The exclusive special edition Leica M9 “Titanium” is 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 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.
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. Its round, screw mount lens hood is constructed with four slits around its circumference to prevent obstruction of view through the finder.
All visible metal parts of the lens and lens hood are manufactured from solid titanium with an additional special surface finish applied to enhance their outstanding resistance to wear.
Entirely new in the history of camera technology is the LEICA M9 “Titanium”‘s carrying 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. 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. 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 moments notice.
Text and images via Leica