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The exclusive special edition Leica M9 "Titanium" is the result of a collaboration with Walter de'Silva (shown above), a prominent automobile designer responsible for groundbreaking models from the Volkswagen Group.
The chief designer and his Audi Design Team have re-interpreted the LEICA M9 and the outcome is a special edition LEICA M9 ‘Titanium', strictly limited to 500 cameras worldwide. It 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.
Design & Function
Walter de'Silva has given the Leica M camera an ergonomic, precise and logical "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.
The LEICA M9 "Titanium" is constructed exclusively with premium quality materials. For instance, 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.
In addition, the exposed surfaces are also treated with a hard coating applied by a specialist 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 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 additionally enhanced by a specially designed and embossed diamond pattern.
Walter de'Silva addressed not only the design of the camera, but also focused on its handling and technical specifications. New features include the LED illumination of the bright-line frames in the viewfinder, removing the necessity for a standard illuminating window and making the front aspect of the camera even more balanced.
Furthermore, the Leica logo has been restyled and is elaborately hand-engraved in pure resin, inlaid with white enamel, sealed with clear varnish and then polished and positioned centrally - directly above the lens.
Lens with a new, focused design concept
The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens supplied with this special edition, also features a new, focussed design concept, in which the essential elements harmonise perfectly with the style of the camera.
Innovative carrying and holding concept
Instead of the traditional strap lugs of standard cameras, the chief designer and Leica engineers developed an innovative camera carrying concept that is reduced to just one single mounting point on the camera body.
In addition to the camera and lens, the LEICA M9 "Titanium" special-edition set includes a distinctive shoulder holster, a 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 and which also includes an interview with designer Walter de'Silva. The unique set is presented in an elaborately handcrafted black presentation case with recesses for the camera and lens lined with Alcantara microsuede in Leica red.
Price is $26,500 USD
Pre-order it here. Or here.
The LEICA M9 'Titanium' will be available starting November 2010. The UK suggested retail price of the LEICA M9 Titanium set is £19,800 including VAT.