Quality and design, functionality and durability, engineering excellence and long-term vision: these are the guiding principles of Leica Camera AG. For more than 150 years, focusing on the essential has been at the core of Leica’s brand culture. This also applies to the latest additions to the Leica family: the LEICA L1 and LEICA L2 – two remarkable timepieces with a patented push crown.
The design of the LEICA L1 and LEICA L2 draws inspiration from previous engineering masterpieces made in Wetzlar. The watches’ exterior was conceptualized by Professor Achim Heine, who has designed numerous Leica products in the past – giving him a profound understanding of the company’s aesthetic principles. As a result, the LEICA L1 and LEICA L2 contain subtle references to signature features from Leica’s rich history. These include, for example, the delicate design of the watch hands and applied indices, the shape of the intricate stainless-steel case, the special knurling on the crowns, and the domed watch glass that recalls the front element of a camera lens.
Both models are powered by a complete newly developed mechanical movement with manual winding. The movement is visible through the transparent back made of resilient sapphire crystal. Maintaining the ‘Made in Germany’ designation was extremely important to Leica, which is why the company entered into a partnership with Lehmann Präzision GmbH. As a result, the movement and most of the watches’ components were developed and produced in the Lehmann factory in Germany’s Black Forest region, ensuring an exceptional level of vertical range of manufacturing.
The Leica watches are a perfect combination of design and mechanical engineering. Besides the domed front crystal and the flat transparent back made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflective coating, both watch models are distinguished by the patented push crown and its correlating status indicator on the dial. The push crown’s ability to reset the small second hand to zero is also a unique feature and adds yet another practical purpose to this aesthetically pleasing design element.
Professor Achim Heine explains: “Together with Markus Lehmann, we expanded and fine-tuned the idea of the push crown. 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.”
Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and majority owner of Leica Camera, adds: “I am very happy that this long-term project is now ready to be presented. I believe that, together with our partners, we have succeeded in developing a watch ‘Made in Germany’ that is representative of Leica and embodies the values of our premium brand.”
Markus Lehmann, Managing Director of Lehmann Präzision GmbH, commented on the collaboration with Leica Camera: “We have previously built precision machines for Leica, independently of this project. It has, of course, been very interesting to work with Leica in two such different areas – whereby the watch project was, and is, a project very close to my heart.”
The LEICA L1 and the LEICA L2 will be available at select Leica Stores, starting February 8, 2022*. The price is 9,500 euros for the LEICA L1, and 13,500 euros for the LEICA L2; VAT included in both cases.
Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography
Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hessen, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.