Time warp

Time warp

A wind-up watch with Stalin on a 24-hour dial picked up from immigrant sellers in Berlin, Germany

Sopan Joshi
August 22 , 2014
01 Min Read

Some things acquire meaning from their timing. This watch was purchased in an interlude of sanity between an MC Escher moment and a high-speed car chase on the autobahn that ended with a German polizist pulling a gun at us. 


I was walking around Berlin. A friend had mentioned a house near the Alexanderplatz station, which the owner has refused to repair since the Second World War, even withstanding the construction boom since Germany’s reunification. Close to the house were immigrants selling Soviet memorabilia. I picked up a range of knick-knacks, including a button-sized badge with Nehru, rose and all. 

But this was the prize for € 45: a wind-up watch with Stalin on a 24-hour dial. The second knob rotates a ring around the dial with an arrangement of the world’s largest cities; it’s supposed to indicate something, perhaps the time in several cities. How it works, I do not know. I’m waiting for a clue to reveal itself. In time.

Related Articles


Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe