As announced earlier this year at BaselWorld, Valbray has partnered with Leica on the occasion of its 100 year anniversary to create a watch the embodies the spirit of its cameras. Aptly-named Valbray EL1 “100 Years Of Leica Photography Edition,” a pair of titanium chronographs inspired Leica’s cameras is limited to only 100 pieces worldwide. One version is built with sandblasted titanium, the other in black-coated sandblasted titanium, accompanied by a leather strap in either black or brown.
On the EL1 (named for Leica founder Earnst Leitz), the diaphragm is surrounded by a ring that recalls the ring you would find on the end of a Leica lens. It is signed “Leica Camera,” “EL1 Chrono,” “Weitzlar Germany,” and “100 Years.” It is from under this ring that the diaphragm blades move in and out. There is also metallic honeycomb beneath the diaphragm, a trio of registers for the chronograph totalizers and the running seconds, a sapphire crystal caseback, open-worked rotor, automatic chronograph movement, 44-hour power reserve, and a single hour marker a “4.5” at the 4:30 position – tribute to the very first Leica camera which had a fixed aperture of f 4.5.
Priced at €17,999 ($24,532), the watches will be available through Leica boutiques and Valbray retailers starting June 2014.