Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches and gold, but there are many other products sharing the label of high Swiss quality standards. If you are an artist or knowledgeable in things connected to art, you might have a reaction when you hear about Caran d'Ache, the famous brand from Geneve specialized in painting and writing products that celebrates this year 100 of existence. As it just opened its one and only store in Berlin just a couple of weeks back, I hurried up on Uhlandstrasse 19 to visit it. Till now, its products can be purchased from different locations in the city, including from the KaDeWe.
The self-labelled boutique is not only elegant and designed with good taste, but deserves an additional star for the friendly customer service (which given my generally bad experience in this respect in Germany is a great asset). It displays the usual products offered by the company, including the high-end pens that can be engraved and personalized by demand.
As for me, not necessarily an artist and bit the extra-budget mostly dedicated to my trips and foodie experiences, I feel like a kid in the toystore. If needed, which products will tempt me more: those colourful pencils?
Or rather these metallic shades that after testing on the spot I decided that are one of the best for my secret artistic plans?
The products are subject to the strictest quality control, both when it comes to the materials and to their source. The colour pencils and inks are systematically tested for their lightfastness. The fountain pens and ballpoints are also verified for their priming quality and routing flow.
Such products can be matched only with perfect accessories, such this big sharpener suited for the high demands of the Caran d'Ache wood.
The opening of Berlin shop is outlined by a special collection of very colourful pens, featuring the famous symbol of the city. They look light, practical and with an elegant touch.
The name of the company, Caran d'Ache is the pen name of the Russian-born illustrator Emanuel Poire. It comes from the Russian word of Turkish origin, karandash (kara means black in Turkish) and has to do with the material the graphite is made of. The graphite displayed in the shop is made of a natural material found in the mountains of Switzerland which served as the inspiration for the firt pencil factory in Switzerland, opened in 1915.
Their products were close to the heart of many artists, among which Picasso too, to whom is dedicated a full special collection of pencils.
As I was still wandering around the shop, thinking what exactly would love to bring home, I discovered this huge box, with all the drawing materials needed. As it costs around 5,000 Euro, it seems that I would need a lot of extra jobs to save money in the next years.
I did not ask further about prices, but one day, when will have again my own business, would like to sign with such a distinguish fountain pen. Maybe will add the website of my travel blogsite too...
Was not easy to leave the shop, but after all, I know where I can find a serious slice of Swiss life. As usual, keeping Switzerland close is a good resource for inspiration and hope for the best.