Leica has finally made its L1 and L2 luxury watches available for general purchase. Originally announced in 2018, the two models have a high expected price of $10,000 and $20,000 respectively.
Leica Ernst Leitz Werkstätten
Leica launched its Ernst Leitz Werkstätten watch-centric division in 2018 with the promise of the L1 and L2 watches. While the company was initially aiming for a 2018 release, the company was clearly delayed. Now, nearly four years later, the timepieces can finally be purchased at select Leica stores around the world.
“The look was inspired by Professor Achim Heine who, having designed many Leica products for many years, has a deep understanding of the company’s aesthetic principles,” said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and majority shareholder of Leica Camera AG, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann. “The idea was developed in collaboration with Markus Lehmann: while other crowns stop and reset the watch when pulled out, this crown is pressed like the shutter button of a camera. It’s an unusual detail that fits perfectly with Leica.
Leica says the watch’s domed glass has been designed to recall a camera lens, and “rhodium-plated and diamond-coated hour markers and hands” follow typical Leica simple and delicate design principles. The iconic red dot found on Leica cameras is also featured on the watch’s push crown and the company says all functional details contain subtle references to signature features from Leica’s history.
The push crown in particular is what Leica describes as unique in form and function. Inspired by a camera shutter button, the crown is pushed in instead of pulled out and pressing it triggers the reset of the second hand and changes the dials from white to red on the status display . Leica explains that this mechanism can also be used to set the date with another date button, while pressing the crown again resets the movement. The Leica L2 also features a GMT crown that can display both time zones with a single hand.
Difference Between L1 and L2
The Leica L1 and L2 watches are both hand-wound and display hours, minutes and seconds, as well as a date window, and will display status and remaining power on the current wind. The power reserve guarantees at least 60 hours and is adorned with regularly closing blades reminiscent of the shutters of a Leica camera. Both are equipped with a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a transparent caseback and are water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.
The L2 is capable of displaying two time zones with a single hand. The 12 o’clock bezel provides fast and accurate time reading in a global orientation system and features a handcrafted alligator leather strap.
Price and availability
Leica offers the L1 and L2 watches at a limited set of its global stores in Asia, America, the Middle East and Europe, with a store in China, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Austria, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
Leica Rumors contacted the Leica Store in Los Angeles to inquire about pricing and was told that the L1 is available for $10,000 while the L2 is available for $20,000.