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The young Berlin brand Lilienthal Berlin has been producing minimalist lifestyle watches since its foundation in 2016. That this is not just any microbrand that produces interchangeable fashion watches became clear to me on closer inspection of the watch brand… Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik Review.
Otto Lilienthal is the German aviation pioneer par excellence. The man from Berlin was the first person ever to succeed a take off off with a self-built flying machine and making the dream of flying come true. Take off is a good keyword. Because the young Berlin manufactory, which is named after the famous aviator, does exactly that: taking off. The first characteristic features are not dissimilar to the many fashion watch clones.
Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik
Lilienthal Berlin also produces minimalist watches in the lifestyle sector that want to shed the often dusty image of many watch manufacturers and reach new customers. But that’s all. Who dares a second view, notices immediately: Lilienthal Berlin is a ‘genuine’ watch brand. That begins with the focus on quality. The watches are not designed and manufactured in Asia, but in Germany. The product range is not off the shelf, but individual. Last but not least, the price already reveals that Lilienthal Berlin wants to play in a different league…
The most interesting watch in the current range for me is the Zeitgeist Automatik (The German word ‚Zeitgeist‘ can be translated as ‚spirit oft he times‘). The Daily Rocker from the Berlin-based manufacturer stands out with its versatility, award-winning design and astonishing technical data on paper that I have never seen before in the lifestyle sector. That’s why we will put the Zeitgeist in the “All Black” design through its paces today.
The first impression – Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik Test
The simple, black packaging only adorns the Lilienthal Berlin seal. The packaging shares its characteristics with the watch – minimalism is the order of the day. The Zeitgeist is hidden under a stack of postcards and care instructions. Included in the packaging is a lovely designed personal certificate as well as instructions on how to change the strap and adjust the watch. No further ornamentation is included. The focus is on the watch.
What I like at first sight: The Zeitgeist has a very respectful size, contrary to expectations. While most fashion watches have a diameter of 36-39 millimeters, Lilienthal gives his timepiece a whole 42.5 millimeters! I like that very much, because I personally appreciate larger diameters. On the wrist, the Zeitgeist still doesn’t seem oversized. This is also due to the restrained design. Here, the designers of the Berlin watch manufacturer have done a great job and left out all superfluous design elements. Do you want to see an example? The crown no longer sticks out, but is now embedded in the case. The case itself and the dial are also reduced to the essentials.
My Zeitgeist Automatik in the All Black version comes with a mesh strap, naturally in black. Three more leather straps in dark brown, light brown and grey were also sent to me by Lilienthal Berlin. But more about that later.
The view into the detail – Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik
The case is made of 316L stainless steel and unlike most fashion watches screwed too. The matt, sandblasted surfaces look cleanly finished and provide a very good haptic feeling when you have the watch in your hand. The design is incredibly clear and simple – and that’s what makes it so beautiful! For me personally, the secret highlight is almost the crown, which has to submit to the clear lines and is fully integrated into the case. This also has a functional advantage. Because despite its size, the crown never interferes when worn, because it does not come into contact with the back of the hand. In addition, the 42.5 millimeter case diameter stands out clearly from the general standard.
When it comes to quality, Lilienthal Berlin has to set its own high standards. The choice of materials for the watch glass is correspondingly good. The black dial is protected by sapphire crystal rather than mineral crystal, that is used for most of the Asian models. This guarantees a high longevity of the watch and a certain resistance to scratches in everyday life.
Lilienthal Berlin states the water resistance for its Zeitgeist up to 5 bar. Theoretically, diving to a depth of 50 meters would be possible. I would not necessarily take this risk. But you can take the Zeitgeist with you in the shower or the swimming pool without hesitation. This is also due to the case back, which is screwed together.
Speaking of the case back – even the Zeitgeist has its playful side, but of course everything stays within bounds. But if you only knew the front side, you might be a bit surprised by the case back. Here, Lilienthal has installed a window through which the movement can be viewed. The movement is a Swiss caliber, more precisely a SW200 from Sellita with 26 jewels and 38 hours power reserve. Characteristic for the well-known Swiss caliber is its robustness. The 26 jewels guarantee smooth movements. A rate accuracy of +/- 12 seconds per day is indicated. This value is quite impressive.
In order to enhance the optical appearance of the movement, Lilienthal Berlin has installed a dark galvanized rotor, which is optimally suited to the All Black version. The integration of the glass bottom is also exceptionally well done in my opinion and another highlight of the automatic watch.
The fact that the Zeitgeist Automatik has won the German Design Award for the third time in 2020 in succession is also due to the dial, the central design element. As you would expect, this does not have any prominent or overburdened design elements. The galvanized, matt blasted surface gives the watch a very exclusive, if not almost luxurious, look. A three-dimensional impression is created by a design element. A circular trench runs halfway between the center and the edge of the dial, enhancing the design.
The printing of the hour indices and the minute markers in white is very impressive. Even on closer inspection, the printing looks very clean, which is often not self-evident. But the Zeitgeist Automatik passes this quality test without any problems. Discreet lettering, a light blue second hand and the Lilienthal Berlin logo can be found on the dial, too.
The bracelet of the Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik
I can’t remember when I ever had four exclusive bracelets for a watch. Lilienthal Berlin sent me three more leather straps besides the black mesh bracelet, which of course have to be tried out!
The Mesh bracelet looks very good. The black buckle has the engraved writing of the manufactory. In terms of quality the mesh bracelet does not fall off either. You can attest the bracelet a certain longevity without hesitation. But in terms of wearing comfort, nothing beats a leather bracelet. I have worn the leather bracelets in light brown, grey and dark brown alternately in the past few days and am more than satisfied with the comfort they offer.
The Zeitgeist has a quick change system. Since the bracelets are not fully integrated, the change of the bracelets can be done in seconds and without using any tools.
My conclusion about the Zeitgeist Automatik Lilienthal Berlin
With this watch at the latest, no one will have an excuse to be without a timepiece in their professional and private lives in the future. The Zeitgeist Automatik is a true daily rocker and not only interesting for die-hard watch fans. Lilienthal Berlin takes an exciting middle course. The product is also interesting for people who have had little to do with watches so far. The Berlin-based manufacturer knows how to embody the lifestyle feeling of the young generation, which sees the watch as an accessory to the outfit.
And it doesn’t matter whether it’s for everyday office life, festive occasions or a barbecue – the Zeitgeist Automatik simply fits every occasion and every outfit. At the same time Lilienthal Berlin brings quality into play. High-quality materials and a durable movement bring the qualities that I have often missed at fashion brands.
Last but not least, the price-performance ratio is just right. Beginners do not have to invest directly in the four-digit range to wear a good watch on their wrist. Nevertheless, the difference in quality compared to other fashion brands is reflected in the price. All in all, with the Zeitgeist Automatik you get a very good overall package and a lot of watch for your money. For the All Black version including mesh wristband, you pay 649 Euros. The All Silver color variant is available from 589 Euro, depending on the bracelet.