The Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist features impeccable design throughout (you’ll soon see what I mean). Don’t believe me? It’s proved in the fact that it has won multiple awards, such as the reddot award 2019, German design award 2019, and European product design award. Quite an array of accolades.
In addition to its cool, minimalist Bauhaus styling, the straps and dials are produced in small factories in southern Germany, where the entire assembly and quality control are also carried out. Don’t assume that because it says “Made in Germany” means it has to be constructed under the same stringent laws as “Swiss Made”. So this watch likely has a case made in China (some Swiss brands even do), but it’s good that they’ve specified the German-made aspects.
Let’s check it out.
- Dimensions: 42.5mm diameter x 10mm height x 49mm lug to lug
- Weight: 82g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Movement: Sellita SW200
- Accuracy: +11 sec/day
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: £429 / €499
- Code WIAA40 = £40 / €40 discount code
- Buy here: https://www.lilienthal.berlin/uk/zeitgeist-silver-silver-grey?c=17
The video review
Whilst at a glance the diameter of 42.5mm sounds large, it wears smaller due to the concealed crown and svelte lugs. The case is very simple in design and execution, but simple design is not always easy.
The overall flow of the case is simple – a pure barrel with equally inset bezel and caseback, with elegantly downturned lugs.
The finishing is a dull matte, which is quite industrial and rather Germanic; I personally really like it.
The crown is shaped like the Berlin Weltzeituhr (World Clock) with multiple facets. It’s very cleverly hidden away whilst pushed in to keep a clean circle. I’m not going to lie, it does make it a bit difficult to use due to its slender nature – and if you enjoy hand-winding your watch then you can forget it. There’s a funky rubber ring in the centre which is unexpected.
The exhibition caseback is secured in place by 4 screws – again, simple in appearance but effortlessly cool. Various specifics are deeply engraved surrounding the exhibition window.
The dial is one of the parts entirely produced in South Germany, which is an impressive point. Nothing is applied, which aids the stark, minimal appearance. All details are printed, and the key focus the eye is drawn to tends to be the date window at 6 and the circular channel etched into the dial, which is split into quarters.
The metallic galvanized dial is matte-blasted with a light grey colour, which in itself is reminiscent of concrete and the industrial vibe of the watch. It also goes well with the steel case and colour of the strap.
The font used for the numerals is the same used on Berlin’s road signs and are classically Bauhaus in style. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny it’s an influential and uniquely beautiful design style.
The hour and minute hands are simple pencil shapes, with a thin lumed central channel. The second’s hand produces a lovely splash of colour; specifically named “Serenity Blue” – the colour of the “blue hour”, the special fleeting moment that marks the transition from day to night.
The date window at 6 has a small radius to the corners, and the wheel is reasonably deep-set. It’s a shame the wheel isn’t the same colour as the grey dial but I’m not surprised.
The strap is delightful – it’s one of my favourite straps I’ve handled for a very long time. This is another item which is handcrafted in Germany, and it’s obvious that it has had special consideration.
The quality is clear upon closer inspection. Beautifully soft, supple yet thick; and a gorgeous grey colour to match the case and dial. Quick-release pins are an added bonus. The light “serenity blue” stitching detail at the top by the lugs compliments the seconds hand well and introduces a lovely splash of colour.
The tang buckle is a pleasant rounded shape and is finished the same as the case. Sadly and rather surprisingly, no logo is engraved on the top bar; but you know what these minimalists are like.
The movement powering the Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist is the immensely popular Sellita SW200. It’s more or less a direct clone of the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 but more readily available. Therefore, it’s the go-to for many brands who want a seriously reliable Swiss automatic movement.
Specs include a high beat rate of 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second), ~40-hour power reserve, hacking second hand, auto and hand winding capabilities.
The Zeitgeist has a very smart customised rotor – a deep, dark grey with the logo engraved on it; a stark contrast to the rest of the watch being a much lighter grey. It certainly draws the eye and helps it stand out.
The Bauhaus style is certainly for a certain type of person: primarily for those who are particularly into design.
If you like the style, then the Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist is a great looking, solid watch. The specs are on point; the build quality is spot on. Plus it has that German touch which makes it all the more industrial and efficient.
11 May, 2020 at 5:10 pm
Thank you for your thorough review. Your review was the reason why I just bought mine with a different strap. I notice on my watch that has an indentation where the watch fit in the case on the side where the seam is near the strap at 12 o’clock position. I saw another reviewer noticed the same thing, but I wonder if you remember if you noticed that too? Thank you for reading my message.
13 May, 2020 at 10:29 pm
Purchased the 37.5 mm L1 WATER with the cork strap. Very nice watch and the finish is as you’d expect from a German company.
I wanted a battery watch as both my others are automatic and with this watch having a good look, 25% off direct from the company, I paid £156 and German quality assured I was more than pleased when it arrived.
The blue glow of the hands at night is far better than my £2000 RADO another + is the 7.5 mm case thickness.
My only dislike is with the face been flat it does pick up a perfect glaze line across the face depending on the angle.
Would I recommend this watch? Definitely even at the full asking price it’s a bargain.