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Leica Launch Black and White ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrom Special Editions

Leica ZM1 ZM2 Monochrome Edition

Last year, camera specialists Leica debuted their first (and long teased) wristwatch collection in the form of the L1 and L2 , although as of April 2023 the watches have been renamed to the ZM 1 and ZM 2 to follow Leica’s updated ‘Zeitmesser’ concept. Now, to coincide with the release of the new Leica M11 Monochrom camera, they’ve launched the ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrom Special Editions.

As the name Monochrom implies the new designs follow a monochrome colour scheme. That means the 41mm stainless steel cases now feature black PVD coatings and the leather straps forego their red stitching for black. This aesthetic change is borne out on the dials too.

Leica ZM1 Monochrom Edition

Looking at the ZM 1 Monochrom first, we see that the Leica logo is now a dark grey instead of white and the hands and indexes are darker too. The biggest change though is found on the small seconds subdial, which no longer has a bright red hand and also has had its Arabic numerals replaced with simple markers.

It might not sound like a big change but it has a huge impact on the overall visual identity of the watch. Instead of the eyes being drawn to the subdial as is the case with the standard model, the focus moves to the few flashes of white still present on the display. Namely, the date window, power reserve indicator and setting mode indicator.

Leica ZM1 Monochrome Edition
Leica ZM2 Monochrome Edition

As for the ZM 2 Monochrom, all the same updates to the design as mentioned above are present here too. However, the ZM 2 has the additional features of the internal, rotating GMT bezel and a day/night indicator. They’re mostly unchanged although the 12-hour GMT scale is slightly darker in colour and the overall darker design makes the day/night indicator appear brighter.

But wait, what’s this, a splash of colour? Both of the Monochrom Special Editions have retained the red dot crown that was a signature feature of the original collection. I personally think it’s a nice touch that they’ve kept it because it has such strong connections to the Leica brand via their logo and also the red dot found on the side of the M11 Monochrom camera.

Leica ZM2 Monochrome Edition

Housed inside the new monochrome exterior are the calibres that Leica developed for the original collection. As with the collection itself, the movements, previously known as L1 and L2, have been renamed to ZM 1 or ZM 2. Both versions of the calibre, which are produced by Lehmann Präzision GmbH, have a 60-hour power reserve and are manual wind, the only difference between them are those extra function on the ZM 2 as mentioned previously.

The Leica ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrom Special Editions will be available from select Leica stores around the world, including here in the UK, starting from May 15th. The ZM 1 Monochrom edition is priced at £9,900 and the ZM 2 Monochrom is £13,300. While those are only mild increases from the standard editions, they do make a relatively pricy collection even pricier. Ultimately, I think the Monochrom Editions are a mature second outing from Leica on the watch front that prove they’re serious about making good looking timepieces.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Leica ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrom Edition
  • Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 14.5mm height, black PVD coated stainless steel case, matte black dial
  • Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
  • Movement: Leica calibre ZM 1 (Leica ZM 1) or ZM 2 (Leica ZM 2), manual winding, 26 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 60h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve indicator (Leica ZM 1 and ZM 2), second time zone GMT 12-hour bezel, day/night indicator (Leica ZM 2)
  • Strap: Black calf leather
  • Price/availability: £9,900 (ZM 1 Monochrom) and £13,300 (ZM 2 Monochrom)

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.