German camera manufacturer sets focus on watch market as new line gets its close up

Leica Camera AG has announced a small series of watches in a new and exclusive product line that are said to be ‘mechanically complex’.

Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products and, as part of the inauguration of the third phase of the Leitz Park, Leica Camera AG’s headquarters complex in Wetzlar, Germany, the “Ernst Leitz Werkstätten” manufacturer will commence operation on a new line of watches.

Two models, the Leica L1 and the Leica L2, will initially be available for the launch of the Leica Watch.

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Both variants will draw their design inspiration from creativity and precision, the hallmarks of the Wetzlar brand, having being designed by Professor Achim Heine.

Professor Heine has overseen the design of many Leica camera products over the years and has extensive knowledge of the company’s design principles.

The Leica signature look can be found in the design of the watches: in the hands and indexes, the fluting on the crown and the cambered shape of the glass which is reminiscent of a camera lens.

Both models are operated by a mechanical movement with manual winding which has been newly developed and can be viewed through the glass case back made of sapphire crystal.

For Leica, the ‘Made in Germany’ aspect is particularly important, hence the collaboration with Lehmann Präzision GmbH. The development, design and a large proportion of the components come from the manufacture situated in Germany’s Black Forest and help the watches achieve a distinct vertical range of manufacture.

On the collaboration with Leica Camera, Markus Lehmann, managing director of Lehmann Präzision GmbH, said: “We built precision machines for Leica years ago, independently of this project. It has of course been very interesting to work with Leica in these two very different areas, although the watch project was and is a project very close to my heart. We knew in the run-up to this project that this co-operation will be fruitful, which helped to intensify our partnership significantly.”

To mark the occasion of the Ernst Leitz Werkstätten commencing operation, limited special models of the two stainless steel versions with a red dial will also be released.

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