• Oct 7, 2010

Leica M9 Titanium by Walter de'Silva – Click above for image gallery

Walter de'Silva has worked his magic on countless Alfa Romeos, Seats, Audis and now, as head of design for the entire Volkswagen Group, is responsible for styling even more brands and their products than just about anyone in the industry. But he can now add one more to his resume: a Leica camera.

The iconic German optics company brought de'Silva in to give its compact M9 camera a bit of a make-over. Rising to the task, de'Silva refitted the camera in titanium, gave its screen a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, trimmed it in Nappa leather, a diamond-texture surface and even reworked Leica's famous logo, centering it above the lens like a hood ornament. A gun-holster-like shoulder harness completes the package as de'Silva follows in the footsteps of fellow car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who designed for Canon and whose ItalDesign studio de'Silva's employers recently acquired.

Only 500 examples of the limited-edition, de'Silva-designed Leica M9 Titanium will be produced, fetching a suitably car-like $31,300 apiece. Zoom in on the images in the gallery below for a closer look.



[Source: Leica via The New York Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope that Leica will sell the holster on its own. That thing is cool.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Well I'm not unappreciative of the latest and greatest cool n' fancy Leica, and as a Leica user for more than four decades, they have chosen to place an inordinate amount of PR expense on this - while they left the R system users hanging in the wind.

      They'll sell every one they make, and it will net them a boat-load of cash - which they need. But believe me, Leica has lost it's 'mojo', they have a new owner with the cash but without the business sense. They built the S2 'uber' camera which cost them 30ML and the camera sells for 22K, but sacrificed the R system and 45 years worth of loyal users in the process. So, don't be surprised if they keep showing and selling more 'fancy M9's' - and there are plenty of people who want a status camera around their neck's - because Leica needs the money - for the unfinished factory at Leitz Park in Wetzlar.

      Leica's lenses are great but Leica is more than ever an irrelevant company that is hanging nearly every chance they have left on the M camera. Oh, the Leica camera has almost been around for 100 years, not since 1864 (that would be E Leitz, Inc. that made Microscopes, etc. and would later develop the Leica in the 1920's)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I appreciate the quality and elegance of Leica equipment, but $31 GRAND? I'd need to have true FU money to fuel my vanity to that degree ...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure there is some interest in articles such as these and, I suppose, some link (however insubstantial) between the featured item and automobiles. However, I personally don't see enough relevance for inclusion in an auto-enthusiast blog.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How about the fact that this camera was penned by one of the most prominent car designers? Isn't that relevant enough?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not everything about the motoring world has to simply pertain to four wheels with an engine and a couple of seats.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a nice toy for someone with lots of disposable income but you still have to know how to take pictures properly. Heck, I think the regular M9 is a waste of money but that's just me. I'm more than hobby level and just replaced my waterlogged D2x with a D3x (diving accident)

      Funny how people with DSLRs all think they're suddenly pro-photographers. I've had quite a bit of experience with 35mm and even had my own little closet darkroom, made the jump to digital years ago. I consider myself a slightly advanced user but nowhere near pro.

      My go-to camera, one that has the most shutter time? A D90. $1000, best bang for the buck IMO.

      • 4 Years Ago
      It's pretty nice, but I'm not seeing much car influence in the design. Maybe that was done intentionally.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, priceless piece of equipment! Only I am asking myself is this German engineering made by foregners (de'Silva is Italian)? Even the caliper is Mitutoyo, isn't it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've heard that shutter speed for this model is "best in class"!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Film photography? Where can you develope kodacrome, ecktacrome today without paying with your first born?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why not just engrave "TOOL" across the front of the camera?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Leica really expects to sell 500 of these at $31k? Really?

      Haha, Toyota and Canon will meet up next and create, "A Prius Inspired Rebel DSLR"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd be surprised if some were still available
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Leica really expects to sell 500 of these at $31k? Really?"

        They will, without doubt.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They will sell a ton of these!!!!
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