While they’ve been on the scene for a few years now, camera specialists Leica are still finding their feet as a watch brand. After the success of their initial launch, they’re now expanding and experimenting with that same collection with fresh colourways and new materials such as the ZM 1 and ZM 2 Monochrom editions launched earlier this year. And now they’re releasing their first limited edition, fittingly called the Leica ZM1 Gold Limited Edition.
This is also the first time that Leica have released an edition of the ZM 1 without also releasing a matching ZM 2, further emphasising the exclusivity of the limited edition. It certainly lives up to that exclusive feeling by being made from 18k gold 4N with contrasting brushed and polished finishing across its 41mm diameter case. It’s technically a bi-metallic case as the patented push crown and quick date pusher are made from titanium. It’s inspired by the IA Luxus, Leica’s first ever golden camera from 1929 and I think it looks great.
Leica have also updated the dial for the ZM 1 Gold Limited Edition. Instead of the black or blue of previous editions it’s now a rich chocolate brown with sunray brushing and a slight gradient towards black around the edge. It matches the gold of the case superbly as well as galvanised hands and hour markers which are now gold in colour too.
As for the suite of indicators and functions, they remain unchanged from the standard ZM 1, meaning you have hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve indicator and movement status indicator. It’s one of the more busy dial designs out there but that’s sort of the point, it’s meant to look like the controls and buttons on a camera and it does that very well.
Powering the piece is the Leica calibre LH-1001 movement, produced and assembled by Lehmann Präzision in Germany. It’s a manual-wind movement with a 60-hour power reserve, which is incredibly solid, and is equipped with a unique function in the form of that push crown.
What the push crown does is that when you press it, the movement stops and the seconds hand jumps to the 12 o’clock position, allowing you to set the watch accurately before restarting it with another press of the crown. In this manner it serves as the watch’s version of the main shutter release on a camera, freezing a moment of time in place.
The Leica ZM 1 Gold Limited Edition makes a lot of sense as a first limited edition. It introduces precious metal to the range for the first time and it adds a sense of liveliness through the warmth of its sunray brushed, gradient dial. As for pricing and availability, it’s £24,000 and limited to just 50 pieces exclusively available through private appointment at select Leica boutiques worldwide. It’s a cool watch whether you’re a horology fan, a photography fan or just straight up a fan of gold. That last one seems the least likely but hey, you could be King Midas for all I know.
Price and Specs:
More details at Leica Watch.