch
The Braun + Paul Smith BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch features an exhibition caseback showcasing its self-winding movement with a full-sized rotor.

The watches are based on Braun’s BN series instead of the AW, which means they feature an integrated case and lugs with a narrow bezel ring and a seamlessly integrated strap with a textured back. It’s powered by an ETA 2892-A2 or 2895-2 movement for the gunmetal and steel cases, respectively.  

Braun + Paul Smith collaborations
Braun and Paul Smith collaborated in 2020 on a trio of analogue quartz timekeepers, including the table clock and wall clock shown here.

This isn’t the first time Braun and Paul Smith have partnered up. In 2020, they collaborated on a trio of analogue quartz timekeepers, including a table clock, wall clock, and wristwatch. The gunmetal model is out of stock, but the silver steel model is still available on Paul Smith’s website and priced at £975.00 at the time of writing.  

Braun Automatic Watches 

Braun started with its first automatic watch in 2021 (powered by a Seiko NH35A), the BN0278, which won a Red Dot Design Award that year. But this is its first series of watches with a Swiss-made movement and with much more sophisticated finishing techniques on the movement. The BN0279 is quite similar to the BN0265 Chronograph in terms of its design, so we’re hoping for a similar integrated bracelet design that will follow in subsequent releases. 

Braun BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch
The Braun BN0279 models have a yellow-tipped seconds hand and a red arrow bar against the date window.

The Braun BN0279 models differ slightly from the Paul Smith collabs only in the seconds hand and date window. The seconds hand has a yellow tip rather than the brand’s iconic yellow hand, while the date window adds a little red arrow bar against it. The dial has no indexes apart from a minute track printed on the inner bezel, which once again emphasises Rams’ philosopher of “weniger, aber besser”. The gunmetal model is simply stunning, and at £750.00, it is very well priced for a watch of this standard and make.  

Braun BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch
Braun BN0279 Swiss Made Automatic Watch in stainless steel with rubber strap.

Each watch is guaranteed for up to five years, and since the ETA movements are reliable workhorses, you won’t have to worry about maintenance or performance. The only pity is that the watches are a little thick due to the full-sized rotor movements, which detracts from the AW10’s beauty. Head to Braun Clock’s international website to get yours today, or check out one of the local retailers for availability.  

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.