A 2013 prototype Leica camera, created by former Apple designers Sir Jonathon Ive and Marc Newson, will go up for auction in June at the Leitz Photographica Auction. The camera, which is believed to be a one-off prototype, was created while developing the (RED) Leica M, which ended up selling for $1.8M at a charity auction back in 2013.
The prototype camera features an almost identical build to the final (RED) Leica M, but lacks a few of the external details. Specifically, the prototype shows off a smooth, reflective metal surface, whereas the final (RED) Leica M that sold at auction featured a more matte finish with a grill-like design wrapped around the camera. The prototype also lacks any markings on the APO-Summicron-M 50mm F2 ASPH lens, which were present on the final version, as well as minimal markings on the dials, which ended up having shutter speed and shooting modes imprinted on the final version.
According to the item description on the auction page, the prototype was ‘the final development step when the camera took its final shape after hundreds of prototype parts had been made and tried.’ There’s no mention as to whether this is a functional camera or not. We have contacted Leitz Photographica Auction for this information and other details.
Bidding for the camera is expected to start at €100K (~$118K) and is expected to hit a final offer between €200K (~$235) and €250K (~$294K)