Leica, the iconic German camera brand, founded in 1914, is as highly-regarded for its quality craftsmanship as it is for its impeccable design. Now, they're bringing the same timeless style to watchmaking. The first models, the Leica L1 and L2 watches, which will debut this month, are simple yet undeniably beautiful.
The timepieces, designed by Professor Achim Heine and made by Lehmann Präzision GmbH, move mechanically with manual winding, which can be seen through the glass case back, which is made of sturdy sapphire crystal. The anti-reflective front, which is also made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal has a patented push-piece crown with a status display on the dial. The strap is designed in diamond-embossed black calf leather with a stainless steel pin buckle.
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The Leica L1 and Leica L2 models feature elegant hands and indexes, a sharply-detailed stainless-steel case, and customized fluting on the crown that recalls a camera lens. The L2 model will also be available in an 18 karat rose gold case, and there will be a limited special edition of the stainless steel model with a red dial.
In a nod to Leica’s distinct design elements, the Leica watch will feature a ruby on the crown. Also, the power reserve indicator is designed to resemble an aperture readout. The L1 and L2 watches are medium-to-large in size at 41mm in diameter and 14mm thick with brushed stainless steel cases, which gives them an understated appearance.
Lehmann Präzision, a company based in the Black Forest, manufactures high-precision machinery used for watchmaking, as well its own collection of watches that bear the name Lehmann Schramberg, a renowned German brand. According to Markus Lehmann, Managing Director of Lehmann Präzision GmbH, “We built precision machines for Leica years ago, independently of this project. It has of course been very interesting to work with Leica in two such different areas, although the watch project was and is a project very close to my heart. We knew in the run-up to this project that this cooperation will be fruitful, which helped to intensify our partnership significantly.”
Production will be limited to 400 units of each model the first year. The price point is expected to be under €10,000. Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG, says, “I am very happy that this long-term project can now be finally presented. I believe that together with our partners we have succeeded in developing a Made in Germany watch that is worthy of the name Leica and which represents the values of our premium brand extremely well." The Leica L1 and Leica L2 will be available in select Leica Stores and at watch dealers around the world this fall.