If you think Leica’s cameras are expensive, wait until you see the price of the company’s new timepieces, originally announced back in 2018. Leica has launched its much-teased watches, the Leica L1 and Leica L2, which cost $10,000 and $14,000, respectively.
The timepieces’ exteriors were ‘conceptualized’ by Professor Achim Heine, who Leica says ‘has designed numerous Leica products in the past, giving him a profound understanding of the company’s aesthetic principles.’ Both watches take inspiration from Leica cameras and lenses, including the patented ‘push crown’ with a little ‘red dot’ on the face of it. The timepieces use a newly developed mechanical movement with manual winding. A piece of sapphire crystal on the rear of the watch showcases the intricacies of the internals that were developed and produced in the Lehmann factory in Germany’s Black Forest region.
‘Together with Markus Lehmann, we expanded and fine-tuned the idea of the push crown,’ says Professor Achim Heine. ‘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. 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.’
Both watches measure 41mm in diameter and 14.5mm tall. There are a total of 26 jewels in both models and both feature a minimum of 60 hours of power reserve, have an ISO 2281 standard water resistance rating, meaning they’re good down to 50m (165ft). The Leica L1 comes with a veal leather strap with black on top and red on bottom, a subtle nod to the iconic Leica ‘red dot’ on many of its M-mount cameras. The Leica L2 uses the same black/red color scheme, but opts for alligator leather instead. The L2 also has a second time zone bezel with a night/day indicator and a dedicated GMT crown.
The Leica L1 and L2 timepieces are currently available to purchase at select Leica stores for $10,000 and $14,000, respectively. Additional points of sale will be announced ‘as time progresses.’ You can learn more about hte Leica L1 and L2 timepieces by visiting Leica’s product page.