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Not all watch brands originally set out to become timepiece industry leaders. In the case of Braun watches, the company actually went backwards—technologically speaking, of course—to hone its horological craft. Braun watches may be the only line ever developed by a small shop that manufactured radios and projectors, moved on to make its mark with electric shavers and razors and then circled back to produce some of the most popular wristwatches available anywhere in the world today.
Applying the same German innovation that its shaving and grooming products are known for, Braun watches are also of the highest quality.
Founded in 1921 by Max Braun, the brand was originally an engineering shop that manufactured parts for radios. But just over a decade later, Braun had become the top manufacturer of radios and record players in Germany.
The brand officially launched in 1935 and the company logo with the emphasized “A” in the middle—that is still displayed today—was first seen. While Max Braun was given an award for his work at the 1937 World’s Fair, he was forced to build his company from scratch again after World War II. Expanding into slide projectors and electric shavers, the company grew so large that it was being publicly traded by 1962. Using this new-found capital, Braun released microphones and pocket radios for public consumption as well.
These same consumers became very familiar with Braun products as the company launched its own line of home appliances and housewares. By the early 1970s, people could not only buy Braun-branded radios and razors, but coffee makers and clocks as well. After being acquired by Gillette and then Procter & Gamble, Braun expanded into the large kitchen appliance industry and thermometer fields. Beginning in 1981, Braun actually started to phase out its radio, microphone and projector products to focus on these newer lines.
Despite the corporate shake-ups and many companies “knocking-off” Braun’s high quality products through much cheaper models, the brand withstood the test of time and continued to innovate many household necessities that many of us use in our day-to-day lives. Dental hygiene, hair care, beauty products, irons, and personal health gadgets were all added to the Braun family. Shortly thereafter the company then undertook and launched their extraordinary successful wristwatch line that met immediate success.
Because watches are still relatively new to the Braun line of products, many consumers are still unaware of all of the new styles that continue to be released. While a few celebrities do enjoy a Braun watch for a casual day out on the street, these pieces are not overtly flashy or gaudy for someone looking to show off. However, the people who do enjoy Braun watches are the people who are trying to live clean, unadulterated lives and keep nonsensical aspects of this world away from their well-being. Minimalist watches have increased in popularity over the past few years, and the types of watch wearers that require the time with just a quick glance at their wrists have fallen in love with the Braun choices.
Today Braun still exerts its global influence on the small appliance and home markets for its products. Many kitchen appliances and household items like coffee grinders, clocks, toasters, blenders, electric toothbrushes, hair dryers are still the focus of the brand. But Braun also continues to advance and evolve the watch industry as well through its emphasis on precision, design, minimalism and reliability.