Brand collaborations are a familiar part of the retail landscape. Often these associations are no more than clever marketing exercises, but occasionally the brands involved share such synergy that it’s hard to believe no one at either company had thought of working together before. One such is the Royal Opera House’s partnership with optical and photographic manufacturer Leica. The resulting product is a pair of special edition opera glasses, the Leica Royal Opera House Ultravid 8x20 (£750), which will be available in editions of 150 each year for the next three years.
Leica has been making binoculars since it was founded in Germany in 1914, and these opera glasses have the same high-class optics and precise mechanics as the Ultravid compact range they are based on. Being opera glasses, however, they also boast fluoride glass lenses to provide tailored definition and clarity, and a specially developed HDC multicoating that guarantees both colour fidelity and perfect contrast rendition.
The technology is impressive, and audiences used to squinting through traditional models will be delighted to finally find a pair of opera glasses that function so well (and are light enough to use for an entire performance). But it’s the fact that Leica’s first opera glass is also a rare and beautiful object that will secure its place alongside other Leica pieces as a future collectors’ item. Entirely handmade using only the finest materials, each pair is clad in Royal Opera House red leather and comes packed in a black leather case bearing the House’s famous crest.