A little less than four years back, celebrated camera manufacturer Leica surprised everyone by announcing its entry into premium watchmaking. After a long wait, the Leica L1 and L2 wristwatches have finally hit the market and are available for sale. Leica’s inaugural collection of watches features the manufacturer’s famed and well-loved minimalistic design complete with smooth surfaces and clean lines. The German brand says the watches were designed according to the principle of “Das Wesentliche”, which translates to “the essentials” in English.
The time-plus-date Leica L1 and a GMT-equipped Leica L2 both share the same steel case that measures 41mm in diameter and 14mm in thickness. Both models also feature a patented crown mechanism that unlike traditional crowns pushes in like a camera button. The push-crown gets a red ceramic inlay an homage to Leica’s signature “red dot.” Additionally, the two watches are fitted with domed sapphire crystals that are designed to look like the front element of a camera lens.
The dials also feature Leica’s signature Germanic restrained aesthetic. The aluminum dials have a simple, clutter-free design with a matte-black finish. The date window is at 3 ’clock, while the curved power indicator is located between 8 and 9. A tiny dot window turns red when the crown is pushed in. While the Leica L1 and L2 wristwatches were designed in-house, the manufacturing of the timepieces will be taken care of by Lehmann Präzision, a well-known German mechanical engineering brand that also has its own line of mechanical watches under the name Lehmann. The movements of the pair of watches were also developed from the ground up by Lehmann just for Leica. The purpose-built manually wound movements have a 60-hour power reserve and can be seen through the transparent sapphire caseback. The Leica L1 has been priced at $10,000 and the Leica L2 at $14,000. The company says it’ll produce 500 examples of each per year.