Martin Braun was born in the year 1964 in Karlsruhe, Germany. Braun’s father, master goldsmith Karl-Christian Braun, was a well-known specialist producer of watch cases. Braun was introduced to the world of watches at an early age. He officially became a watchmaker upon graduating from Pforzheim’s famed School of Watchmaking in 1983 – with honours. He became a master watchmaker in 1991 at the age of 27.
1. What did your father do? What did your mother do? Describe briefly your childhood.
My father was a goldsmith, specialized in watch case manufacturing. My mother managed his office.
My childhood was not spectacular, growing up in a secure and sheltered environment
2. As a child did you have any driving ambition? What did you want to be?
Oh yes, typical car mechanics, because my uncle did it and we drove fast with his cars, something addictive, which stuck in me until todayJ. And then electric installation, because it was fascinating to manage the dangerous electricity.
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
Sitting on my father’s work bench looking fascinated how he soldered watch cases. My father’s BMW 3.0 CSI with his monster rims and the side mirrors on the fenders and the first ride above 200 km/h on a country road.
4. Have you ever had another profession? What did you do?
Only for vacation jobs. Working in an electricity company and installed road lanterns. For Coca Cola, lifting tons of glass bottles at that time. For an insurance company who switched from a chart based data system to a computer system, typing billions of addresses in the system!
5. What made you choose to become a watchmaker? Who have you worked for in the past? What made you decide to go in the direction you have chosen?
Simple, it was the combination of electronic knowledge and mechanical skills. At that time I was working on some Disco electronic stuff like light organs, stroboscope lights etc. and found the combination exciting (In the early 80’ we had a complex training in in electronic and mechanic).
I never worked for somebody else. First in my father’s companies and when he approached his retirement age I tried to find my own way and created the EOS with sunrise and sunset indication.
6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
Easy…… When we made watchcases we got a huge order from an Arabic country for lady watches. I had to make 10’000 stainless steel case backs, from scratch……stamping, folding, turning, decoration….. Horrible!
7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you over-come it?
There are some. But overall I would say 9/11 and Trump’s election.
8. Who has had the strongest influence on you? What are your greatest inspirations?
Hmmm, I think myself. I’m positive and need no outside influence. My greatest inspiration came from sitting with crazy people, talking bullshit and through that creating new ideas.
9. What are you most proud of?
That my EOS Boreas was watch of the year, that Frank Muller Group invited me to become “partner” even if it turned out bad.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you?
Stay active, follow your dreams and to say that very loud and clear “Stay away of any investor” and let your business naturally grow.
11. Name three things on your bucket list.
- Take a sabbatical year.
- Climbing my first 4000 meter high mountain.
- Hiking from Munich to Venice across the Alps.
12. Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 year’s time.
After seeing what happened to friends and talk to them, seeing the difficulties the small brands have, I assume more success for the big global brands and less small brands.
Unfortunately, because they are the creative centers.
To learn more about Martin Braun today www.makb.ch