Back in the early 1900’s when the people of Vienna Austria needed to set their watches, they would set them to the time on the public clocks. There was some issues with doing this however. The public clocks were not that accurate and there were different time zones within the city districts. In 1907 the first electronic Normalzeit, or normal time clock was erected. In 1910, Vienna started following Greenwich Mean Time, which meant an end to the multiple time zones. More and more of these Normalzeit clocks were erected and now people all over the city of Vienna could accurately check the time and set their watches anywhere in the city. Taking inspiration from these historical iconic clocks, Vienna born watch designer Fredi Brodmann who now lives in New York teamed up with Austrian design firm Lichterloh, to create the Normalzeit watch. I was very excited to review this watch since I recently traveled to Vienna and saw these clocks all over the city. Now I’ve got one on my wrist.
The dial on the Normalzeit watch is a throwback to the original clocks that were erected in the early 1900’s. With large, thick hour and minute hands, you can imagine how easy these clocks were to see from a distance. The design of the hands, hour makers, and even the “Nomalzeit” logo are exactly what you would have seen on the original clocks. There is no seconds hands because, well, the clock didn’t have it. So why put it on the watch? Protecting the dial on this watch is a scratch proof sapphire crystal. Powering this watch is a reliable Seiko NH35A movement.
The case of Normalzeit watch totally took the same characteristics of the clock. The octagonal case with its beveled corners reflect the iconic design of the original clocks. Made from 316L stainless steel the case measures in at 40mm wide, 40mm lug to lug, and 11mm thick. Water resistance is 50m which is fine for watch not meant for the water. The crown is push down and has the Lichterloh logo on it. The case back is solid and secured by 4 screws. The front and back of the case back are tapered, which makes the watch fit comfortably on the wrist.
You can choose the genuine leather, or silicone straps for this Normalzeit watch. This one came with the silicone strap and is very comfortable to wear. The silicone strap is pretty thick but since its so soft there is no issue and the thickness pairs perfectly with the case design. The clasp is a simple pin and buckle which keeps with the minimalist look of the watch.
Oh that glow!
You will notice right away that there is no lume painted on the hands or makers and that because the whole face lights up. The night view on this Normalzeit watch is just like what you would see on the large cube clocks. This is such a great touch. The charge time is very short and the lume lasts a long time. Looking at this watch in the dark is just like looking at a distant cube clock.
Since I just got back from a trip to Vienna I might be a little biased, but I really love this watch. With that iconic design which makes one get nostalgic I feel that Fredi and Lichterloh did a fantastic job. If you are from Vienna or have been there and feel in love with like I have, this is such a good way to stay connected with that great city. This watch is well made, comfortable, and iconic. With a price of only $500 you get a little piece of art with a story. Since the first clock was erected in 1907 they have limited this watch to 1907 pieces. If you want one or just want to know more, go check them out at normalzeitwatches.com.
- Brand and model: Normalzeit
- Price: $500 USD
- Who’s it for? Those looking for that nostalgic vibe.
- Would I wear it? Absolutely
- What I’d change: Nothing
- The best thing about it: That connection to Vienna.
Tech Specs from Normalzeit
- 316L Stainless Steel Case, 40 x 40 x 11mm
- Seiko Automatic Movement NH35A, 24 Jewels, 41 Hr Power Reserve
- Sapphire Crystal, Full Glow Dial
- Gray Silicone Strap
- WR 50 Meters / 165Ft
- Limited Edition / 1 – 1907
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