These new Leica watches are a masterclass in monochrome minimalism

Leica's ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrome Special Editions are a stealthy pair of timepieces from the German camera company

Leica ZM Monochrome watch
(Image credit: Leica)

Leica impressed us all when it revealed its first wristwatches in 2022, and now the German camera company is back with a new collection.

The watches are designed to complement the equally new Leica M11 Monochrome camera, and share a similarly stealthy colourway. The two-watch collection is mostly quite similar to Leica’s first models, called the ZM 1 and ZM 2 (but originally known as the L1 and L2).

Living up to the Monochrome name, the new models shun the polished finish of Leica's first watches for a stainless steel case with black PVD coating. The dial is similarly dark, and so too are the hands and seconds sub-dial. The only splash of colour can be found on the crown, which features Leica’s famous red dot logo.

The ZM 1 is the simpler of the pair, showing only the time, along with a date complication at three o’clock, a power reserve indicator at the half-past-eight position, a setting mode indicator, and a sub-dial displaying seconds. Further simplifying the dial, the sub-dial replaces the Arabic numerals of the original ZM 1 with subtle white markings.

Leica ZM Monochrome

(Image credit: Leica)

The ZM 2 Monochrome is equally stealthy, thanks to the same PVD case with black dial and matching black leather strap with black stitching. This watch differs because of its GMT scale that runs around the circumference of the dial. There’s also a day/night indicator on the face, also finished in black and white.

As with the original ZM 1 and ZM 2, the new Monochrome models are driven by manually-wound movements, visible through an exhibition case back, produced by Lehmann Präzision and with a power reserve of 60 hours. Both watches have a case diameter of 41 mm and a thickness of 14.5 mm, while water resistance is 50 metres.

Leica cameras tend to carry a heart price, and the company’s watches are no exception. The ZM 1 Monochrome is priced at £9,900 and the ZM 2 Monochrome with its GMT scale and day/night complication is £13,300, making them slightly more expensive than the regular models.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.