Located some 45 minutes away from Frankfurt airport and in the Hesse region in Germany is a town called Wetzlar: the town where Leica came to life in 1914 thanks to the world-famous Ernst Leitz. In October, Indonesia Tatler was honoured to witness a global event at the Leica Camera AG Headquarters at Wetzlar’s Leitz Park for the unveiling of the brand’s latest masterpiece— the Leica SL (type 601).
Leica returned to Wetzlar, Germany’s home of optical engineering excellence, in February 2014 with the extravagant opening of its camera-shaped headquarters. This fascinating theme park offers Leica enthusiasts, fans of photography, and visitors from all over the world exciting insights into the world of Leica.
Built to precision with an exhibition hall, a Leica store, the Leitz café and the factory in which Leica cameras are manufactured and assembled, the Leica headquarters are open to the public. Events held at the Leitz Park site include exclusive exhibitions, as well as talks and signings by internationally acclaimed photographers, and much more. The headquarters can be defined as a photographer’s haven. One such event was the launch of the much-awaited Leica SL.
The chilly evening began with a cocktail reception before the crowd gathered inside for the formal occasion. Global and Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographers, as well as representatives from all over the world, store managers, camera enthusiasts, Leica coaches, and the worldwide press, were all gathered under one roof for the same reason: to witness another Leica milestone. Dr Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of Leica Camera, began the inauguration speech by welcoming the guests to this auspicious occasion, which was followed by a talk on the specifications and the new advanced technological system of the Leica SL from Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica Camera.
To help promote Leica’s brand and the story of its worldwide galleries, Karin Rehn Kaufmann, Chief Representative of Leica Galleries International, took over and introduced two photographers, Fred Mortagne from France, a skateboarding enthusiast who took still images and videos of professional skateboarders in Los Angeles with the Leica SL, and Italy-based Stefano Guindani, who shot at Milan Fashion Week with the Leica SL.
The evening ended on a pleasant note after much mingling and getting acquainted with the world of cameras and optics. Indonesia Tatler was treated to using the Leica SL, noting its resilience, durability and overall magnificence. The Leica SL was launched in Jakarta on November 19 and has been available for pre-order at the Leica boutique in Plaza Senayan ever since.