Leica is known for two things: making incredible camera lenses and making some of the best mirrorless cameras money can buy. The brand's quality, design, functionality and durability is lauded by photographers
Now Leica has taken its engineering excellence and applied it to the latest additions of its family: the Leica L1 and Leica L2 – two timepieces with a rather interesting crown mechanism.
The design of the Leica L1 and Leica L2 contains 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 newly developed mechanical movement with manual winding which is visible through the transparent back.
Maintaining the ‘Made in Germany’ designation was extremely important to Leica, so the movement and most of the watches’ components were developed and produced in the Lehmann factory in Germany’s Black Forest region.
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.”
It's a really special touch, that will certainly appeal to Leica fans as well as watch nerds.
In terms of pricing, these watches also follow the Leica tradition of being, well, expensive. The Leica L1 and the Leica L2 are available at select Leica stores, priced €9,500 for the Leica L1 and €13,500 for the Leica L2.
This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.