A rare Leica camera prototype created by former Apple star Jony Ive and renowned designer Marc Newson sold at auction in JuneThe device, described as being in “B +” condition, has a starting price of $ 100,000 (approximately $ 118,000), and the Leitz Photographica Auction House estimates it will sell for between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000 (approximately $ 235,000 to $ 295,000). ).
The prototype was produced during development of the one-off Leica M for (RED) camera, which was sold at a charity auction for $ 1.8 million in 2013. While the design of the final product was very similar to Apple’s “cheesegrater” Mac Pro, this prototype appears to have a smooth reflective finish that looks like an absolute fingerprint magnet.
The prototype, described as the “final development step” of the design process, is equipped with an Apo-Summicron 2/50 mm ASPH lens. However, there is no mention of whether it actually functions as a camera. Here’s the full description of Leitz Photographica Auction:
“A beautifully sculpted aluminum housing with a matching Apo-Summicron 2/50 mm ASPH. lens – both exhibit distinctive features that both designers are known for. Only one finished camera was made and it sold at auction in 2013 for a whopping $ 1.8 million! The prototype that we are pleased to offer shows the final step in development as the camera took its final shape after hundreds of prototype parts were made and tested. It is a beautiful piece of design and a very special opportunity for Leica collectors! ”
At the time, Leica said that a total of 561 models and nearly 1,000 prototype parts were created during the camera design process. The last Leica M for (RED) camera was sold at auction along with over 40 other items, raising a total of approximately $ 26 million for charity. Newson later joined Apple to work under Ive the following year.