Over a century after the inception of the Leijona brand, Perkko Ltd. started a collaboration with Swiss master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. The project has brought a new wrist watch series - Leijona Heritage 1907 - to the high quality market.
The seeds of this collaboration were sown in 2017 as the Leijona brand ownership centennial was getting closer. Perkko Ltd. was working on an idea of having some of their more interesting vintage watches updated and remade in a new modern level of quality. This has also been a successful recipe and ongoing trend of other watch brands reissuing old models.
Landing a Top Manufacturer
The initial design sketches were drawn in Finland and sourcing a partner in Switzerland began. As one of the main watch components embodying the key visual aesthetics is the dial, the grand master Kari Voutilainen was contacted. Negotiations ended with Voutilainen agreeing to take on the full manufacturing process and assembly of the new line of watches in Switzerland. This successful long-term partnership is called Voutilainen X Leijona and the end result of this collaboration is the Leijona Heritage 1907 Collection. We can be quite sure that all parties involved in this heritage endeavor are very proud parents.
The Core of the Collection
The Heritage 1907 Collection´s watch conceptual design is made in Finland by Perkko Ltd. with inspiration from previous older Leijona watches. The naming of the current three different heritage models – Jalo, Urho and Oiva – are the first names of the three Perkko brothers.
The finalized production blueprints, tools and designs are created in Switzerland by Voutilainen, as are all steps of the manufacturing process. The cases are manufactured by Voutilainen & Cattin SA who also assembles the complete watches. The dials are made by Comblémine SA. and the straps by Rhein Fils (Braloba AG).
Currently the Leijona Heritage 1907 Collection models are divided in three categories; Classic (Oiva ref. 300.01 + Limited Edition Môtiers ref. 300.02), Sport (Jalo ref. 200.01) and Chronograph (Urho ref 100.01).
The References of the Models
The reference has a two digit prefix 19. or 20. which denotes the decade when the model was launched. This being said we can perhaps look forward to prefixes 21. all the way to 99. during the several next decades. Additional catalog reference numbers, behind the basic three digit model number (100, 200, 300), the following two digits if the watch case is stainless steel (.01), rose gold plated stainless steel (.02), yellow gold plated stainless steel (.03), gold (.04) or titanium (.05), the following digit describes the color of the dial; white (.1), black (.2), blue (.3), gray (.4) or silver (.5), the penultimate digit describes if the watch band is leather (.1), steel (.2) or rubber (.3) and the last digit states if it is a non-limited (.01) or limited edition (.02) model.
As an addition from the year 2020 is the four digit random serial number (randomly chosen between 0001 and 9999) engraved on the case back of the new Oiva chronograph at the end of the model reference (for example 100.01.1180). This gives the watch an individual serial number, but not easily revealing how many have been produced. Models manufactured before 1.1.2020 are lacking this individual serial number.
The Current Models
The reference .100 is the most expensive of the models and called Leijona Urho Chrono. It is a 42 mm bi-compax chronograph, plus dateat position six, with either black, white panda or blue dial. The stainless steel case is waterproof to 10ATM. It also has a sapphire window caseback for viewing the refined Sellita SW510 BHa calibre doing its job. Models offered with a brown, black or blue ventilated leather strap.
Within reference .200 there are the quite large 45 mm Leijona Jalo Sport with blue or gray sunburst dial, and screw down caseback. Waterproof to 10ATM. The movement inside is the Sellita SW200-1. Very suitable for sports watches the 22 mm wide strap is a leather/rubber hybrid made by Rhein Fils.
The non-limited watch models of the .300 reference are called Leijona Oiva Classic and have 39 mm cases in stainless steel, lugs of 20mm and dials in white or black, and have screw down casebacks. Watches come with brown or black alligator leather straps.
To summarize; it is clear that Perkko Ltd. is strongly set on carrying the Leijona brand heritage with great care into a second century.