Dezeen Magazine

A row of Coffee Watches on coffee beans

Lilienthal Berlin uses beans to creates Coffee Watch with "subtle coffee aroma"

Berlin-based watch brand Lilienthal Berlin has designed a watch with a case made from recycled coffee grounds, which the brand says makes it smell like coffee when worn.

Coffee Watch by Lilienthal Berlin, which has been shortlisted for a Dezeen Award 2022, has a case made from a coffee-based material invented by its partner Kaffeeform, while its core is made from stainless steel and its strap from natural leather.

A close up photograph of Coffee Watch
The Coffee Watch comes in a range of colours including Macchiato, which is a light brown

More than 20 million tonnes of waste coffee grounds are collected every year in Germany alone, according to Lilienthal Berlin, leading the brand to launch Coffee Watch in a bid to reduce this waste.

To create the case containing the movement and dial, Kaffeeform uses waste coffee grounds that are collected by bicycle couriers from cafes across Berlin, then dried in community workshops and prepared for processing.

A brown watch with a design informed by coffee
Berlin-based design studio Lilienthal Berlin has created a watch with a case made from recycled coffee

The grounds then undergo an upcycling process that turns them into a material that is "traceable, eco-friendly and tells a story," Lilienthal Berlin said.

"With the Coffee Watch, we want to show just how exciting a sustainable lifestyle can be. That it's worth challenging the status quo," said the brand.

"That it's possible to make a watch out of something as seemingly useless as coffee grounds – that good-looking accessories can be compatible with premium quality and sustainability."

In addition, the watch's colour and texture were designed to resemble the look and feel of coffee. Its strap comes in a range of colours, named Americano, Expresso, Latte and Macchiato, which range from dark to light brown.

Coffee Watch also features a minimal Bauhaus-style dial that has a "subtle sun-burst effect" and was designed to be robust and fully recyclable, the brand said.

The dials of Coffee Watch
The core of the watch is made from stainless steel

The aim of the design was to not just create a "nice watch", but draw attention to upcycling.

"We are also doing more than just showing a nice watch here," said Lilienthal Berlin.

"When it comes to lifestyle products, sustainability still doesn't play a big role as it does when it comes to food, fashion, or many other products we see every day. In our industry though, things are developing a bit slower. And this is exactly what we want to change."

Coffee Watch is among the shortlisted projects for Dezeen Awards 2022 in the wearable design category, where it will be competing against projects including Tenuto 2, a wearable vibrator designed to tackle erectile dysfunction, and breast pump Elvie Stride.