A new update to the flagship Leica M-series body has been unveiled with the new M9 Titanium. Cast out of a solid piece of titanium, it will be limited to only 500 pieces worldwide. The body also includes a fingerprint-resistant overlay. The frame lines will feature a special LED illumination for improved focus and usage in various conditions. The attached strap will also come in two sizes as a new carrying method. The camera will come bundled with a 35mm f1.4 lens with lens hood. Available as of November, 2010 with a suggested retail price of €22,000 EUR (approximately $28,732 USD).
Solms, Germany (September 21, 2010) – Leica Camera AG presents a new camera edition: The LEICA M9 ‘Titanium,’ debuting at Photokina on September 21. This exclusive special edition is the result of a collaboration with Walter de’Silva, the prominent automobile designer. Responsible for groundbreaking design concepts in the latest models from the Volkswagen Group, the chief designer and his Audi Design Team reinterpreted the design of the LEICA M9 just as he envisaged it. The outcome is a unique camera with a new rendering of the characteristic features of Leica rangefinder cameras, which lends precision engineering, unique style and solid titanium to extraordinary formal design.
The LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ is an especially desirable object for both Leica connoisseurs and aficionados of outstanding design. The LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ is constructed exclusively with premium quality materials. All visible metal elements of the camera body are made from solid titanium, a particularly light but extremely strong and durable metal that can only be manufactured with special tools. This special edition is strictly limited to only 500 cameras worldwide and is offered as a set together with a LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens, whose exterior metal components are also manufactured from solid titanium.
Walter de’Silva has given the Leica M camera an ergonomic, precise, logical and stringent look and feel without changing the intrinsic character of the rangefinder camera. Thus, the compact construction and technical features of the LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ retain the distinctive style of a true Leica M camera.
Walter de’Silva addressed not only the design of the camera, but also focused on its handling and technical features. These features include the completely new LED illumination of the bright-line frames in the viewfinder, thus removing the necessity for the standard illuminating window and making the frontal aspect of the camera more balanced. Entirely new in the history of camera technology is the camera’s carrying concept. In place of the traditional strap lugs of standard cameras, Walter de’Silva and Leica engineers developed an innovative camera carrying concept that is reduced to only one single mounting point on the camera body. The metal finger loop covered with fine Nappa leather ensures a secure, steady and ergonomic grip when shooting or carrying the camera with only one hand. Furthermore, the new specially designed, stylish shoulder holster holds and safely protects the camera and lens in transport and keeps it ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.
The camera’s trim, which uses leather typically reserved for the interiors of Audi’s premium automobiles, fits perfectly with the body’s titanium surface and provides outstanding grip. The grip characteristics are further enhanced by a specially designed and embossed diamond structure. In addition, the exposed surfaces are treated with a hard coating applied by a specialized company in Switzerland. Scratch-resistant, sapphire-crystal glass is employed as a protective cover for the camera monitor and further enhances the exclusive and rugged character of the camera. The Leica logo has been restyled and is elaborately hand-engraved in pure resin, inlayed with white enamel and subsequently sealed with a clear varnish and polished.
The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens of this special edition features a new, focused design concept in which the essential elements harmonize perfectly with the style of the camera. Its round, screw-mount lens hood is constructed with four slits around its circumference to prevent obstruction of the view through the finder.
The LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ special-edition set includes the camera body, Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens, distinctive shoulder holster, carrying strap and finger loops in two different sizes that are also in the same Audi premium leather as used on the camera body. Also part of the set is a book devoted to the design process leading to the creation of this high quality, special titanium edition, which also includes an interview with designer Walter de’Silva. The unique set is presented in an elaborately handcrafted black casket with recesses for the camera and lens lined with Alcantara microsuede in Leica red.
The LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ will be available starting November 2010.