Unexpected Custom celebrates Berkel’s 120 years

A daily product that becomes lyrical, to the point of being placed in the flats of the new skyscrapers as a piece of industrial design, the Berkel flywheel slicer is born perfect in its linearity, thus unperfectable.
Just as the bicycle, the fountain pen, the mechanical clock.
And it has remained basically unchanged throughout the century which is the densest with events in human history.

Amid World Wars, the rise and fall of the Soviet Empire, the landing on the Moon, construction and destruction of Berlin Wall, sexual and digital revolutions, the flywheel has spun round like the wheel of time, without budging an inch in the middle of the storms of history.

The slicer’s shell, the same model for six different decorative versions, encloses events in the shape of well and lesser known iconographic symbols, or visual details to be spotted and deciphered:

the trumpeting characters of Leninian propaganda, the barbed wire of the lagers, the shots Lee Oswald fired at Kennedy, the Beatles’ trip to India, the binary code of computers, from Bauhaus to Dada anti-art, from silent films to the electronic sounds of Kraftwerk;
and much else in a scan spanning over twenty-year periods, a golden measurement for ages which were not always golden, especially in Italy, where the rise of Fascism corresponded to American Jazz Age.


1898 - 1918

The Secession style celebrated on this first B114 - personalised by Unexpected Custom - is not the floral, Spring style of the Alfons Mucha posters. On the other hand it brings back memories of an architectural style, visual fragments of buildings seen on different journeys, both near and far away in time and space.

In this "Sacred Spring" - Ver Sacrum - the main color is blue, while next to gold we find purple.
The opalescent purple of Winter sunsets.
The shades of green remind us more of bronze oxidation than hope...

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1918 - 1938

Just like the main character in that Čechov novella (My life), so the main character in Metropolis escapes the bonds of his caste to dive into the working class world.

Human hypogeum, inhuman apogee: the bowels of the earth populated by humble workers, the skyscrapers by algid despots.
We are in 2026, in a future that was a century away back then and is around the corner now.
The time table is all mixed up, depending on who’s dealing the cards...

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berkel unexpected custom


1938 - 1958

"Učit'sja, učit'sja i učit'sja", "Studying, studying and studying", as Vladimir Il'ic Ulyanov - AKA comrade Lenin - said.
Words that sound almost ridiculous now, just like all of the Bolshevik leader mottos. "Even a cook should learn and rule a country", "You have to bury all theatres" and so on. Lenin actually quoted Chekhov and his novella My life.

The style of this artwork is too dark to indulge in the detached irony that time and distance sometimes bring with them...

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berkel unexpected custom


1958 - 1978

The floral theme barely outlined in the Sezession artwork is unleashed in Revolution.
The combination of different historical and aesthetic cycles creates unexpected analogies.
Arabesque lines are back after half a century.

The colorful Flower-Power theme of the Sixties has Oriental, spiritual, psychedelic, lysergic, even chemical influences.
The pure and simple joie de vivre at the turn of the previous century is no more.

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berkel unexpected custom


1978 - 1998

Although in Italy the 80s are synonym with political corruption, worldwide they were characterised by positive phenomena, like the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

In this fifth and penultimate artwork - in strictly chronological order of the artistic cyclus - the street style of early graffiti and punk alternates with the bright colors of games and video games that were still simple and harmless at the time.
It’s years of the Rubik’s Cube and Tetris, invented by a Hungarian and a Soviet citizen respectively...

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berkel unexpected custom


1998 - 2018

Binary code, html code, Java code...

Tough the lettering of this last artwork recalls the mechanical typewriter, it does belong to an era when the act of writing is moving away from paper.
The 2.0 revolution is a theme falls flat from a visual - if not chromatic - point of view: it represents an anthropological involution, or at least an existential discoloration.

The low life, to say it with Arbasino.
No human element on sight...

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berkel unexpected custom


A group of artists, architects, designers, art historians, writers and all of kinds of intellectuals came together over a decade ago to create the Unexpected-Custom brand.

Since then the atelier has drawn from their many skills. Incorporating over half a century of research and international success, new ideas are passionately produced by combining the creativeness of the young artists and the experience of the older masters.

Under the "UC" trademark you can find works from the simplest decorations to the most complex creations providing a visual and personal experience full of emotion, allusions and memories.

Like the contents of a manifesto of Viennese Secessionist art the creations come to life surprising the viewer with their high technical quality but also cultural ideas that vibrate due to these strong linkages between different disciplines of human knowledge.


After over 100 years, Berkel still means perfection, reliability, innovation, and durability.

A set of values handed down with pride and shared every day with those who step into this world.

Because Berkel is not just a trademark, it’s a lifestyle, a passion.

It’s dedication to elegance and quality.

Berkel is love for all things beautiful and unique.

The elegance of its shapes, the harmony of movement, the brightness of its blade: Berkel is a true design icon.

Subject to imitation as the most renowned luxury brands, Berkel brings all the charm of his history.





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