Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube
In June 2018, Leica marked its entry into the horological world with the introduction of the Leica L1 and L2 wristwatches. The wristwatches come under a new division known as Ernst Leitz Werkstätten that specialises in the design and manufacture of luxury products.
When Jérôme Auzanneau who is Managing Director of Ernst Leitz Werkstätten was in Singapore in early December 2018 for the re-opening of the Leica Store at Raffles Hotel Arcade, we had the opportunity to learn about the Leica L1 and the L2 wristwatches.
The idea for a Leica wristwatch had come about in around 2012 when Dr Andreas Kaufmann decided to officially embark on the watchmaking journey.
Dr Kaufmann is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG and a major shareholder of Leica Camera AG.
Interestingly, Dr Kaufmann had considered taking over Hanhart and even spoke with then Chronoswiss owner and founder Gerd-Rüdiger Lang for the Leica watch project.
Dr Kaufmann also had discussions with Reinhard Meis who had retired from A. Lange & Söhne on the project.
Leica eventually decided to work with Markus Lehmann of Lehmann Präzision GmbH in the production of the watch movements for the Leica L1 and L2.
Achim Heine who is currently Professor for product design at the Berlin University of Arts designed the Leica L1 and L2. He is no stranger to Leica. Heine had designed Leica cameras and binoculars between 1999 and 2008.