Leica is a brand associated with cameras but it doesn't shy away from dipping its toes into fashion at times. Not only has the German lens-maker collaborated with many fashion houses to cater to their photography needs, but it has also forayed into the luxury watch business, having launched two $10,000+ Leica watches in the recent past.
Although that seemed like a bit of a stretch for a company that has been dealing with photography and optics for over a hundred years, Leica has now announced a more "sensible" partnership with Berlin-based eyewear brand MYKITA to create a new collection of Leica-inspired sunglasses.
As you might already know, Leica is one of the world's largest and finest optic lens manufacturers and the new collection of "photography-inspired" sunglasses are supposed to bring Leica's "finest lenses and optics" to your face. And, it's quite obvious that these sunglasses will have something to do with cameras.
No, it's not going to have optical zoom or any of that fancy camera technology, but the new handcrafted collection, which will come in two designs, will include an AquaDura Vision Pro coating which Leica uses in its binoculars and cameras. This anti-reflection coating adds resistance to dust and grease, while also reducing glass.
The collection will feature an all-stainless steel model and another model that combines stainless steel with MYLON, a proprietary material made using 3D printing technology.
Made like a camera
If you thought what's so great about that? The MYLON hybrid model features a top bar made with the material, "mirroring a camera lens hood in order to protect the wearer's eyes from overhead sun rays by closing the gap between the wearer's brow and the frame," according to Hyperbeast.
That's not all, Leica and MYKITA also claim that the manufacturing process is a step up from the usual, in that, they have "pioneered sun lenses with optical grade quality" by grinding and polishing them from a cast lens blank, a process which is typically reserved for creating camera lenses. So, you see where all that camera-inspiration is coming from.
Quite obviously, the other selling points include 100 percent UV protection, polarised options, an AquaDura Pro coating, which is again borrowed from professional photography, and of course the design.
The devil is in the details
Both the sunglasses come with geometric lenses that are inspired by the signature shape of the lens hood on Leica cameras. Unfortunately, there's no Leica red dot on them, but there are some subtle red accents on the frame which is otherwise a mix of silver, black, grey.
Leica fans would also appreciate the fact that the model inscription on the arms is in Leica's signature font, which is the same font that you will find on its cameras and lens aperture rings.
We would have liked some more tech, perhaps something like optical zoom on the sunglasses but that will be serious overkill. Meanwhile, if you're interested, the shades will be available for purchase from June 2020 and pricing is still a mystery, but we don't expect them to come cheap.