VALBRAY & LEICA PRESENT THE EL1 CHRONO
Created on the occasion of the “100 years anniversary of Leica photography”, limited to 100 pieces.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
New projects often arise by meetings guided by destiny. The birth of the watch EL1 Chrono doesn’t make an exception…
Côme de Valbray is a real passionate of photography and Leica cameras.
Alfred Schopf, CEO of Leica Camera AG, watches lover and collector, discovered in 2013 the Oculus timepiece made by Valbray. Fascinated by this unique creation, he then asked to organize a meeting with the founders of Valbray.
Sharing the same passion for the ultimate mechanical perfection and individually handcrafted products, they decided to start the co-creation of a unique timepiece to celebrate the centennial of Leica Camera.
Chronograph based on black and white colors, the EL1 is made of titanium grade 5 with sanded finishes. The initials of its name are chosen as a tribute to Ernst Leitz, one of the founders of Leica brand, Leica is the contraction of Leitz and camera.
The bezel integrates the “Oculus” diaphragm system of Valbray and becomes the undeniable link between the two partner’s houses. This mechanism recalls the pleasure of handling the objective of a traditional camera, and more specifically the “firing” of the shutter.
The manual revolution of the rotating bezel acts on the16 thin blades that gradually reveal the dial in a circular way, being a magic recall of a Leica diaphragm.
In its closed version the EL1 Chrono provides the essential reading of time given by the main hands: hours and minutes. Essential, as the click of the photographer who captures the moment. In its open appearance, the EL1 reveals the chronograph, the ultimate instrument for measuring time.
The highlight of the bezel is adorned with four parts of white engravings. Theirs pace, reminiscent of the four quarters of time, is relayed by fine lateral veins of the crown, who presents the Leica Camera logo.
Red color subtly lying down the dial, the type of the font used and others details of the dial are all stylistic recalls of Leica cameras.
The indication of the date (at 3h), the cursor minutes (at noon) and the hours (at 6h) recall the layout settings. The seconds (at 9h) reproduce the design of the isometry button. Finally, the metallic 4.5 applied at 4 hours and half, evokes the aperture of the first Leica.
On the back of the watch, the automatic Valjoux movement with an open worked rotor is visible through a sapphire glass, darkened in a nod to the black room.
Manufactured in two references, 50 titanium and 50 with a black DLC treatment, for a total edition of 100 numbered watches, each one is equipped with two different straps, evoking the cameras bands: a black in calf negonda and another in calfskin mat brown and raw stitching. They are easily changeable with a specific screwdriver provided with the watch.
Collector timepiece, the EL1 Chrono signs the meeting between watchmaking and photography, around common values such as connection with time, the essentiality of the moment, aesthetics and, of course, the passion.