If you’re a die-hard fan of Leica cameras, the company has just unveiled a new line of watches that will pair nicely with your gear. That’s right: Leica is now in the luxury watch business.
Leica has just launched Ernst Leitz Werkstätten, a division that is creating the new and exclusive watch series for Leica Camera. The line is debuting with two models: the Leica L1 and Leica L2.
Both models were designed by Professor Achim Heine, a man who oversaw the design of many Leica Camera products and who is intimately familiar with the company’s renowned design principles.
“The Leica signature look can be found in the countless design elements and features of the watches,” Leica says. “[T]he 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.
“From a design perspective, the watches fit in perfectly with the cameras and the language that Leica has cultivated over the decades,” Hodinkee writes. “Setting the ruby into the crown to reference the iconic red dot in a way that has some history in watchmaking is cool […]”
The L2 model is mostly the same as the L1, except it features an internal rotating bezel for a second time zone as well as a day/night indicator.
Other features and specs include a date indicator, 60 hours of power reserve (with an indicator), 25 jewels, a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vph), a diameter of 41mm, a thickness of 14mm, 50 meters of water resistance, and a diamond-embossed black calf leather strap.
While exact pricing has yet to be announced, the L1 model will come in at under €10,000 (~$11,640). 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.