#1 - Ästhetik designed BMW E30 Door Handle

Ästhetik derived from our mutual interest in vintage cars, motorsport, lifestyle and creating products with supreme attention to detail. For our first product, we took some time tossing around ideas, balancing what we could swing with a minimal budget and what would reflect our passion, interests and inspiration. Having access to some older (and newer) BMWs, we settled on the more sensible BMW E30 platform. Many of these cars are just coming up on their 30th year of existence. They are common enough and what we like to think of as  starting to transition from being tired beaters to subtle classics. We're seeing consistent and thorough E30 restoration projects with interesting resto-mods taking place right now, (ie; many CAtuned projects).

The door handle seemed like a good place to start. The OEM design is simple enough to execute and plain enough for us to work with. CNC machining, much like german engineering, is a high-precision manufacturing process. It maintains strict lines, pocketing and contours yet also allows for some intricate 3D surfacing and texturing. As such, the handles are fully machined with 3D-milled rounded edges to match OEM contours and shape. We opted for black hard-coat anodizing to give the parts a more industrial feel and hint at the details in the machine tool paths. The pocketing on the back side has a solid, reassuring feel when reaching for the handle.

The main design element, our three stripes rendered in pop-art inspired halftone, is a stylized homage to BMW’s M division tri-color logo, made famous in the 1970s. After some debate we decided to mirror the design, making unique left and right specific handles. We feel this accomplishes an aesthetic balance and flows with the body lines of the car from front to back. To maintain quality throughout, the handles have small rubber bumpers to rest against the door sheet metal, much like the OEM parts.

We aimed to keep it minimal, impactful and meaningful. Find it here.