Today we are gonna talk about one of my favourite German watch companies Lilienthal Berlin! I previously reviewed their L1 quartz model which was a really great quartz watch that was Made in Germany and performed amazingly and was in my top 10 of last year as the best value watch in affordable range! Today we are gonna look at their automatic movement watch called Zeitgeist!
Lilienthal Berlin is a German company based, as you guessed in the capital of Germany, Berlin. Their main focus is on the German made quality and design. Their watches are officially German made and are fully tested to the highest specifications. The Zeitgeist combines the best of two worlds: Swiss art of watch movement-making and German craftsmanship. The watch is developed in close cooperation with selected partners. Naturally, they only use high-quality materials. The straps and dials are produced in small factories in southern Germany where the entire assembly and quality control are also carried out.
The Zeitgeist comes in two case/dial variations. The one we have in for review silver case and dial, the second version comes with the black case and dial. I chose this one as I don’t like black watches that much. I have only one black watch in my collection and next week I will publish a review of that and you will know why it is the only black case watch I wear! The Zeitgeist also has 5 leather strap colour options (brown, black grey, blue and light brown), I went with the light brown as I think it suits this watch a lot!
The Zeitgeist comes in a nice rectangular box just like every Lilienthal watch you order from them. I like the design of the packaging and it is pretty simple, but yet it gives you a nice unboxing experience. You open the box and you get there a watch, couple of postcards, instructions, warranty and stickers. First impressions were good, you really get that German watch feeling. Just like the last time I was very impressed by the leather strap. I also like the black customized rotor on the Sellita SW200 movement.
So the case of the Zeitgeist is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well machined. The case is round, with a simple design. It has short, thin lugs. On the right side of the case, you had a small round cut where the dodecagon shaped crown sits. The shape actually comes from the Berlin Weltzeituhr clock which is a great detail. Despite it being hidden, it is quite easy to pull out and operate. The crown is push/pull and inside the crown, you have this little grey rubber ring going so you have more grip on the crown. The diameter of the case is 42,5mm, the thickness is only 10mm, lug to lug is 49,5mm and lug width is 20mm. The 42,5mm size on paper sounds big, but it wears so well on the wrist and feels more like 41mm or even 40mm. Due to the very short and thin lugs and the hidden crown, it gives an illusion of a smaller watch. And also it wears pretty comfortably due to the thin case. The case is finished in matte bead blasted finish. The exhibition case back is finished with circular brushing and is much shinier. The case back is held on with 4 small screws and has some specifications, model number engraved on it. The crystal on the case back is flat sapphire glass. On top of the case, you will find a flat sapphire crystal as well. The water resistance is 5ATM (50m) which is pretty decent, but I wouldn’t go swimming with it, it can take some rain or handwash, but nothing more.
The dial on the Zeitgeist is kept in German traditions of minimalism, but with that subtle detail that doesn’t ruin the overall look of the dial! The dial is in matte silver colour to match the finishing of the case, but a little lighter. Around the dial, we have the minute track with Arabic numerals for the minutes every 5 minutes. The font used here is very German and I like it. In the middle portion of the dial, we have this circle line engraved. At 9 o’clock it has very small writing “Zeitgeist” and at 3 o’clock “Automatik“. Very subtle but nice detail. At 6 o’clock we have a date window with a white date wheel which looks decent. At 12 o’clock we have a very nice looking Lilienthal Berlin logo. The hour and minute hands have index shape and are lumed. The lume is actually pretty good and lasts about 4-5 hours. The stick-shaped second’s hand is painted in light blue colour an gives a little pop of colour to the dial which I like. The dial is very legible and easy to read.
The movement that is inside the Zeitgeist is the Swiss Made self-winding Sellita SW200 movement. It has 26 jewels, it beats at 28800 BPH and the power reserve is around 38 hours. It is a pretty popular movement that is getting used more and more in microbrand watches as it is cheap, reliable and well made. I have it in a couple of my watches and it never lets me down and it has very great accuracy. Mine was running only at +4 to +5 seconds a day which is right where it supposed to be. The movement has a custom Lilienthal rotor in black colour with Lilienthal logo engraved on it. The movement is the base version so it means it has no perlage or geneva stripes on it, but nonetheless, it doesn’t change the performance.
The strap as we learned from the L1 review is super good. You can go read that review to learn more about how it is made as I have a video there and a short history. So the strap I chose is the light brown leather strap. The strap is very soft to touch, it has that “butter” smooth leather. The strap is stitched with the same light brown thread and it has some light blue accents right by the lugs which go with the second’s hand. The end of the strap is signed with Lilienthal logo on top which is a nice and subtle detail. The underside and loops are stitched with the same light blue thread. On the underside, you will see that these straps handcrafted in Germany and you really can see and feel it from seeing the strap in real life. These got to be also one of the best straps right outside the box that you get with buying the watch. Usually most of the watches I have, I change the strap immediately as they usually aren’t good or look bad, but this one is just perfect. The tang-style buckle is also finished n the same way as the case and works great! The strap is 20mm wide and is kept in with the built-in quick release spring bars which are another thing why I love these straps! This makes the strap change very easy and unpainful.
Overall I love this watch! And I definitely give it my approval and I think this will go into my “top 10 reviewed watches of 2019”. And honestly, the price of 499€ isn’t crazy for this watch as you get a German made timepiece, sapphire on both sides, Swiss automatic movement, top quality handmade leather strap and a very nice designed dial! Can I recommend this watch? DEFINITELY YES! I liked the last one I reviewed L1 and I remember I complained that they don’t have an automatic version, and they listened and delivered one…..and it’s amazing!
- MOVEMENT Swiss automatic movement from Sellita
- CALIBER SW200 with ruthenium galvanized rotor and 26 stones
- POWER RESERVE 38 hours
- COMPLICATION Date
- CASE MATERIAL 316L surgical steel with a screwed-on glass back cover
- CASE DIAMETER 42.5 mm
- CASE THICKNESS 10 mm
- GLASS Sapphire glass
- STRAP MATERIAL Plant-tanned natural leather
- STRAP LENGTH 155 – 215 mm
- WATER RESISTANCE 5 ATM
- WEIGHT 77 grams
- PRODUCTION Made in Germany