Leica, the company renowned for making superior cameras and photography equipment, is getting into the time-keeping racket with their new L1 and L2 watches. Leica had to start from the ground up, putting together first their L1 time and date watch and then their GMT-equipped L2. Leica started their journey into watch making back in 2012 when they decided to work with Achim Heine, a German product designer who has put together several cameras and optic devices for Leica. With that background in camera design, Heine set about putting together watches that drew their inspiration from Leica’s cameras. Fortunately, that camera influence is tempered. You’ll see elements of it, like in the power reserve indicator that closely resembles the Leicameter light meter gauge on their M3 rangefinder. You’ll also see the red ruby set into the watch’s crown that sets the watches apart as Leicas.
The watches are medium to large in size, coming in at 41mm in diameter and 14mm thick. The cases are brushed stainless steel. The movement comes from Lehmann Prazision out of Black Forest. Lehmann knows a thing or two about watch making—they produce their own line called Lehmann Schramberg. Finishing is accomplished by Ernst Leitz Werkstatten out of Wetzlar, Germany. The finish is kept understated. These aren’t flashy watches, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t attractive. You’ll be proud to own and wear one, especially since you know it’s going to work for years to come, just like the cameras Leica is famous for.