Into The Woods: Reconnecting With Nature And Montblanc Via A Unique Experience
A brand is above all a product, but it is also its own world imbued with strong values. With The Power of Reconnecting Through Nature campaign, Montblanc sets the tone by inviting the consumer to share a way of being instead of a way of owning.
Montblanc has been re-inventing itself for several years, as much through their timekeepers – in particular with the integration of the Minerva gem – as through its original and refreshing communication strategies. The first chapter of #Reconnect was unveiled at the Hotel Chetzeron and focused on exploration and adventure. This time, Montblanc takes us to the realm of natural cuisine, where the alchemy of beautiful and tasteful products reveal fundamental values.
Reconnect with Nature
An unforgettable experience often starts with an unexpected encounter in an unlikely place. So, when Montblanc invited us to Escholzmatt-Marbach, a village nestled in the very heart of Switzerland between Bern and Lucerne, to eat at the table of a Michelin-starred chef, nicknamed The Wizard, we were intrigued.
The breathtaking scenery is known as the Wild West of Lucerne. Protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2001, the nickname is certainly appropriate. There are rolling green pastures so pristine that they resemble emerald oceans, dramatic craggy karst formations, dense forests, and wild mountain rivers. Here you are transported to a timeless universe where civilization seems long forgotten.
Chef Stefan Wiesner, aka The Wizard, is a true alchemist of natural cuisine and, takes us in playing field of discoveries. Thanks to his unique approach, we were able to rediscover and #Reconnect the simplest plants, trees, mosses, stones, and forest berries. A pinecone becomes the Fibonacci number, an anthill unveils a source for clearing the bronchi, a small bush serves as a druid’s best friend.
An initiation circle formed around the “magician” as he readied to play us the “song of trees” – the noise water and sap make circulating inside every species. A respectful and humble silence came over the group. And upon hearing the peculiar sound, glances were exchanged, and the assembly realized how far modern life is from this connection with nature and how essential it is to find it again.
With our full attention, Chef Wiesner took our mind-opening journey even further. In a single-file line, so as not to more disrupt the biosphere, we followed his steps to supple moss-covered ground. There, the chef started to dig a large, deep hole. Finishing the work by hand while lying on a canvas sheet, he stuck his arm down one meter to extract vegetal peat mud which he served to us as an “aperitif” on a wooden board with a splash of cocoa powder. Fearless, we all tasted it. With the consistency similar to a vegetable puree, it was rather refined. We were all ready for the culinary experience to come.
After we arrived at the Gasthaus Rössli, where Stefan would guide us through his culinary world of vegetables, animals, and minerals Davide Cerrato, Montblanc’s Managing Director of Watches, discussed the motives behind this event, “The keyword for our Montblanc experiences is authenticity. Through these adventures, we want to invite people to leave their comfort zone, to reconnect with their inner child, to simply enjoy the pleasures of discovery. Nature is the perfect setting for this. We see this a deep trend in today’s society.”
The 1858 Chronograph with its vintage feel, its vibrant forest green dial, and its bronze case sat atop regional black truffles beside Cerrato as he explained further: “Our 1858 collection was designed with this idea in mind. The Geosphere, in particular, is the epitome of a tool watch: technical, reliable, rugged, to be used in real life. It embodies the alchemy between past and present, between watchmaking and nature, between Minerva and Montblanc.”
With that, it was time for the culinary show to start.
Stefan Wiener, The Alchemist of Natural Cooking
The Wizard transported us with a tasting menu infused with earth. Soil and wood, stone and peat, the textures and savors blended together, echoing and exalting each other. A boletus mushroom butter with crunchy morels melted on a straw butterbread. A brook trout slept on a bed of freshly cut herbs. The chicken came with its egg, soft-boiled and sprinkled with eggshell and accompanied by schnapps-flavored meringues . The potato was served in every possible form. Our taste buds were excited further by biodynamic local wines, like the sumptuous Pinot Noir from Aargau: Kloster Sion from Weingut Zum Sternen. Finally, the pine sorbet was refreshing, the honey flower ice cream casted a spell, and the stone flour granites blew us away. What a feast!
The immersive experience was so successful that one almost forgot about the timepieces. But this is alchemy: to impart meaning – poetic and natural – through lived and heartfelt values, both human and horological.
Thank you to Montblanc for reminding us so vividly.
(Photography by Watchonista & Montblanc)