High-end camera maker Leica does watches now
Cameras and watches don't seem like they have a lot in common.
One tells the time, the other uses a digital sensor to record light bouncing through a lens to create a 'picture'. However, the manufacturing process for both is startlingly similar.
Both watches and cameras are made of immensely small and complicated components. Both make use of high-end materials, including pricey metals and glass. And both require the steady hand of an expert craftsman.
It makes sense then that one of the world's foremost creators of high-end snappers would naturally move into the watch space. Which is exactly what Leica has done this morning, pulling the wraps off its inaugural watch collection.
Interestingly enough, Leica doesn't see itself as a camera maker at all. It's a creative brand (that just happens to specialize in lenses and camera technology, we suppose) and has built up a community of photographers who share their works at Leica galleries worldwide.
These new watches aren't your typical 'branded' timepieces, however. Instead of buying up a load of cheap Chinese movements and sticking a 'Leica' label on the dial, the company built its very own watch manufacture - Ernst Leitz Werkstatten - to produce in-house movements for its first two watches.
The L1 and L2 are wholly made in Germany, with components coming from Lehmann Präzision GmbH - a production company that specialises in precision manufacturing for the watchmaking industry.
Both watches are manual-winding, measure 41mm and feature a small seconds sub-dial, date window, power reserve indicator and crown status indicators. The L2 is the brand's GMT model, providing the wearer with an additional module that showcase operates the second time zone display.
No prices have been announced as of yet, but don't expect them to come cheap. Only 400 of each watch will be produced and sent to one of ten Leica boutiques worldwide.