Design Moment: Braun travel alarm, 1975

Braun was the go-to brand when it came to alarm clocks in the 1970s and 1980s

The Braun AB 20/20 travel clock boasts perfect simplicity.

The Braun AB 20/20 travel clock boasts perfect simplicity.

a
 

Before smartphones put the humble alarm clock on the road to obsolescence, Braun was the go-to brand for anyone interested in affordable design for their wake-up call.

It was in its clock-making heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, at the time when Dieter Rams (b. 1932) was head of design and Dietrich Lubs (b. 1938) a senior designer. In 1975, they collaborated on a compact alarm clock – it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand – and for industrial design students who now study it for its perfect simplicity, it is a realised vision of Rams’s influential 10 principles of good design.

In it he stresses simplicity in design, that a product should be understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting and thorough down to the last detail.

Monochrome colourway

The AB 20/20 tb clock is easy to read with its monochrome colourway – the white time markings on the black face are indicated by white minute and hour arms. There’s a cheery yellow second hand and the green tip on a black hand indicates the alarm time.

When they realised that their AB 20/20 clock would make a perfect travel alarm clock they added a flip-down cover with a dual purpose – it is printed with a graphic of worldwide time zones and when flipped up it prevents the buttons to be pressed when in transit.

a
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.