Tag Archives: braun

It is What it is

Braun watch model BN0021BKBKL

In 1976 I had the good fortune to have lunch with Deiter Rams at the Braun Headquarters in Kronberg, Germany.

aerial view of Braun factory, Kronberg

Rams gave me a tour of their design department where they were working on the latest Nizo Super 8 movie camera, among other things. I have owned lots of Braun products, like the coffee grinders, and the wall clock and alarm clock, as well as Braun electric shavers. I still own an old series 3000 shaver that continues to work well, but for the fact that I stopped shaving again and grew a beard. I was surprised however, when last week I spotted a Braun wristwatch in a consignment store for $18. I liked the look of it, and being an admirer of Braun products I decided to buy it. I pried the back off with some difficulty and replaced the battery (379) and it began to work. When I did some research I discovered that Rams didn’t design this watch, but it sure looks like something he would have designed.

Dieter Rams, possibly 1970’s

I asked Rams why all the Braun products came only in white, or black, and he just said that was how it was. In other words, “it is what it is”. I wasn’t sure if I got it back then, but I recently read an excellent explanation of “it is what it is” in “The Log of the Sea of Cortez” about John Steinbeck’s sea voyage to the Gulf of California in 1939 with his friend Ed Ricketts. I am told that Ricketts actually wrote much of that book, but that Steinbeck got all the credit. So I am not sure who wrote the part on “it is what it is”, but it was fascinating nevertheless.

from The Log of The Sea of Cortez, Ch.14, Steinbeck/Ricketts

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