Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph
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  1. #1
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    Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

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    This stunning watch was on show at Baselworld 2014, and it celebrates 100 years of Leica Photography. The commemorative watch is the Valbray EL1 Chronograph, strictly limited to only 100 pieces and engraved with the distinctive Leica logo featured on the crown and ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ engraved on the case back.


    The EL1 Chronograph features Valbray’s ingenious Oculus diaphragm system that covers and uncovers the face of the dial by simply turning the bezel. The mechanism is just like aperture blades and they are constructed from 16 single blades integrated on a rotatable bezel of 46mm. When completely open, the blades are hidden and reveal the specially designed chronograph of the watch. The hours, the minutes and the stopwatch function are all also readable when the diaphragm is closed.

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    As to why Leica and Valbray came together to create the special edition, well, it’s the usual suspects in terms of reasons, they feel that they share an identical passion for ultimate mechanical perfection and individually handcrafted products. Alfred Schopf, Executive Chairman of Leica Camera AG, a connoisseur of fine mechanical timepieces, approached Côme de Valbray, the founder of Valbray. He in turn is an enthusiastic photographer, who has used Leica cameras for many years.

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    Together, they laid the foundations for the creation of the Valbray EL1 Chronograph as a special centennial edition. Made of titanium grade 5 with sanded finishes, the watch presents four white engravings on its bezel, one each quarters of time.


    The dials are all stylistic recalls of Leica cameras. The indication of the date (at 3 o’ clock), the cursor minutes (at noon) and the hours (at 6 o’ clock) recall the layout settings. The seconds (at 9 o’ clock) reproduce the design of the isometry button. Finally, the metallic 4.5 applied at 4:30 evokes the aperture of the first Leica.


    On the case back, the automatic Swiss movement features an open worked rotor visible through a sapphire glass, darkened in a nod to the black room.

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    The timepiece will appear in two versions: 50 pieces in sanded titanium and the remaining 50 with DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating. Each chronograph will be supplied complete with two different bracelets that can be exchanged with the aid of a special tool provided.


    This limited-edition Valbray EL1 Chronograph will be available from Leica Stores and selected Valbray boutiques from June 2014 at a price of EUR17,999.

    Specifications

    Name Valbray EL1 – Chrono (The initials of its name are chosen as a tribute to Ernst Leitz, one of the founders of Leica brand, Leica I the contraction of Leitz and camera.)
    Material Titanium grade 5
    Diameter 46 mm
    Patent 16-blade diaphragm integrated on a rotating bezel
    Movement Mechanical auto-winding Swiss chronograph movement
    Frequency: 28’800 alt/h (4 Hz)
    25 functional jewels
    44 hours of power reserve
    Water resistance To 5 ATM
    Dial Multi - layered with a honeycomb grid
    Sapphire Glass Cover and case back
    Limited edition 100 numbered pieces (50 for the Titanium reference and 50 for the Black one)

    Visit the Valbray Watches website
    Last edited by Michael Weare; May 22nd, 2014 at 16:39.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    Sapphire Glass Cover
    Patent 16-blade diaphragm integrated on a rotating bezel
    Great that it has an f 1.2 to f 22 lens. But how is the shutter speed set?

    Seriously, that's a very attractive tribute to Leica. The attention to detail comes through. As someone who sometimes shoots with vintage 35mm cameras I would be fascinated.
    Last edited by John MS; May 22nd, 2014 at 16:15.
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  3. #3
    Member hovebomber's Avatar
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Weare View Post
    The mechanism is just like a camera shutter and is constructed from 16 single blades integrated on a rotatable bezel of 46mm.
    I believe it's supposed to be aperture blades not shutter...
    Then again imagine a 1/8000 shutter speed on the watch, it'll be unreadable
    bluloo likes this.
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    Member I Like em BIG ! !'s Avatar
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    For ~$25k there better be a nice Leica rangefinder or SLR in that incredible boxed set!

  5. #5
    Member shameless's Avatar
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    could easily pass for a g shock !!
    Nokie likes this.

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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    In another thread going on right now, the general consensus is that there is no need to pay a few hundred bucks extra for COSC certification and yet there is apparently a need to pay TENS OF THOUSANDS for a totally useless gimmick like this ???? ....What is this world coming to

  7. #7
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    There's a typo - you added and extra "9" to the price.
    Influence is like the wind...

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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    Love Leica, love this watch. Can't afford either.
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by monza06 View Post
    In another thread going on right now, the general consensus is that there is no need to pay a few hundred bucks extra for COSC certification and yet there is apparently a need to pay TENS OF THOUSANDS for a totally useless gimmick like this ???? ....What is this world coming to
    Quote Originally Posted by CADstraps View Post
    There's a typo - you added and extra "9" to the price.
    That's probably why they limited to 100 pieces?

  10. #10
    Member TheWalrus's Avatar
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    Re: Valbray ‘100 Years of Leica Photography’ Limited Edition EL1 Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by monza06 View Post
    In another thread going on right now, the general consensus is that there is no need to pay a few hundred bucks extra for COSC certification and yet there is apparently a need to pay TENS OF THOUSANDS for a totally useless gimmick like this ???? ....What is this world coming to
    You seem not to understand what watches are all about, in this day and age. They are absolutely 100% about marketing and tributes and things that make us feel good. They are not about rigorous timekeeping standards. At least not anymore. This is why you have Bond special editions. And HMS Victory special editions. And special editions dedicated to decoding WW2 messages. And special editions to celebrate charities or not for profits. And who knows how many special editions to celebrate the moon landing. And they all add hundreds to thousands to the purchase price. Because we like to associate our jewelry with something special and important… or at least cool.
    Last edited by TheWalrus; May 23rd, 2014 at 00:58.
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