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Leitners Ad Maiora: Where Contemporary Meets Tradition

The stereotypical smartwatch is like the double edged sword for the watch community. On one hand it offers a range of functionality, is super useful and can be had for what is often a relatively small amount of money. On the other hand, many view the smartwatch as the inherent demise of the traditional mechanical watch, likening its modern popularisation to that of the Quartz crisis of the 1970s.

Enter Leitners and its first hybrid smartwatch, the Ad Maiora. Designed in the Czech Republic and based in Brno, known as the Silicon Valley of central Europe, Leitners sought to create a timepiece that marries the worlds of traditional watchmaking with the innovation of contemporary engineering. Harmoniously combining the worlds of mechanical and smart watches is not the easiest of endeavours, but Leitners seems to have found its winning formula with the Ad Maiora. 

It's powered by the automatic Miyota 9039 movement, making the Ad Maiora a truly mechanical watch. For good measure, it even has an open sapphire caseback! However, its defining feature is of course its hybrid nature. Inside the Ad Maiora lies all of the functionality of a typical smartwatch, including a heart rate sensor, a smart alarm and sleep monitoring. It has the capability of tracking your various activities, can notify you of incoming calls, texts and emails, is able to show you your social media notifications and has a time management feature that is compatible with most online diaries like Google Calendar.

The Ad Maiora even has the ability to function like a typical mechanical watch by using its hybrid system such as offering a chronograph and time-zone functions. And all of this information is displayed via Leitners' ingenious e-ink screen which covers the dial in its entirety. This is not a touchscreen, but it enables easy readability at any angle, "at a glance" time management tools and super low energy consumption. 

From the perspective of a mechanical watch lover, I can understand one's hesitation with purchasing a hybrid smartwatch. But the main differentiation point here is that there seems to be a very smooth transition of mechanical versus electronic functions, both of which exist quite harmoniously. The e-ink screen is a great idea, emphasising the Ad Maiora's unique electronic traits but also allowing for a functioning mechanical analog display.  The Leitners Ad Maiora will be available in November via Kickstarter with early bird pricing.


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