Leica has announced a special edition of its M9 rangefinder in a titanium finish. Designed by automobile designer Walter De'Silva, it features an attached metal finger loop covered with leather for carrying and shooting purposes and a special lens hood with four slits to prevent obstruction of the viewfinder. The Titanium edition will be available at a suggested retail price of just £19,800.

Press Release:

Leica releases M9 ‘Titanium’ designed by Walter de’Silva

In collaboration with the chief designer of the Volkswagen Group, Leica Camera AG presents a unique special edition

Photokina, Cologne, 21 September 2010: Leica Camera AG has announced the LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’, an exclusive special edition, and the result of a collaboration with Walter de’Silva, the prominent automobile designer. Responsible for groundbreaking design concepts for the latest models from the Volkswagen Group, the chief designer and his Audi Design Team have re-interpreted the design of the LEICA M9 just as he envisaged it.

The outcome is a unique camera with a new interpretation of the characteristic features of Leica rangefinder cameras, which lends precision engineering, unique style and solid titanium to extraordinary formal design. As a result, the LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ is an especially desirable object for both Leica connoisseurs and aficionados of outstanding design. This special edition is strictly limited to just 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 and logical ‘look and feel’, without changing the intrinsic character of the rangefinder. 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 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 more balanced. Also entirely new in the history of camera technology is the M9 Titanium’s carrying concept. Instead of the traditional strap lugs of standard cameras, the chief designer and Leica engineers developed an innovative carrying concept that is reduced to just 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 one hand. Also new is the specially designed, stylish shoulder holster that holds and safely protects the camera and lens in transport, and keeps it ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens supplied with this special edition also features a new, focused design concept, in which the essential elements harmonise 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’ 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 specialised 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 product. 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 also enhanced by a specially designed and embossed diamond pattern. Furthermore, the Leica logo has been restyled and is elaborately hand-engraved in pure resin, inlaid with white enamel, sealed with a clear varnish and then polished.

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, made from the same premium Audi leather 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 Walter de’Silva. The unique set is presented in an elaborately handcrafted black presentation case with recesses for the camera and lens, and lined with Alcantara microsuede in Leica red.

Pricing and availability
The LEICA M9 Titanium will be available in the UK from the end of November 2010 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. The UK suggested retail price of the LEICA M9 Titanium set is £19,800 including VAT