Braun BN0106 Watch Review

Braun BN0106 Watch Review

I love checking out stuff like this. Neat quasi-futuristic watches with a serious German attitude and neo-Bauhaus feel. All from a brand that I know for making stuff like shaving razors. But yes, Braun also makes watches and clocks. This is one of their higher-end pieces and it is a digital watch done in collaboration with Pierre Nobs. He is the guy behind Ventura watches. If you look at digital Ventura timepieces, you'll most certainly see the connection. Braun actually can't seem to settle on one name for this watch. They list it as both the BN10 and BN0106 (with this specific model being the BN0106BKBTG).

According to Braun, the BN0106 (which is I guess what I will call it) received a 2012 Red Dot design award. Red Dot awards are given out to products with good form and function. I tend to agree with their awards most of the time. I will be the first to admit that the BN0106 is a polarizing design, but if you like the look it is pretty good for what it is. Certainly different, and certainly good looking if you are into the unique aesthetic.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3JYT5gQn3U]

As a digital watch it uses something from Mr. Nobs called EasySkroll. This is a combo scroll wheel and pusher that is used to access the functions and activate the various features of the watch. It sits on the lower left side of the case and ends with an orange dot. Aside from a backlight button on the right side of the case, this is the only controllable part of the watch. Nice and simple, and easy to use.

Scrolling the wheel results in an audible beep and works rather well when scrolling through functions. It can be a bit tricky in some instances such as using the chronograph when you need to mix short and long pushers to stop, start, and restart the chronograph. Though for the most part it is pretty good for a single pusher system. Setting the watch in many instances is pressing down the pusher for a few seconds, and then using the scroll wheel to do things like adjust the time and date. Overall, using all the watch's functions (once you get the hang of the system) is intuitive and natural feeling. I wouldn't necessarily want EasySkroll on all of my digital watches, but it works really well on the BN0106.

The LCD screen is LED backlit and very high quality. This type of screen sits in mostly all of the high-end digital LCD screens I have seen on watches. The background is black while the numerals are a pale green. The system uses numerals that look more rounded and elegant compared to those you see on most digital LCD screens. While the screen is susceptible to glare and low light, it is easily viewable in most environments. The default screen shows the time with either the seconds or the date below on the second line.

The movement inside of the watch is known as the Ven_10.1 digital quartz movement. I assume "Ven" stands for Ventura. It has the time, full calendar, chronograph, countdown timer, alarm, and second timezone. Made in Germany, the case is steel and comes in either this black tone, or in brushed steel. While it is available on a rubber strap, I think it looks best on the single link metal bracelet. The case is water resistant to 30 meters and is a rounded rectangle being 36.7mm wide by 41.8mm tall. I could have used a bit more size, but it is a unique look that works for many wrists. Plus, there are very few other watch cases out there with this shape. It feels very instrumental, but made for the home. Sometimes it looks like a bathroom weight scale made for the wrist.

Over the screen is a K1 mineral crystal - though I would have preferred a sapphire crystal. My real issue with the crystal is that it attracts finger prints very easily. You'll need to wipe off the screen a lot. Not a huge deal, but something about it tends to attract finger oils very easily. For a minimal futuristic look that isn't nerdy or cliche it is hard to find more attractive offerings than a watch like the Braun BN0106. The piece most certainly benefits from its connection to Pierre Nobs, and the overall package does what it was designed to do fluidly. Great to find "design focused" watches with this much utility and promise. Price tops out at $800 for the black version of the BN0106 on the bracelet. You can buy them online from Braun here.


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  • Kris C

    …probably not. It’s not that I don;t like it, I just don’t like it enough. I know it is a ‘minimalist’ look, but it just seems like something is missing. And as snobbish as it might sound, I just couldn’t wear a watch with the braun logo on it.

  • MarkCarson

    I like it, but I still answered “No” to would you wear it. It is a nice digital watch. But in the end it’s just a digital watch if that makes any sense.

  • nateb123

    This feels like it’s missing something.  It’s less “minimalist” and more “bland”.  The Ventura doesn’t have this problem but like the Ventura, this is obviously not a good value either.  Honestly, anyone who thinks “Yeah, it’s a cool Bauhaus look but it’s not quite there, and I’m not sure about the digital movement” should be Googling the Nixon Murf, LIP Big TV, and LIP Mythic this second.

  • CG

    The  Ventura V-Tec Sigma W25-R1 his still got the “cool” factor.. this one by Braun? Looks like a freebe with a lady shaver promo!

  • cluedog12

    Cool watch. I was a fan of the Ventura designs and I like this Braun as well.

  • JulienVerger

    Probably no, but I wont use Rolex electric shaver too :)
     

  • Lalochezian

    @counternotions lol

  • evanspw

    @counternotions But you just sent me to one of the world’s horribliest web sites.

  • jdalarose

    @counternotions Hey! I resemble that remark!

  • amyhoy

    @counternotions @NathanBowers wasn’t the braun fetish really a dieter rams fetish?

    • NathanBowers

      @amyhoy @counternotions Brought on by Jonystalgia. So really, it’s Apple’s fault.

      • amyhoy

        @NathanBowers whose work do you prefer, jony or dieter?

        • NathanBowers

          @amyhoy Jony’s. Not a fair fight given what Apple is and what Braun was though.

        • amyhoy

          @NathanBowers true enough, but dieter did more than just for braun – the a/v equipment, shelving & furniture

        • amyhoy

          @NathanBowers i hated the look of his furniture til i got to plunk my ass down in the chair at a vitsoe store in NYC. it was totally great

        • amyhoy

          @NathanBowers (note: i also prefer jony/his work, but have come to respect dieter a bit more. tho his Design Rules are still BS.)

        • thijs

          @amyhoy The audio equipment was all Braun too. I think his shelving system is much nicer than his Braun stuff fwiw.

        • amyhoy

          @thijs oh i thought it was a diff co. well. i agree w/ you, the shelving is my fave. i wish i could have it. :)

        • thijs

          @amyhoy Why can’t you?

        • NathanBowers

          @amyhoy I do love me some Rams. It’s like comparing athletes from different eras.

        • amyhoy

          @thijs 1. it’s way too expensive compared to alternatives. 2. where would we put it exactly? i’d lurv it in the office but $$$$$$$

        • amyhoy

          @thijs except for the attic room & needing a couple dressers for the bedroom, our house is now full of furniture. :)

        • thijs

          @amyhoy I don’t think it’s overly expensive. That shit lasts forever. Start small. :)

        • thijs

          @amyhoy I have to admit I haven’t yet ordered any of it in fear for wanting more once I get started though… 😉

        • amyhoy

          @thijs it’s like, i could fill a wall with vitsoe shelves or i could remodel my bathroom with a big new tub & everything. it’s a no brainer

        • thijs

          @amyhoy Ok, I think we need to stop discussing furniture now and go back to making money.

        • amyhoy

          @thijs so we can buy more furniture? 😉

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  • PascalLeers

    I bought this watch almost a year ago. (The version without the black coating and with a steel bracelet.) And I must say I really love it. Wearing it almost every day. Wishing more digital watches would be made with a steel case.

  • warpdrive1

    I bought this watch from Amazon uk and after coupons/discounts at the time and all import duties, it came to about $400 CAD. I thought I scored a deal for basically a poor man’s version of a Ventura.

    I happily waited two weeks to get the watch and it turned to disappointment. I don’t think I really got to see the watch work properly, the digits were sometimes missing segments which made it look like alien writing. I tried to put it into sleep mode (hold down both buttons for 4 seconds) but it didn’t do anything. So it might have been defective or just a low battery after sitting around in the warehouse.

    I was surprised by the feel of the scroll wheel…it has this weird clicky feeling with the clicks feeling springy after each 1/4 turn. I was expecting the wheel to feel very smooth or have very precise detents like a good knob should, but the springy clicking felt like it was hooked up to a mechanical movement. Maybe it was broken but I have no other sample to compare it to. Either way, it didn’t feel at all like what I expected.

    Also trying on the watch…it looked ok but odd on my smaller wrist. It’s like a big slab of steel on your wrist, after trying it, I can’t say I’m a fan of the shape and thickness or the case. I kind of agree it just looks bland rather than minimalist. If it was thinner, it would have been more elegant looking.

    So I’m sending it back for a refund. I really wanted to love this watch as my first digital LCD watch in a decade, but I’ll guess I’ll have to look elsewhere to get my Ventura fix