If you are a die-hard fan of Leica cameras, the company just revealed a brand new collection of wrist watches that may match beautifully with your gear. Yep: Leica, the premium German camera manufacturer, is now in the luxury watch business.
Leica Camera and luxury design house and manufacturer The Ernst Leitz Werkstätten have come up with an entirely new and exclusive product line: two mechanically complex and sophisticated watches. The Leica L1 and the Leica L2 will initially be available for the launch of the Leica Watch.
The two versions draw their design inspiration from the creativity and precision, the hallmarks of the world-famous manufacturer from Wetzlar. Both types were designed by Professor Achim Heine, who oversaw the design of many Leica Camera products over the years and has extensive knowledge of the company’s design principles. The Leica signature look can be found in the countless design elements and features of the watches: the elegance of the hands and indexes, the shape of the finely-detailed stainless-steel case, the special fluting on the crown and the cambered shape of the glass that is reminiscent of a camera lens.
Both models have mechanical movements, manufactured by partner Lehmann Präzision, with manual winding that can be viewed through the transparent sapphire crystal case back. The front glass is made of scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal as well. The stainless steel watches feature a patented crown that you push rather than pull to set the time. Pushing the crown also resets the seconds hand to zero.
The watches has one key feature that really sets them apart: a crown that you push to reset the seconds to zero and enter a time-setting mode. This means you never pull out the crown or fiddle with multiple positions. You simply push it in, set the watch, and push it again to set it in motion – it operates with a column wheel, in much the same way as the start/stop mechanism of a chronograph, with two discrete positions. The date is adjusted with a separate, dedicated pusher, and the GMT model uses a second crown to rotate the inner bezel used to mark the second timezone.
While exact pricing has yet to be announced, the L1 model will come in at under €10,000. They will be available through 10 Leica boutiques around the world later this year, and the production in the first year is limited to 400 pieces.