Volkswagen Group design boss Walter de’Silva, along with his design team from Audi, has turned his attention to, of all things, a camera – and produced a strictly limited special series of the Leica M9.
The special edition Leica M9 ‘Titanium’ retains the characteristic features of Leica rangefinder cameras, but all visible metal elements are reworked in solid titanium. Scratch-resistant, sapphire-crystal glass is used as a protective cover for the camera monitor, while the trim is made from the leather which adorns Audi interiors. There is also a freshly designed and embossed diamond pattern to enhance the grip.
Other new features include the LED illumination of the bright-line frames in the viewfinder, plus a restyling of the Leica logo, now hand-engraved in pure resin, inlaid with white enamel, sealed with clear varnish and then polished and positioned directly above the lens. The special edition camera, of which just 500 will be made, comes with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, with metal components also in solid titanium.
An innovative aspect of the design is that, instead of the usual strap lugs, the camera’s carrying concept is reduced to a single mounting point on the camera body. A metal finger loop, covered in fine Nappa leather, gives a steady grip when shooting or carrying the camera one-handed. Also new is the shoulder holster to protect the camera and lens while carrying.
The camera set comes in a handcrafted black presentation case, lined with Alcantara microsuede in Leica red. Also part of the set is a book devoted to the creation of this new camera, including an interview with Walter de'Silva.
For further information, see leica-camera.com.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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