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Slowly touring Cote d’Azur’s stunning coastal road inspires latest Leonidas timepiece

Cote d’azure

Leonidas may not be a household name today, but the watchmaker has an illustrious history dating back to 1841 and was part of a merged company with Heuer from the 1960s to the 1980s that became the largest manufacturer of stopwatches and chronographs in Switzerland.

The Heuer partnership ended in the 80s and the Leonidas name vanished until 2015, when investors revived the brand and started making a range of mechanical watches for motor racing and diving enthusiasts.

The company’s latest addition is a watch inspired by the Grande Corniche, a stunning road in its home country of France running from Nice to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

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The D2564 was built by Napoleon I and offers quite extraordinary views over the beautiful Cote d’Azur, and is the route for soaking in the scenery rather than racing past it on the autoroute.

Leonidas has captured the spirit of the driver who chooses the scenic route in its new 450m, which does away with a minutes hand because its owners will not be slaves to time.

The watch is not yet available, and Leonidas is keeping images under wraps for now, only releasing a teaser picture of an L logo that represents the brand.

It is described as a 41mm stainless steel watch with sapphire glass for the front and exhibition caseback that reveals a Swiss-made 17 jewel hand wound movement with 46 hour power reserve.

It will be worn on a strap created by Equus leather, a British company known by serious horologists and enthusiasts for its exceptional quality.

The 450m, which will sell for £1,500 at leonidaswatch.com, is not described as limited edition with a fixed number of units, but will be made in small quantities.

‘’We don’t mass-produce our timepieces; with a Leonidas watch exclusivity of wear is dictated by the availability of the range rather than the ticket price. Leonidas don’t claim to be an exclusive brand on one hand, whilst simultaneously manufacturing  3000 watches a day on the other,” says CEO Matthews.

The 450m is expected to sell out quickly, according to the company, so customers are encouraged to follow the brand on Instagram @leonidaswatch where the on sale date will be announced.

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Tags : French WatchmakersLeonidas
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder