How a balanced combination of shapes, proportions and materials has made sure that the 100 years jubilee of Otto Hutt is celebrated properly and how the creator of the Design C sees his creature as well as many more interesting details about style and design. Join me in a little journey with Berlin based designer Mark Braun talking about simplicity and democratic luxury.
We recently talked about the sophistication of simplicity in a post about the Urushi technique on writing instruments, as you remember. And today’s model, the Otto Hutt design C, falls into a similar category. Incredibly simple and smart but full of tiny details that make this model a real masterpiece. Let’s start with with the reason why Mark has decided to enter the world of writing instruments. Mark Braun is famous for its design of the NOMOS Glashütte Metro in all its declinations. A wonderful piece that has the timeless elegance typical of the Bauhaus style. In fact, this style inspired Mark as well in the creation of the design C for Otto Hutt. The simple and clear lines as well as the materials used for the design C are all recalling the heritage of Otto Hutt and its history. And the reason why he entered the world of writing instruments, among others, is that the writing instruments somehow represent todays democratic luxury, as he loves to call it. Democratic luxury is affordable for almost everyone but is not pretentious. A nice writing instrument is something that can be used in almost every environment and occasion, doesn’t matter if you are a teacher in a classroom or an architect on a building plant.
So, what makes the design C so special? Let’s start with the obvious. The silver shaft of the design C is something that has a long tradition at Otto Hutt. In fact, Mark has been inspired by the long heritage of Otto Hutt in the processing of silver. The feeling on your hand is very smooth, always fresh, since the silver is cooling down pretty quickly and so you immediately feel comfortable by using it. A very important component of the design C are the proportions. During our conversation, Mark has very extensively explained that the right proportions are vital in our perception of a beautiful object. This is why some iconic pieces of design, like the Eames chairs or other design icons look so nice and balanced. And here we come back to the simple lines of the design C. If you have a too sophisticated design, the observer gets distracted by the details of the design and he possibly doesn’t recognize the perfect proportions of the instrument. In the case of the design C, the proportions between the cap and the body of the pen are pretty close to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Golden Ratio and this explains why you immediately have the impression that the design C is simply “right” from the first moment you look at it.
The only design accents on the design C are the 2 dots on both sides of the shaft which seem pretty simple objects. However, every detail follows a function on the design C. In example, the 2 dots avoid the pen from rolling down from your desk accidentally or help to open the pen when we have humid hands. As well the beautifully waved black PVD coated metal part under the cap is made in a way that 1. creates a nice contrast to the silver shaft and 2. makes the writing experience much more comfortable. As well here the simple way of how Mark has shaped the details is demonstrating the love to the detail in the design and manufacturing process of Mark Braun and the Otto Hutt team.
One of the most distinctive parts of the design C is of course the filling mechanism. Pull & Twist. Thats the “official” name of the mechanism, which is developed completely in house by Otto Hutt and as well there, it’s a very elegant yet simple piece of mechanic. In particular the alignment of the tiny line on the rotating part and the line between the o and the h at the very low end of the shaft, is a real joy. As well here, Mark had the intuition to create this detail that remarks the incredible precision of the Otto Hutt manufacturing processes.
There is no doubt, that the design C is the right writing instrument to properly celebrate Otto Hutt’s first 100 years of success. The materials, the proportions and the functions are representing Otto Hutt like no other writing instrument before. The 500 pieces foreseen will be sold out quite rapidly, I’m sure. For the lucky owners, enjoy it every second.
Special Thanks to Mark Braun for his time and open conversation with us. It was a real pleasure to share some thoughts with you.