Leica’s evolution from revered manufacturer of high-precision cameras and optics into fully fledged luxury brand is continuing apace with the announcement of a pair of limited-edition watches.
Assembled at the Ernst Leitz Werkstätten, part of the company’s just-opened Leitz Park campus in Wetzlar, Germany, the new timepieces – named L1 and L2 – share a 41mm stainless-steel case, understated dial designs (white and silver on either black or red) with power-reserve indicator referencing an early Leica light meter, a bespoke base calibre manufactured by Lehmann Präzision and a ruby-set crown that recalls the brand’s red-dot logo. With a GMT function and day/night indicator (the former is indicated by a rotating inner bezel, which is controlled by a second crown), the L2 is the more complicated of the two watches, though in keeping with the Leica philosophy the appearances of both models are simplicity personified.
As each Leica watch is available in a run of 450 pieces only, you’ll need to act very quickly indeed if you intend adding one of these to your collection – and in terms of design, as well as the exquisitely worked movement that’s visible through the caseback, they’re clearly such enticing propositions that demand will doubtless massively outstrip supply.
As for the notion of shelling out mega-thousands on a watch from a camera-maker, we admit to being on the fence here at Prestige – but then not so very long ago we were fulminating about Montblanc, and now we’re positively gaga about the “pen-maker’s” 1858 Monopusher Chronograph, which is one of the most covetable timepieces we’ve seen in ages. Funny how things change …