Leica Camera AG has finally debuted its long-awaited watch models, the Leica L1 and the Leica L2. The 150-year company is excited to welcome this new addition of engineering excellence to their storied brand.
The timepieces' exteriors were designed by professor Achim Heine, who has been the mastermind behind several of Leica's iconic designs. Due to Heine’s unique understanding of the company’s aesthetics, the watch features subtle homages to Leica’s rich history. The delicate and meticulous design process paid off; an astute eye can find elements of their renowned cameras throughout the watch. For instance, the domed watch glass is a call back to a lens.
Similar to their cameras, Leica maintained a balance of design and mechanical engineering to give watch owners a beautiful watch that will hold up over the years. Both of the watch models have the company’s unique patent push crown, which can reset the small hand to zero and has a scratch-resistant see-through back.
“Together with Markus Lehmann, we expanded and fine-tuned the idea of the push crown. In contrast to conventional designs – whereby the crown must be pulled out to stop the movement and adjust the time – we wanted the crown to be pressed down, like the release button of a camera," Heine explained. "The moment you push the crown, the watch stops, and the small second-hand jumps to zero. Another click releases the movement again. This is an unusual detail that perfectly fits in with Leica.”
The Leica L1 will be selling for $10,000 and the Leica L2 for $14,000. Both models have new innovative mechanical movements that allow the owner to see the manual winding through the transparent back made of sapphire crystal. To ensure its "Made in Germany" standard, Leica partnered with Lehmann Präzision GmbH, where the watches were developed and produced in their factory in the Black Forest region in Germany.
“I am very happy that this long-term project is now ready to be presented," Leica Camera majority owner Dr. Andreas Kaufmann said, who also serves as chairman of the supervisory board. "I believe that, together with our partners, we have succeeded in developing a watch ‘Made in Germany’ that is representative of Leica and embodies the values of our premium brand.”