In the history of 20th century product few companies have been as influential as Braun. First launched in Frankfurt in 1921, it started life as an electronics company manufacturing components for radio sets. But its glory days truly began when it went public in 1962 with the legendary Dieter Rams as head of design - a position he held until 1995.
Rams, who is now 82, is a leading light of the functionalist school of design, which championed an austere aesthetic where user friendliness was paramount. Along with his colleague Dietrich Lubs he created a series of iconic alarm clocks, culminating with the brilliantly simple AB312 travel clock that graced a million hotel bedside tables around the world in the late Eighties and beyond.
This month Braun has launched its latest line, a collection of new models inspired by the past as well as updates of Rams' classic designs. Coming in iterations with white, brown and black leather straps, not only are they up-to-the-moment minimal - teaching those whippersnapper brands such as Uniform Wares who their daddy is - but they've got a pleasingly industrial retro feel.
The result is somewhat reminiscent of the interior of the space station in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968. The spectacular set featured designs by such famous names as Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen and Olivier Morgue - designs that are still sold in the most-cutting edge design stores today. And Braun has taken its cue from this: to be truly modern you have to go back to the future.