The iconic film camera design, now in a timeless watch version.
Founded in 1869, German brand Leica is one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of photographic and optical equipment. Synonymous with exceptional engineering and craftsmanship, their cameras also featured innovative designs. Leica’s red dot became a mark of excellence as well as one of the most iconic design elements of all time. Now, the brand has launched its first watch collection with the L1 and L2 timepieces. Designed by Professor Achim Heine, who has previously designed many Leica products, the stylish watches feature distinctive elements that celebrate the brand’s heritage.
Details that give a nod to renowned Leica products.
Both models feature patented “red dot” push-crowns inspired by the shutter release button of traditional film cameras. The push-crowns have a special function, as they can reset the second hand to zero. Another click releases the movement again. The power reserve indicator also reminds of Leica light meters. On the front, the watches boast a scratch-proof domed sapphire crystal reminiscent of a camera lens. On the other side, they feature a transparent case back; this glass offers a view of the custom manually-wound movement developed from scratch in a close collaboration with Lehmann Präzision.
The dial features rhodinized and diamond indices and hands as well as a date window and a status and power reserve. Both watches come with 41mm stainless steel cases and with knurling on the crowns. However, L2 also has a rotating 12-hour bezel with a GMT function. The manually-wound movement has a 60-hour power reserve and comes with evenly closing blades that reference camera shutters. A black leather strap with red stitching and a red underside completes the design.
Handcrafted in Germany, the Leica L1 and L2 watches are exclusive and available only in selected stores. If you’re in the US and want to grab one for yourself or a loved one who is also a photographer, you’ll have to drop by the Leica store in Los Angeles. The L1 watch costs $10,000 while the L2 (that also comes with a handcrafted alligator leather strap) costs $14,000. Photography© Leica Camera AG.