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Leica moves into luxury watch world

Its two new releases are bejewelled high-end hand-wound watches.

Leica moves into luxury watch world

After more than a century manufacturing high-end cameras, lenses and rifle scopes, German company Leica has branched out into luxury watches. Primarily associated with premium analog cameras, it has moved into a similarly old school niche here with two hand-wound mechanical watches.

“The Leica signature look can be found in the countless design elements and features of the watches,” the company said. “The elegance of the hands and indexes, the shape of the finely-detailed stainless-steel case, the special fluting on the crown and the cambered shape of the glass that is reminiscent of a camera lens.”

One particularly clever reference to the Leica lineage is the ruby set in the crown, an allusion to the company’s iconic red dot logo.

Titled the Leica L1 and Leica L2, both watches feature 41mm stainless cases, while the latter has an 18-karat gold option. Each also includes a patented push-piece crown with corresponding status display on the front dial and is finished with a diamond-embossed black calf leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle.

The Leica L1 features time, date and power reserve functions and the Leica L2 adds a day/night indicator and dual-time GMT function through its rotating internal bezel.

Both watches are impressively durable, being water resistant to 50 metres and having a power reserve of 60 hours. The front glass of each model is anti-reflective and utilises scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

Having previously collaborated with leading technology companies such as Minolta Huawei and Panasonic, Leica has worked here with precision machinery company Lehmann to make the movements. Ernst Leitz Werkstätten handled the manufacture and the acclaimed Professor Achim Heine was the designer.

The watches will be available later in 2018 from selected Leica boutiques and will start from around US$11,500 (A$15,350/€9,990).

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