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Cashmere mock turtleneck sweatr with I.N.C. chocolate brown leather pants, Clarks booties, statement necklace and the watch (all own)

When famous building need a renovations, the matirial to be replaced is often used to raise funds for the project. Read all about a watch with a dial that is a piece of a former roof from the Cologne cathedral.

  1. A Watch from the Roof of the Cologne Cathedral
  2. Fundraising by Upcycling of the Old Roof as Watch Dial
  3. Buying a Watch as a Souvenir
  4. Winter Style Work Outfit


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A Watch from the Roof of the Cologne Cathedral

In the Eighties and early Nineties, my hometown was Cologne, Germany. I was student at University of Cologne back then. Every time I came back from the break for a new semester, the first thing I could see was the Cologne Cathedral. Long before, the train rolled into the station from the right side of the Rhine over the Hohenzoller bridge, the Dom as the Cathedral is called by the locals, stood tight like a big mountain of stone in the otherwise flat landscape. Back then seeing the Dom, meant coming home. I loved the two towers reaching towards the sky in the morning sun or illuminated in green like being wrapped in a veil.


customized watch dial made from the roof of the Cologne cathedral
Watch with dial made of the retired roof material of Cologne Cathedral with my name and an image of the cathedral engraved


Fundraising by Upcycling the Old Roof as  Watch Dial

Air pollution has not only smoothed the faces of the sandstone figurines of the Dom to look like eggs rather than people, but also has thinned the lead roof. About the time, when I was writing my PhD thesis on air pollution, the Dresdner Bank had a fundraiser for the renovation of the Dom’s roof. They offered personalized watches with the customer’s name and the Dom engraved into the dial. The catch? The dial was an original piece of the retired roof. The watch was 75DM (about $200 at that time) – a fortune for a graduate student back then, when I studied meteorology in the 1980s.

Buying a Watch as a Souvenir

I knew that after graduation I would leave Cologne to embrace a next phase of life. Thus, I bought the watch shown in the photo above as a souvenir of the Dom. First I just loved the fact that the dial is a piece of my favorite building in Cologne. Actually, I rarely wore it. Today I love the simple elegance of the watch. A minimalist watch goes with any outfit. It is also great at parties as an ice breaker to start some chit chat. Do you have an accessory that you bought with some another reason in mind than the purpose it was made for?

stylist in casual work outfit with watch made of a lead roof
Outfit details: Orvis Irish blazer with Investment cashmere mock turtleneck sweater, statement necklace, I.N.C. leather pants, Clark booties (all own) for a casual, warm work outfit

Winter Style Work Outfit

In this OOTD, I paired my roof watch with a mock turtleneck sweater and leather pants to create a winter office outfit for a casual work environment. Since our office building is currently under renovation and to wear a light winter coat, I added an Irish blazer that picks up the pink of the sweater, black of the watch, and chocolate brown of the pants and booties. I accessorized with a smoky quartz statement necklace.

For the commute of work I threw on my pea-coat with a red floral print silk cashmere scarf, my beloved head band, gloves and took my leopard-print satchel that ties the different brown shades together. Since the sun reflects on the snow at this time a year, I added classic sunglasses.


popular style blogger over 40 donning work appropriate winter outerwear
Pea-coat with floral silk cashmere scarf, headband, Michael Kors leopard-print satchel, I.N.C. leather pants, Ray Ban sunglasses, gloves and Clark booties (all own)


Do you like buying pieces that are related in some way with your hometown?

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Photos: G. Kramm

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