50 Years Later: Clairtone Braun T523 Radio
By James Grahame
The beautiful Braun T523 was marketed in North America by Canadian audio manufacturer Clairtone. The understated 1962 Dieter Rams design hid a state of the art AM/FM/SW radio inside an equally modern all-plastic shell. It's hard to fully appreciate how forward-thinking this design was, because so many of Braun's design cues have become second nature in the electronics industry.
In this instance, the spartan control panel is perfectly balanced visually, right down to the minuscule silkscreen legends that are the norm these days. Even the power indicator wouldn't be out of place on a modern digital media box. To top everything off, there's a 10 cm speaker covertly hidden under the bottom/front panel that puts out 0.8 W.
The T523 was intended to be eminently portable and runs off 6 x 1.5V dry cell batteries, with an optional car mount so you could enjoy the glory of high fidelity FM wherever the road led. This example is currently on eBay with a bid price of $200, although it's not in working condition. Let's hope it finds a good home.