camera is a clock for seeing,” said the French semiologist, Roland Barthes. A collection of enmeshed gear wheels, springs and finely engineered parts serving to capture time. In that sense, watches and cameras share a common origin and objective. It is not surprising, then, that a few years ago the famous camera manufacturer Leica embarked on a watchmaking venture. After a hesitant start, this autumn the German company is firmly stating its ambitions: to make watches a major line of business in its high-precision manufacturing activity.
Last October, beneath a sudden shower of fine rain in the German town of Wetzlar where it was founded, Leica welcomed journalists from all over the world to present its new collection of watches, named ZM11 for “ZeitMesser”, a measurer, or keeper of time. Of sober design, robust in appearance, it takes its brushed forms from the region’s long industrial tradition.
No frills, instead rounded lines that lend it a more luxurious air than the L1 or L2, the brand’s first attempts to break into the luxury watch market in 2018. They tried to imitate the aesthetics of the brand’s famous black-and-red cameras to attract aficionados. With this new version, Leica is breaking away from its photographic arm with the avowed goal of reaching out to a new, wealthy customer base.
- power reserve of 60h.”/
- The new ZM11 model is equipped with the calibre LA-3001, accurate to -4/+6 seconds a day and with a power reserve of 60h.
Partnership with Chronode
Housed in a 41-millimetre, stainless-steel or titanium case water-resistant down to 100 metres, the diamond-set hands rotate around a facetted dial presented as the model’s mini-technological revolution. To see the effect, you have to search with your eyes, lean in towards the lens-like domed crystal as would a photographer seeking the right