You know Leica as the famed camera and lens manufacturer, but the German company is entering the luxury watch business. Leica will offer two models and they will be in very limited supply and rather pricey considering this is Leica’s first dive into watchmaking.
Leica Camera AG was established in 1914 and are known around the world for their high-end cameras and lenses (as seen on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphone) as well as binoculars and scopes. The company has decided to branch out to the watchmaking industry and will offer two timepieces to begin with — the L1 and the L2.
You’ll notice that the watches take a lot of design ideas from Leica’s iconic cameras. And yes, the watches also have a little red dot on the crown, which pays tribute to Leica’s classic red dot logo. “The elegance of the hands and indexes, the shape of the detailed, stainless-steel case… and the cambered shape of the [anti-reflective sapphire] glass which is reminiscent of a camera lens,” Leica boasts. The power reserve meter is modeled after a gauge on the Leicameter light meter made for the Leica M3.
Both watches feature 41mm stainless steel cases and there is an 18-karat rose gold option for the L2. Both timepieces utilize hand-winding movements. The L1 and L2 will show the time, date, and power reserve display. The watches are said to have a power reserve of 60 hours. The L2 also adds a day/night indicator and a rotating GMT bezel.
The mechanical watches have a “patented push-piece” design used to set the time and a separate pusher to set the date. Both timepieces are water resistant up to 50 meters. The watches have a minimalist design with embossed calfskin straps, stainless steel buckles, and sapphire crystal back so you can see the movement.
The watches will be manufactured at Leica’s headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany under the umbrella of Leica’s new luxury division Ernst Leitz Werkstätten. Much of the components of the watches are made by Lehmann Präzision, a precision machinery company located in the Black Forest of Germany. The L1 and L2 will be available this Fall at ten different Leica stores worldwide and will start around $11,500. They will be in very short supply as Leica is planning on making 400 timepieces in the first year.