Couture Musings

A Berlin Story

I flew to Berlin two days ago, essentially, to attend a dinner party. If that sounds decadent, well, you don’t know the half of it.

Last night, A. Lange & Söhne, the prestige watch brand from Germany’s Saxony region, staged one hell of a launch party. In a temporary event space located in the heart of the city’s storied Mitte district, not far from the copper domed Berlin Cathedral and the space-age TV Tower, the brand unveiled the new Lange Zeitwerk, a mechanical timepiece featuring a jumping numeral display that uniquely blends the horological sophistication for which Lange is known with an aesthetic of unambiguous modernity.

Berlin was an inspired choice of venue. No other city feels quite so progressive. Last night’s dinner is a good example. Lange flew in retailers and press from around the world, teasing the event with an invitation bearing one simple quote from Ralph Emerson: “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” That in no way prepared us for the meal, the details of which remained top-secret until moments before we were led single-file, hand to shoulder, into a room enveloped in complete darkness—and when I say darkness, I mean pitch-black visual deprivation the likes of which I’ve never experienced.

Blind waiters from the unsicht-Bar, a popular local restaurant where diners are seated and fed in the dark, were on-hand to serve us a three-course meal featuring risotto and ox paired with crisp German whites. The disembodied voices of my fellow diners were the only things that kept me from breaking into a panic.

I’m still not sure what the connection between the Zeitwerk (which, by the way, loosely translates to “opus of time”) and dinner in the dark is but that hardly matters. On a scale of sex appeal, the event, the city and, of course, the watch take top honors.

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