What’s the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Leica? For us photographers, it’s most likely high-quality (and high-price) cameras and lenses.
But Leica now also makes wristwatches. They come in two versions and both look absolutely beautiful. And other than premium quality, they also come with significant price tags of up to $14,000.
Leica has launched L1 and L2 watches, and they look very much alike at the first glance. Mechanically, both models are manually-wound watches displaying hours, minutes, and seconds. There’s also a date window, status, and power reserve. As far as design goes, I find them both beautiful, and very elegant, but I believe that’s a matter of taste. I quite like the red dot on the push-crown, I think it’s a great detail.
Both Leica L1 and Leica L2 are fitted with a scratch-proof domed sapphire crystal, a transparent case back, and they’re both water-resistant to a depth of 50 m (164 ft). The power reserve guarantees at least 60 hours of motion. Another great detail is that it’s decked by evenly closing blades that look like the shutters of a Leica camera.
And now for the differences. As a GMT-watch, the Leica L2 also uses a single hand to indicate the second time zone on the dial. The 12-hour bezel facilitates rapid, exact, and interpretation-free time-telling within a global orientation system. Another exquisite highlight of the Leica L2 is the “hand-crafted alligator leather strap with the refined aestheticism of its red interior surface, 3D cushioning, and a tastefully complementary seam color.” I’m not a fan of natural leather, but once again – it’s a matter of preferences and personal choice.
Finally, when it comes to the price, the Leica L1 is a bit less expensive than the L2. It’s still pretty pricey though, and it will set you back $10,000. The L2 has a bit more features, hence the higher price of $14,000. For comparison, the most expensive Leica camera currently selling is Leica S3 medium format DSLR, and it costs $19,995.
Needless to say that I’ll never be rich enough to buy any of these two watches. But if you’re interested, the Leica L1 and Leica L2 will be available exclusively in selected stores across Europe, Asia, America, and the Middle East. You can find the store list here, as well as the detailed specs of the watches.