Imagine boarding a train to visit your friends or family. However, this journey will be very different from what you are used to. The journey takes a whole 9 hours. Mobile phone, laptop, internet? Not invented yet.
Germany, 15 December 1846.
The first train to travel between Berlin and Hamburg is waiting for the starting signal for its long-awaited test drive. There is not much happening on the streets. Stagecoaches rumble along leisurely and a few pedestrians stroll by. There are no cars yet. A monstrous vehicle made of dark metal stands in the station. The passengers are already sitting in their seats, waiting with beating hearts. Some of them have never been on a train before and are nervous.
What will await them in the following nine hours?
The smell of steam, smoke and hot oil hangs in the air and stings the nose. The train is still at a standstill, but soon it will start moving, squealing and snorting. Then there will be no turning back. Members of the management and investors converse in hushed tones. Nervous hands rub together to dispel the thin film of sweat. A project of this kind - it could change everything. The planning has taken years and has been plagued by ever new hurdles. So the stakes are high.
Finally - the starting signal. The mighty steam locomotive takes its first breath. It groans and creaks as if it has just awoken from a deep sleep. Rhythmic rattling fills the station as the wheels carry the steaming behemoth over the rails. The train's engine hums like the heartbeat of a gigantic creature, driving its passengers inexorably forward. Into the future.
9 hours later, the steam locomotive rolls safely into its destination station. The journey went off without a hitch. All those years of planning and negotiation - a complete success, celebrated with a sumptuous feast.
What no one realises at the time is that this test journey lays the foundation for a route network that will enable a completely new way of travelling. Almost 180 years later, the railway will transport millions of travellers over hundreds of kilometres every day. We wanted to capture this sense of wonder and combine it with the leisureliness of another century. The result is the model Berlin, which combines a noble vintage style with minimalist design.
STERNGLAS Berlin at a glance:
- Unique engraving “Train station for Berlin in Hamburg”
- Day and date display
- Vintage look with gold case and leather strap with alligator patterning